Did you know that most of our life is run on our default instinctual responses to the world? We like to think that we’ve evolved beyond our instincts, that were not like other animals, but that’s just not true.
When we respond to our world without thinking about what we’re doing, it’s either an ingrained response, or instinct running the show. What this means for your relationship is that quite often, in fact most of the time, we are operating from our instinctual mode.
And the instinctual mode of males and females of any species are different. Did you ever watch Wild Kingdom? Our instinct is hard-wired into us. And whether we want to believe it or not, our hard-wiring plays a role.
When my husband is watching football, which he loves, or doing any project for that matter, he’s in single-focused mode. A man in single-focus mode will not always respond with kindness if you interrupt him. And that’s putting it mildly. So what do you do if you want to connect with your partner? You have a quick question, or something really important to you? You either interrupt, and end up in a fight, or you ignore him because you feel like he doesn’t respect or care about you, and your feelings are hurt.
And then when the game’s over, or he is finished with whatever he was doing, he comes over to talk to you and you’re crabby. You give him the cold shoulder, because of “the fact” that he’s ignored you. You wonder why he could think that he could just come over as if nothing had happened. You might even tell him your feelings are hurt, but then he sulks and backs away. The beginning of another disconnected evening.
Did you know that about 80 to 90% of relationship problems can be solved by understanding the instinctual differences between men and women? Men and women are so different that we be better off if we actually spoke different languages, because then we wouldn’t think we were communicating. The way we operate in the world is different.
This applies to how we raise our children, what makes us feel safe, how often we have sex, and how we spend our money. Really, there are more ways that we’re out of sync, than in sync.
For me, knowing this, helps me from getting upset when Art’s in single-focus mode. It allows me to choose my response, because I know that he is not ignoring me. So while I may have a momentary upset, I can regroup, and choose what I want to focus on, which is his single-focused attention on me, when he’s done with the game.
That’s why understanding instinctual differences helps you navigate them, so that you can consciously rise above and co-create the relationship that you truly want.
This week, ask yourself when you’re upset with your partner’s behavior, “could this be instinct?” Instead of getting upset, choose to be curious. Allow your partner the space to be single-focused and watch what happens next!
Relationship Navigation Specialist
If you want to learn more about the instinctual differences between men and women and how to avoid letting them run your relationship amok, I offer Relationship Breakthrough Sessions for Singles, Couples or Partners Flying Solo who are committed to creating Conscious Partnership.
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