5 Mantras For Grown Up Girls

by Terri Crosby for “In Care of Relationships.”

These mantras are for girls about boys. It’s for girls who like boys, as well as for girls who like girls.  Because, after all,  men are everywhere and you probably have a few in your extended family.  Hey, and besides, a boy helped you into this world, and chances are, you’ve probably spent quite a few hours around him. When things aren’t going swimmingly, or you have a reaction to something a man did or said, here is immediate help.  You might consider pasting these on the back wall of your brain for quick, easy reference.

check markMantra #1. He’s Not A Girl.

He will never be a girl, even if he tries.  Therefore maybe (going out on a limb here) he’s not like me.  Therefore, what I might (naturally) expect of him may not be what he (naturally) does. Simply put, he’s different than me. What I am (naturally) asking him to be aware of might not be (naturally) on his radar.  What I think is important about ______ may not be what’s important to him.  It’s OK.  In fact, it’s good. The fact that he’s not psychic and can’t read my mind is not a character flaw. What I (naturally) want is probably not obvious to him (this happens a LOT – he hasn’t a clue) so it would be helpful if I state what I want in plain English and in the fewest words possible.  I don’t have to embellish, justify or explain why I want it, just state it.  If he has questions, he’ll ask.  

check mark 5Mantra #2. Everybody’s Right.

He’s not wrong.  He’s not wrong.  He’s not wrong. In fact, what if nobody’s wrong?  Ever!  (Including me.)  Well, that would be a breath of fresh air.  And that would be some big time relief. What if everybody is always doing his or her best, even if it doesn’t look like it to me?  I know  I’ve been there myself — when I thought I was doing a great job and someone else disagreed.  Or when I did less than perfect job, or a downright crummy job  — and in that moment, that was the best I could do.  I get it. So…. Ok, he’s right as right can be.  He’s doing his best.  His point of view may not match mine.  But this doesn’t make the point of view — or him — wrong.  He has something different (from me) to offer.  If I remember that, we can work together as a team and cover all the bases.  He can do things I cannot do or wouldn’t think to do, or don’t know how to do for myself.  This is not a problem.  In fact, this is a (very) good thing. So my father was “right” about how he lived his life, and how he interacted with people, whether or not I ever fully appreciated, understood, or even liked my father.  This is also true of my brother, my son, my friend. Just because his priorities, beliefs, or motives are different than mine, it doesn’t mean he’s under developed.  Or under evolved.  Or an idiot.  Or less than.  Or trying to upset me.  Or not focused on my well-being. Here’s my work.  If I think he’s wrong, I may have missed something.  As an example, what if I looked to see — not IF he loves me but HOW he expresses his love for me.  Not IF he is generous, but HOW he is generous. And what if I appreciate that out loud.  Often. The second question  — “HOW is he generous?” — yields positive answers, which creates more love, connection and cooperation.  Whatever you focus on grows.  

check mark 3Mantra #3. Don’t Assume What He Meant By That.  Ask.

But for heavens sakes, don’t go to your girlfriends to find out what he meant by what he said.  Your girlfriends don’t know.  At best, they can only guess.  Go to him.  Ask him what he meant.  (What a concept, huh?) This applies in business.  This applies to fathers, brothers, uncles, sons and  friends. And husbands and lovers. And when you do go to him, don’t “question him” meaning “grill him” about what he meant, expecting the worst.  Give him the benefit of the doubt.  You don’t know the answer.  Listen. Open the conversation when you’re in a place neutral enough to adopt the point of view that he probably has a good reason for doing what he did, and you’re genuinely going to find out what it is.  Ask him with curiosity.  Ask with an open heart and mind. He’s probably got a good reason for everything he does.  Just as you do.  You’re just different.  His actions and intentions are always valid.  If your point of view assumes he’s trying to do good, contribute, or make the planet a better place, you’ll automatically find more of that.  And that’s a really good thing.  

check mark 4Mantra #4. Get To The Point.

Just the facts, Ma’am! This is a place where men and women can get really bent out of shape with each other.  Women use more words than men.  Yep, way more.  It’s a scientific fact. Men (the masculine mode) is “get to the point.”  Then the problem can be solved and it’s over and done.  Women (the feminine mode) says “let’s connect, and talk until we find out whatever is important about all these words, ideas and feelings.  And then maybe there’s no issue at all, or we’ll solve the issue, or not.  Depends.”  Notice how very different these two styles are, and you are well  on your way. (Hint:  Women can be in either masculine or feminine mode.  If you’re on business topics, you may be more in your masculine mode.  And you might notice that you want folks to get to the point and so you can move along and produce a result.) If your partner, friend or father gets a glazed look in his eyes, it’s code for “You’re overwhelming me.  What are you trying to say?  What’s your point?”  He’s telling you that he’s losing ground, going under, and drowning in your sea of words.  He’s trying to figure out what’s important about what you’re saying.  He’s wondering, “Where’s the nugget?” Or “How can I best help her?” But here’s the issue from my feminine point of view.  Isn’t the whole point of talking to someone to figure out what’s important?  To sort it out?  To get it all out on the table, and see what’s up?  Why do I have to “get to the point” at the beginning of the conversation?  That’s impossible. Just be aware.  A little give, a little take, a little understanding goes a long way. If you want him to listen while you’re figuring something out, tell him that’s what you need from him. Tell him how to listen. “Would you please help me figure this out?  I’m going to tell you about a situation at work.  I’d like you to ask me questions when I’m done that help me figure out what to do about it.” Or if you need to vent, let him know.  But again, tell him how to listen.  Otherwise, he’s going to naturally be in “problem solve” mode, because his contribution is most likely that he wants to make your problem go away. You might say to him, “I’m full to the brim.  Could you listen to me for 5 minutes so I can unload?  All you need to do is  hold the trash can for me.  Nothing I’m going to say is important.  Don’t listen to a word.  Just hold the trash and ask, ‘And what else dear?'” What a great and generous service that is!  It’s huge! Important:  If he’s holding the trash, don’t go on and on and on.  Like five (maybe, maybe, maybe ten) minutes is plenty, plenty.  This is not his strong suit.  He loves you, so he’ll do it because it matters to you.  When our feminine self is “up to our ears” full of our week, we’re no good to anybody.  When we’re  “empty” we’re more present, and we have room to be creative, and we have more space for others.  He knows that.  Note: If you’ve got to spew for 30 minutes or an hour, journal or go to your therapist or a girlfriend. Your clarity about what you need will help both of you.  If you discover there is a “point,” or an important piece in what you are saying, let him know what it is so he can let go of all the other stuff.  

check mark 6Mantra #5. If it feels bad, it is bad.  If it feels good, it is good.

Notice how you FEEL as you speak to him, in real time, right now as you’re saying words. Notice how you feel when you THINK about a situation with him. If it feels bad, (tight, angry, argumentative, etc.) where you are going in that moment is not where you really want to go.  So hold your horses. You can’t get to a nice new happy place by criticizing him into doing what you want him to do.  It won’t turn out well.   He will not like you, and he won’t like himself.  You won’t like you, because it felt bad, and it didn’t turn out well.  It’s a downward spiral.  Nobody wins. Every moment,  we create our futures with words and feelings as a guide.  How do I FEEL now? Make a practice of noticing how you feel as you communicate with others.   Wake up in the moment.  Notice.  If it feels good, you’re on a roll.  You’re creating a future you’re going to enjoy.

At first, you don’t even need to fix anything.  Just notice how you FEEL as you speak and think.  Start there.  Start with awareness.  It’s the beginning of everything good!

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To summarize, like all new things, these mantras may take a while to become second nature.

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

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