I’ve been vaguely aware that there’s some internet kerfluffle going on over at Susan Walsh’s Hooking Up Smart website, not from reading anything on there, but from reading Vox’s commentary on it. (I’ve read some entries on HUS, but I prefer the “manosphere” blogs by an order of magnitude. Probably has something to do with my personality type. I’m essentially a female version of my dad: INTJ; willing to debate vigorously, which comes off as “confrontational” most of the time.)
Now, Vox’s entry (linked above) spawned a bunch of interesting comments, one of which was a link to another blog entry by someone else, entitled “How (Not) to Argue with a Woman.” It’s not that long, so I highly recommend you go read the whole thing! The main takeaway, though, is Do Not Attempt To Rationally Argue With An Emotional State. This is a very important rule I think a lot of guys don’t really “get.” If something is an emotional trigger, you can reason with a woman, and even if you get her to agree that your reasoning is more valid than her emotional state, it will have no effect whatsoever on her emotional reaction. You can win the debate – and still “lose.” Not that it isn’t worth exploring emotional triggers when they haven’t been activated – in fact, that’s something that should be done, because it takes a long time for a person to recondition her own emotional reactions. It can be done – but only through years of practice.
Another aspect of this – the primacy of the emotional mind over the rational mind – is the dreaded That Time Of The Month. I’m fairly sure guys don’t have even the tiniest inkling of what it’s like to be ruled by a continuous hormone cycle that has a huge effect on your emotional state – one that is totally unresponsive to reason. I can control my actions – but just because a woman is controlling her PMS-fueled anger and frustration at absolutely everything, doesn’t make that emotional state go away. No attempt at stepping back and looking at things objectively helps; sometimes it’s even worse, to know that your emotional reactions are totally out of line and yet see no way to alter them. There’s no “off” switch, even if you desperately want one.
So what is the best thing to do when confronted with a woman in an Emotional State? Apply food likely to stabilize blood sugar levels. Chocolate and alcohol should only be applied in conjunction with a good square meal, as sugar highs are likely to exacerbate mood problems. And remember, exercising willpower burns blood glucose – so if you’re battling a bad mood, don’t let yourself get too hungry! 😉