The Biggest Mistake Men Make With Women Is This: Pushing & Backing Off
Basically, by pushing I mean when men try to control a woman or over step her boundaries. I hope that doesn’t sound too vague. It’s critical men understand the balance between pushing and backing off.
Most of the time you get it wrong. Really wrong. Often times it’s in small ways that you are not aware of.
When it happens many times a day everyday with the woman you’re sharing your life with it causes a whole bunch of strife within her and between the two of you and eventually makes her shut down and get numb to you.
A woman may be extra patient with a man. She may go along with some pushing and insistence on your part for fear of causing any upset. The biggest trouble with this type of behavior is that men get used to it. If she went along with it this time and the last ten times, then that type of pushing behavior is an acceptable way to handle the situation, right?
This is why it’s so important for women to have very clear and strong boundaries. This means a woman must know herself very well. She must feel very comfortable saying no when she needs to and yes when she wants to or at least feels it’s in her best interest to do so.
Pushing is that thing that men do when you don’t want to hear no. It’s that thing you guys do when you’re asserting yourself as a man. Pushing is that thing men do when they decide not to have respect for a woman’s point of view or a lack of respect for women in general. It’s your way or the highway.
First Half of The Biggest Mistake
Women Are Equal (But Not The Same)
Isn’t that what we do with children? We talk to them like we know better? There’s a time to get bossy when a kid wants to run across a busy street or have too many cookies before dinner. We’re older and know those things aren’t good for the child. So we talk to them like we know better, because we do. How often do you guys push a woman because you think you know better?
Now some of you may be saying, “Well, she seemed okay with it all those times before. She hasn’t said anything. Why all of a sudden is she getting all pissed off about it now?”
Well, that’s a good question.
The reason she may have put off telling you she disagrees and went along with your behavior is perhaps two fold.
She may not be fully in touch with herself. She may need extra time to decide whether or not your behavior is actually pushing her in a way she finds disagreeable.
She may never have wanted to go along with it, but did it to appease you. She wanted to avoid a confrontation or argument. She didn’t want you to keep hammering at her so she said yes. Until she decided to say no.
It may seem unfair that some women wait so long to draw a line in the sand. However, women learn as little girls that the male ego is a force unto itself and is not to be trifled with. This egoic force shapes, molds and influences a woman’s mind and spirit in ways that are beyond the scope of this ebook. As a woman of middle years who began dealing with a huge, difficult, domineering masculine egoic presence as a tiny being, please trust what I say. The male ego leaves a heavy footprint. Often times on the necks of those it loves the most.
Back to why your lady may be suddenly digging in her heels…
She may finally feel some relief because she’s honored her instincts to say no to your pushing behavior. It looks like it comes out of the blue and you guys feel blind sided. However, it’s only because she’s developed the awareness and strength to finally say no.
When you notice that your behaviors, opinions and actions she went along with before are now being resisted THIS is the time you’ll need to change your approach. Pushing back will only make things worse.
Frankly, this type of situation is easily solved with simple (and real) respect. If you can make a shift in your thinking and realize you’ve stepped over her boundaries (many times) and decide to honor her boundaries, things can improve fast.
The first step is to fully acknowledge that you have been taking advantage of her gentle, receptive nature. She’s now finally found her voice and is saying no. If you can genuinely respect that and not just feign the respect, you’ll change things in your relationship dramatically.
The trouble is, most of you guys don’t or won’t.
You love to be right. You have deeply ingrained ideas of who you think you are as a man and how that sense of manhood should be displayed.
Unfortunately, that is the seed for ALL of destruction. Think I’m exaggerating? Give it some thought.
Every argument, fight, battle and war that has ever been started was because someone or a group of people (almost always men) decided that another person or group of people was not behaving the way they thought they should… and they needed to pay for it. That’s it.
Sensitive, strong men who are considerate and genuinely respectful of women have far fewer problems with them. And I’m not talking about backer-offers either. We’ll discuss that in the next section.
A strong man knows when to let it go. The pushing/backing off balance begins with knowing when to just let it go.
It’s true, women need more respect for themselves and men need to respect women more.
So stop pushing!
That includes the thoughts in your head too. Without sounding too cryptic, I want to convey the importance of not thinking superior thoughts either.
I would often get men in my meetings who didn’t do anything disrespectful per se. However, there would be a certain condescending tone in their voice or well chosen question meant to demonstrate they were above me. If you’re secretly harboring thoughts of superiority your lady will pick it up. You might manage not to do anything overtly controlling or belittling, but she’ll eventually figure it out. It won’t be good when she does.
So when you’re with a woman you care about and pushing her, you’re demonstrating a huge lack of respect for her.
At some point, all human beings with any shred of self respect, will rise up against oppression or domination of any kind.
If you want to continue pushing her, you’re sealing the fate of your relationship.
It will break…
And for what? To flex your superior sense of yourself? Ugh.
An Example Of Pushing
Let me give you some examples of how men push from my days working as a marketing rep. Part of my job was to meet with potential business partners who might have a product we’d be interested in selling. I was often bombarded with requests to meet. I was surprised when so many of these business people (almost all of them men) would expect to get in to see me without an appointment. Sometimes they would just walk in and expect me to take them.
At first, I tried to accommodate them. I thought it was part of my job to do so until it started to interfere with other parts of the job. I finally set a time limit on when and how much notice they needed to meet with me. I immediately noticed a difference in the attitude of these mostly male potential partners.
They were nearly as flakey or as entitled. They seemed to understand this was a mutual arrangement. Although the company I worked for was fairly large and most of the sellers were small to medium sized. The fact was they needed us more than we needed them.
In general, many types of working and personal environments have taught me that men often just want what they when they want it.
If a man didn’t get the response he was expecting from me, suddenly…
I was the one with the problem because they didn’t get what they wanted.
I’d hear things like, “You’re so uptight.” “You must be so scared.” “What’s the big deal?” “Oh, come on. For me?” “But I’ve been so nice to you?” I never understood that last one. The point is, they pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed.
Although, sometimes women relent, but they won’t forever. This behavior is the kind teenage boys do that works on occasion because teenage girls feel a lot of guilt and a need to please the males in her life. Please don’t push gentlemen. Even if she does relent one time, you’ll have pounded another nail in the coffin of relationship dreams for yourself, as well as, other men.
It’s THIS underlying attitude of entitlement men have toward women that causes so many problems. We can and must do better than that. So, I encourage you guys to be more aware of yourselves. Notice when you’re thinking starts to slip into this ‘push’ mode. Beware of it. When you do it’ll help you stop the ‘pushing’ attitude.
Second Half of the Biggest Mistake
What Does Backing Off Mean?
Backing off is, well, for lack of a better definition… the opposite of pushing. Sort of. Instead of pushing her and over stepping her boundaries, backing off demonstrates a lack of support for her. Backing off is not taking charge. Not being in control of yourself. Not leading when you need too. Not standing up for her. Not standing up to her. Backing off is setting her up for disappointment or worse, a fall.
Most of you guys know when you’re backing off with her. You know deep down you’re not as reliable as you should be. You’ve gotten comfortable with sliding by. You’ve gotten comfortable with being the guy no one expects much from or gives too much responsibility to.
Unfortunately, women get used to this too. They think a guy who is a ‘backer-offer’ is ‘nice’ and gentle. At least he’s not a physically or verbally aggressive jerk, right? In some ways it might be better to have the guy who backs off. Until a woman really needs his help and support. Then he disappears, if not physically then certainly mentally and emotionally. He checks out. The backing off usually happens when a man feels the pressure to be more than he thinks he is and… that’s when he caves.
Deep down you know you should take action, take charge of the situation, defend her or defend yourself, but you don’t. This puts her on the defensive and she comes at you with something that raises the guilt, fear and restlessness in you and you don’t know how to handle it.
This type of backing off is also what makes a woman crazy and frustrated too. If you’re one of these guys, who caves when pressured, then it’s time to make a decision. What do you want for yourself as a man?
How much of your own manhood do you want to own?
This book is all about helping men relate better to women. So let me tell you this, falling deeply in love with a woman is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life. When you realize this and decide a loving relationship is what you want for yourself, women will start seeing you in a different light.
An Example of Caving In
Let’s say you and your wife are at your parents place for a 4th of July party. Everyone is there. You’re brothers and sister and their families. They’ve brought your nieces and nephews. A couple of aunts and uncles are there. There are even a few friends of yours from college and of course the neighbor, Fred.
Your parents have a pool in their backyard and the kids are having a ball in it. Your wife is sitting on the edge of the pool splashing with the kids. Standing off to the side, all within ear shot, are you, your brothers, sister, mother, college friends and Fred. Your Dad’s sipping his 5th Heineken and decides to give his opinion on the blue summer dress your wife is wearing.
In a big loud voice your father says, “Hey, it looks like a blue whale has washed ashore in my pool!”
Realizing the comment was meant for your wife, all the adults become very uncomfortable. Your wife half turns toward you hoping you’ll say something. You don’t. Neither does your mother or sister, both of whom have disappeared to the kitchen. Your college buddies awkwardly talk sports while Fred stares into his lemonade. You caved in.
Could your wife have stuck up for herself? Sure. However, the comment was made by your father while her back was turned, yet it was said loud enough to be heard by everyone. He made sure of it. That’s your cue to stand up for your wife. You caved in. That tells her something.
Another way you guys back off is by second guessing a woman. When a woman has told you very clearly what her preferences are, don’t ask her again. Don’t ask if she’s sure. Don’t paraphrase, reiterate, sum up or second guess. Of course, If you’re truly unclear about what she meant then ask for clarification. Otherwise, just accept her answer. My point is to not treat her as if she’s someone who doesn’t know her own mind.
This point is very important. I think some men and even women have been convinced that it’s a sign of consideration to question a woman when she gives you a clear answer or directive. It’s not. When a man second guesses a woman it forces her to clarify her position or defend herself.
When a man does this around other people he’s set her up for a fall….
Whether or not you’re aware of it that’s what you’ve done. A woman must stay calm and clear on her objective. That way she can emerge from this passive aggressive encounter with her respect in tow.
Let’s not mince words here. Second guessing is a passive aggressive act. After all, you’ve questioned whether she knows her own mind or not. She’s an independent adult that you’ve momentarily treated like a child. When you question her clear answer or directive, it shows a lack of respect for her under the guise of confusion or consideration.
In many ways, second guessing is a form of manipulation that is an attempt to put her into a weaker position without you appearing overtly dominate. You’re setting her up for a fall.
Now, many women may not realize this is happening at first. You may have to second guess her several times before she understands this is not harmless asking. Even if it’s not a conscious act on your part. Sometimes second guessing becomes a type of dynamic between a couple that goes on for years.
The biggest problem with second guessing is that it creates a feeling of restlessness in her that’s attributed to your pattern of questioning her instead of taking it at face value. She wants you to take her at her word just like you would a man. Right?
Let’s say a buddy tells you he’s started getting up at 5am to do yoga for an hour. He says it makes his back feel better. What happens then? If you’re genuinely curious, you might ask how it helps his back. If not, you might just shrug and think, I wouldn’t do it, but if it helps you buddy, go for it.
Why would you do this?
Because you have respect for him as a man and an individual. You appreciate the fact he can make decisions for his own health and be detached enough to know it’s fine for him, even though it’s not something you’d do. Now that’s consideration and real respect.
Ultimately, the problem with backing off, (or caving in and second guessing) is that a woman has no idea how serious or committed you are about anything. You’re not solid. You’re not a stand up guy.
Can you see how this would be a big problem in your relationship with your wife or girlfriend?
If you’re a wishy-washy, passive-aggressive guy who tends to back off, you’ll never be able to have the deep passionate intimate relationship you’re really looking for with a woman. So, let’s move on!
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