The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

The Man- Woman Equation of Everyday Life

The Man- Woman Equation of Everyday Life

Just Read This and You Will Understand Your Wife Better

In case you haven’t noticed, her mind works differently from yours. Here’s how to bring the two closer together.

STEPHEN HAWKING, THE MOST FAMOUS LIVING quantum physicist in the world, is baffled by women. Think about that: this is a man who expounds on Euclidean quantum gravity and has theories about the black hole information paradox, a concept we can’t even pretend to grasp. But when it comes to members of the opposite sex, Hawking calls them “a complete mystery.”

This might seem discouraging. If the author of The Theory of Everything thinks women are unfathomable, what hope do regular guys have? But the problem isn’t that Hawking, a brilliant man, can’t understand them.

The problem is that Hawking, like a lot of us, isn’t looking at the situation properly. “A big mistake men make is trying to put themselves in a woman’s shoes,” says Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at UC San Francisco and the author of The Female Brain. “They look at a woman crying and try to identify with it. But they can’t do that. For a guy, if you’re crying, it means some serious shit has happened.

So in that situation, putting yourself in another person’s shoes won’t bring you closer to understanding them.” Hawking didn’t approach the riddle of black holes by thinking, “How is this black hole like me?” He did it by removing emotion from the equation and saying, “Okay, let’s see what’s really going on here.” So that’s our plan.

We’re going inside the female brain (headlamps on; body armor secure!) where we’ll use cold, objective science to explain her most perplexing behaviors. And while we’re at it, we’ll identify what befuddles women most about men. Now that’s what we call a meeting of the minds.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does she want to discuss every detail of a problem, even if I already know the solution?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from every hack standup comic, it’s that women love to yak. Except, sorry, it’s not true. A 2007 study from the University of Arizona found that men average 15 669 words a day, versus 16 215 for women.

But even though the word salad is about the same size for each sex, women seem to prefer to use verbal strategies to solve problems. “Women have increased connectivity between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and men connect more from front to back,” says Ragini Verma, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies structural differences between male and female brains. “Male brains facilitate connectivity between regions that handle perception and action.

Once men hear something, they want to act on it. But with women, it’s more about the connection between logic and intuition.” So what’s the solution? Take a deep breath, let her talk, and try not to take it personally. It’s not about whether you can or can’t solve the problem; it’s just the way her brain is wired for problem-solving. “She derives comfort from emotionally analyzing the problem first in the same way you get comfort from acting on the problem immediately,” Dr Brizendine says.

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does he think he has the immediate answer to everything and never seems to listen to me?

A lot depends on what was happening while she was telling you whatever it was you don’t remember. Next time, tell her you may have been suffering from “intentional deafness.” If she questions whether such a thing exists, cite the 2015 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience that reported the condition. Researchers theorize that it stems from focusing so intently on a visual task that you momentarily become deaf – literally deaf – to sounds you would otherwise hear. Tell her that if you aren’t making eye contact with her while she’s talking, you’re not listening.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

She cried during an Allan Gray commercial. That’s…insane, right?

As Dr Brizendine explains, “About 24 to 48 hours before a woman’s period begins; her progestin is dropping and she…” Ooookay, Doc, let’s stop there before someone gets hurt. While this may be true, making hormonal assumptions is always a bad idea.

It’d be like a woman saying to a man, “Why are you staring at me? Do you have a boner?” There’s better biology to explain her tears. In the 1980s, the biochemist William H. Frey analyzed the chemical properties of emotional tears (as opposed to those onion-caused tears) and found that they contain prolactin.

As it turns out, women have much higher blood levels of prolactin than men do. Ipso facto, tears are more easily provoked in women. Men may also have a built-in governor on tears. “Testosterone has an inhibiting influence and elevates the threshold to cry,” says Ad Vingerhoets, author of Why Only Humans Weep. Meaning, our testosterone is one of many reasons why our tears don’t spill until something serious hits us, like a death or a World Cup loss.

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

He nearly cried the last time he had the flu! Why is he such a baby when he’s sick?

The reason we’re not getting any sympathy when we have a bug is because oestrogen not only protects women from the flu but also helps lessen its severity. That’s according to research published this year in the American Journal of Physiology. Apparently the so-called “man flu” isn’t entirely a myth. The next time you’re sick and she tells you to stop complaining, remind her that it’s easy to act tough with all that oestrogen.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does she get miffed when I happen to notice other women’s cleavage?

Women may actually be biologically programmed to notice us noticing breasts. When a mother nurses her offspring, a mother lode of the “love hormone,” oxytocin, floods into her brain. The intense bond this creates basically hardwires the maternal instinct to protect her young, says Larry Young, a neuropsychiatrist at Emory University.

A similar bond is aroused when she sees you – her baby now – eyeballing another woman’s breasts, but what about the woman sporting the cleavage? When she wears something revealing, is it cultural?

Is she being driven by evolutionary history? Possibly. It’s also possible that what she wears has nothing to do with attracting a male gaze. “Women may have many socially dictated reasons for adopting the sexualized look, none of which have much to do with intent to convey an interest in or consent to sex,” notes Avigail Moor, of Tel-Hai College in Israel.

Translation: Her body may be on display, but it’s unlikely it’s on display for you, according to the women Moor surveyed.

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does he get miffed when I accuse him of always thinking about sex?

The Man- Woman Equation of Everyday Life

Men think about sex 19 times a day, or once every 50 minutes, an Ohio State University study found. It’s still more often than women (10 times a day), but it’s not “always.” The same study revealed that men think about food 18 times a day and sleep an average of 11 times a day. So tell her that if “hot daydreams about taking long naps in nacho cheese” count as sex to her, then sure, you’re “always” thinking about sex.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does she go to the bathroom with her friends?

Women seek friendships for different reasons than men do. They want to “co-ruminate,” says Tamas David-Barrett, a behavioral scientist at the University of Oxford. “They meet up and then tell each other, often in sequential monologue form, about their issue at that particular moment in their lives.” But men, he says, prefer active friendships. They’d rather socialize with other guys through another activity, such as playing golf or fishing.

It could even be an “imaginary action,” says David-Barrett, “like going to the pub to watch a game on TV.” Women in particular typically behave this way because of an innate biological instinct researchers call “tend and befriend,” a UCLA study discovered. Females of a species cope with stress by nurturing their young (tending) and seeking social contact (befriending).

This is different from the fight-or-flight response typically used by males to deal with anxiety. When life gets stressful, women huddle together while the men folk either start throwing punches or run for it. Remember this next time she has yet another girl’s night out or travels by female posse to the restroom. What she’s really saying, deep in her evolutionary memory, is “I need to be with other women because I’m worried our tribe might be gored by saber-toothed tigers or decimated by famine or pestilence.”

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why is he in the bathroom for hours by himself?

Men don’t get nearly enough alone time. In fact, we actively avoid it. In a University of Virginia study, 67% of men opted to give themselves a shock rather than be alone with their thoughts. So anytime a man is alone, even if it’s just on the porcelain throne, it’s a good thing. Tell her you’re just staying on the can a while longer to be a better man – for her.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why does she say she’s not hungry and then keeps eating my chips?

Some women have a complicated relationship with food. Nearly 90% of women are unhappy with their weight.

They think about food roughly once an hour, and sex about every 90 minutes. (When was the last time you thought about sex? (Probably, while you were reading this sentence) “There’s the cultural pressure to be thin, which can make them self-conscious about eating in social situations,” says Dr Brizendine. “They don’t want to be viewed as overindulging.” Just because they don’t order their own chips doesn’t mean they’re not hungry.

But for many women, ordering a big meal is the social equivalent of a man crying in public. Even if nobody cares, it still feels like everybody is staring in judgment. Or maybe she wasn’t hungry until she caught sight of your fries, and then her internal chemistry reminded her that, yeah, hot fried potatoes would taste really good. (The hunger hormone ghrelin can be stimulated visually.) So next time, just order the large fries and look the other way.

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

Why did he eat all that pepperoni pizza? I barely got any of it!

Men are more likely to stuff their faces when a woman is present. We’ll eat 93% more pizza (or 1.44 more slices) and 86% more salad than usual, according to a 2015 Cornell study. This appears to have evolved partly as a way of signaling that the man has surplus health, says study author Kevin Kniffin. So tell her you ate the last slice to prove you could protect her.

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The Man Woman Equation of Everyday Life

MAN BRAIN WONDERS…

She says she’s not angry, but I can tell she is. Why won’t she admit it and just say what’s bothering her?

“Women are rarely rewarded for anger the way men are,” says Jessica Salerno, a behavioral scientist at Arizona State. Men, she says, are seen as more competent when they get mad, but women are labeled as emotional.

The good news: you don’t have to know why she’s angry, just care that she is. In a 2012 study, women’s relationship satisfaction strongly relied on whether their partners were trying to understand their emotions – and that was true even if they weren’t succeeding, says study author Shiri Cohen. So don’t feel you’re a failure if she’s cross. Just acknowledging her anger will make her feel better.

WOMAN BRAIN WONDERS…

How can he forget our anniversary – again?

Sorry girls, Seven out of 10 men struggle recalling dates, according to a 2013 study of 50 000 people. And no, age didn’t matter. Phrase it this way: “With so much uncertainty in the world, isn’t it a comfort that you can rely on me to forget our anniversary for the next 30 years?”

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