10 Male Traits That Beat Verbal Agility

I’ve had some discussions recently about why men can’t express what they are feeling and thinking. It’s a guessing game sometimes; a seemingly trap at other times.

While it makes for an interesting discussion of feelings and thoughts expressed verbally vs. remaining silent, I think there are more important traits than verbal agilityHere are my top ten:

1) Sincerity: If a man ventures to speak, the last thing I want to hear are words said to placate me. If I ask, I really want to know. If you make a gesture make it count and speak for the words you can’t say.

2) Action: Who hasn’t heard “actions speak louder than words”?Take up a cause and work toward it; clean out the garage without being asked; hold the door for me (yes, I’m completely old-fashioned in that regard); and most importantly, defend those who can’t defend themselves – and don’t feel the need to brag about it.

3) Strength: Physical strength; strength of character; make decisions and live by them, take responsibility for decisions; cry when the situation calls for crying. Know who you are and be that person.

4) Family Man: This one’s a biggie. It doesn’t cover only spouse and offspring, but other family members – co-workers; community; fellow organization members.

5) Picks Up His Own Underwear!: It shows flexibility and trainability; conscious of the little things that matter.

6) Independent: No clinging unless our lives depend on it or we’re sledding.

7) Humor! A sense of humor makes up for a multitude of sins and balances my lack of a sense of humor.

8) Good Listening Skills: Sometimes you need to just listen.

9) Confidence: Specifically in knowing what you don’t know and that it’s okay to not know. No excuses or made-up answers.

10) Laid-Back: Not so laid-back you don’t respond! Most women really do need this balance. Our lives are so frenetic a man who isn’t adding stress to an already stressful life is a bonus. When I get annoyed with your “laid-backness”, I don’t really mean it – not long-term anyway.

Anger Is A Cover Story

(I wrote this some time ago and never published it, thinking it was not the right time. Now, following a shooting at a church in Maryland, the time it seems, is at hand.)

It has been ten days since a gunman, Frank Smith, held hostages at Verso Paper in Jay, Maine. By all accounts, he had an “anger” problem. The media reported whatever they could snatch to make a story, much of which was inaccurate, but hey, they were first with inaccuracy.

I am bothered by the incompleteness of the story. The only media follow-up being the hostages were released and the gunman surrendered. Simple. Of course, had anyone been physically injured I’m sure it would have been covered differently. Violence sells. Tragedy, in general, sells.  Continue reading

Loneliness. Alone. Solitude.

Washing dishes is a chore from which I seldom shy. There’s something about attacking those microcosms in among the stacks of dirty dishes that I find satisfying. Few chores, can one do and get instant gratification as gazing on a sink of sparkling glass and silverware. I most often do them alone as the respite is quieting and welcome.

I have a friend who is on a new path on her life journey. She says she used to be alone, but not lonely. Now she feels she is both as she processes the end of her marriage. Continue reading

Not Going to Age Gracefully, I’m Not

It is often said “youth is wasted on the young”. I disagree. We think of youth as a time, for most of us, for being healthy and physically fit and lots of energy. To those of us, lets say over 50, many view this as being backwards, that we need that intense energy to face the challenges of aging.

First let me state that I think youth is in the eyes of the beholder. I know someone who thought turning 30 was the end of her youth. I suspect at 50 she now regards 30 as youthful. And so it goes as we age, what we were, we often wish we still were. Continue reading

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  If I could invite someone famous to have dinner with I would choose Audrey Hepburn. Continue reading

Caring for the Caregiver

I have wanted to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month, although,  I really didn’t know what more I could add.

Then the other day I was watching “The Talk”. They dedicated the episode to Breast Cancer Awareness. They gave free mammograms to those who had never had one; survivors related their stories; and tips were given on how to do a self-breast exam. Everyone dressed in pink robes. However, there was a story missing. The story of the caregiver. The one who stands by stoically, wishing for all the world they could make the uninvited guest at the party of life, go away.  No one hears their story. They are not the ones invited to give speeches. Continue reading

Creating What You Want

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. (Emerson)

Creating what you want in life requires you to be open to discoveries and  possibilities; open to following life’s natural course; taking steps to blaze your life’s trail. The most successful trail blazers are open to change and ambiguity. Continue reading

Seeing with the eyes – believing with the heart

“On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur l’essential est invsible pour les yeux.” – (We see with the heart what is invisible to the eyes.)  The Little Prince.

We are often told “seeing is believing” and it is assumed that what is meant is that we are seeing with our eyes. But if you think about it, this is never true. Think about something you have not seen with your eyes, but you still believe it exists. This is because we have seen it with our heart so we know it’s true. Conversely, we often say “I see it, but I don’t believe it”, because we haven’t felt it.

This is what is happens when we experience “love at first sight”. We gush to whomever will listen, terms of how perfect the new love interest is; so polite; smart or funny and that we fell in love immediately. But we pull up short when someone asks “what do they look like”? Continue reading