Over the past two week alone, I’ve had multiple conversations with men about the “crazy” women they have dated and want to run away from. Each time I hear a story, I want to laugh. It is so readily apparent that there is such fear of emotions in our culture that even the slightest difficulty in making a decision sends non-emotional or emotionally avoidant men running for the hills. Emotionally secure people simply do not have trouble handling the emotions of others but emotionally insecure people often do not realize that their reaction to someone else is a sign that personal growth work is needed (and yes, even if you are an empath. Sensitivity is not an excuse!)
This type of language also indicates a complete lack of education around how someone’s relationship history, stressful conversations and their physiological responses can morph into a really unpleasant and toxic experiences.
The Conversation Has Started
The good news is that men are asking for help to better understand why emotional people act the way they do. It has started a conversation, at the very least, which is a breath of fresh air. As a deeply emotional woman myself, I cannot tell you how painful it is to be completely misunderstood simply because I’m having a bad day. At this point in my life, I’ve learned to have more compassion and patience with myself and recognize my emotions as the superpower they are, but unfortunately, other people, especially men have not learned to see the strength in the perceived weakness. We live in a culture that often sees the negatives first, rather than the beauty in difficult behavior. We do not realize how much an emotional person has suffered in his or her past and simply assume that something is “wrong with them” rather than they are healing from something bad that happened to them.
One young man reported to me that he broke things off with a woman he had been seeing on and off for many years. He wanted to know why she kept extending the conversation and brought up his family issues when he wanted to simply be done with the relationship. I was the first one to tell him that women often need to understand the situation and the WHY before moving on. You can’t walk in, state your truth after almost a decade and expect someone to say, “Sounds good. See you never.” Except that IS what he expected and he didn’t think to plan the conversation around what she may need to hear. To this woman’s credit, she called him out on his inability to process emotions that likely stemmed back to his broken relationship with a female family member who has a history of profound difficulties managing her emotions. She suggested individual therapy and a delay in decision making, he thought she was crazy and projecting onto him. He stormed out of the conversation.
If I could speak to this young woman, I would say bravo. It is unfortunate that he is not ready to see that his past is affecting his present but you never know if your bravery in sharing your thoughts and feelings during a difficult situation is the catalyst to get someone who is not in touch with his emotions into therapy or other personal growth pursuits. She is not crazy, she simply put the burden of responsibility back to where it belonged.
A friend of mine also recounted a trip with a woman he was thinking of rekindling a relationship with. She showed up on this trip as incredibly difficult, having trouble making decisions and seemed to be trying to control everything. She would ask to taste five different wines after asking for a recommendation. She wouldn’t accept his opinions. She invited other people to join them without asking him first. I agreed that she was being a pain in the ass but it also sounded like she was about to go through a major life change. The behavior was out of character for her. Rather than get to the bottom of what was REALLY going on, he literally left her in the middle of the trip unable to recognize that he also has control issues he needs to let go of!
When men run from “crazy” it is because they have a deep inability to deal with their own emotions. When I suggested he call her in a few weeks to check in and see how she was doing (since they have an almost two decade history together), he asked why he would check in with someone having “issues.” I simply said that when you have risen high enough in your own life and energy, extending compassion should not feel scary or like work. It is simply what emotionally secure people do with friends who are important to them. He hadn’t thought about it that way and asked for a referral so he can figure out what he needed to do to improve in this area in his life.
Extending compassion is what leaders do. Yet, too many of our men don’t realize that by not stepping into their true masculine energy (where emotions are dealt with in a healthy way), they actually can trigger deeply emotional people to become anxious and unhinged. Emotional people know when you are unavailable long before you have a clue and while it is on the emotional person to do his or her work to earn their emotional security, you also have to move away from avoidance to being open to dealing with emotions in a healthier manner.
People show up in our lives to be our mirrors of our own thoughts, feelings and emotional states. I’ve long learned to stay home when I’m feeling off as I know my emotions have a great impact on other people. Yet, when I feel like I’m on the top of the world, it is an energy to share with others, especially men, in order to help them learn how to ride the wave of emotions. Emotions are nothing to be scared of. They are simply data and information – some of us just have more access to this data than others. For example, when angry people started showing up in my life, I realized I probably had to process some anger related to the men in my family that I was repressing. When I took charge of my own development and healed my emotions, these people stopped showing up.
So the next time your brother, guy friend or co-worker tells you of yet another “crazy” woman in his dating life, listen with the ear of trying to help him. Be a teacher. Don’t criticize. He hasn’t learned that these women are showing up to teach him to let go of the control, to embrace his own emotions, and to harness their superpowers. They, do however, show up as a sign to deal with your own insecurity! When the day comes and he is ready to do that personal growth work, you can send him my way – he’ll never call an emotionally centered person “crazy” ever again – he’ll want to know where he has to grow in his security and will be willing to do the work to get to that place of peace.
Photo credit: @mikatapani
Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes
Licensed Psychologist and Founder of Rapport Relationships
Dr. Jennifer Rhodes is a dating coach and seduction expert. She provides dating strategy, consultation, and date coaching services to clients all over the world. She a dating coach based in NYC and a frequently sought out media expert on the topics of seduction, dating, divorce, and relationships.