Monday, February 21, 2011

A Funny Example of the Difference in Gender

We had a funny exchange a while back illustrative of the difference between men and women. We had received some not so good news, and were in the days following that. Clearly emotions were running high, between concerned and forward looking to possible treatment options. But there are times when you are not researching or talking but simply stewing in your own juices trying to make sense of it all (and of course it doesn't make any sense...). After a few days, we were sitting in our cozy little spot, and she asked me a question.

"Did you cry today?". Well, as a matter of fact, I had not cried THAT particular day. I had on an earlier day - well maybe teary is more like it. I do cry - even at sappy commercials and shows. I know guys get a bad rap for not crying. I certainly felt plenty of emotion THAT day - it's not like it had gone away. But in hearing that question, and knowing that I hadn't cried THAT day, I instantly felt defensive, like I had somehow screwed up and not shown sufficient emotion in light of the gravity of the situation. Maybe I wasn't being supportive enough, or showing enough vulnerability to match her emotional needs. She had definitely cried THAT day - as well as pretty much most days.

I did answer truthfully, that I had not cried. Then, being the much more enlightened guy that I am now, instead of just assuming that my initial supposition was correct, I asked her why she asked me that question. After some pause, she responded along the lines of, "well, if you cried I would be much more worried, but if you are not crying it must mean you are still positive and convinced we will ultimately prevail".

Whoops! Not crying turned out in this case to be a good thing, a supportive thing, a thing that enabled her to continue to muster the amazing courage she has shown. So instead of feeling defensive, I felt better, and that my response was indeed reassuring.

It is a complicated emotional world in which we live......

No comments:

Post a Comment