The Nothing Box and The Exasperating Web…Men and Women’s Brains

IMG_0087I don’t think it’s anything profound to say that men and women think very differently. So, I won’t say it. There are a variety of reasons that we do. If I can think of the brain as one of the organs in my body, I realize that it’s impacted by all kinds of “physical” things. It’s impacted by the food I eat. If I drink lots of coffee, it can ramp up my anxiety, and my brain thinks all kinds of wacky things. If I get too tired, my brain can’t always think clearly. If I fall in love….forget it…I can’t think at all.

Suffice it to say that our brains are impacted physically by all kinds of things. Last night, my first husband called me and we were discussing hormones. Yes, both men and women experience a decline in hormone activity when we age. He said he never realized how much hormones could impact the  way you think until he got a really strong rush of testosterone in his body during some medical treatment. It made him feel crazy. I laughed. I told him about how different I feel now that I’m entering menopause, and I don’t have regular cycles that are precipitated by a symphony of hormones. “I feel the same every day now,” I said. ” I had no idea how much hormones were impacting the way I think and react until I experienced this lack of activity.” I welcome the change. Of course, there have been some rocky years getting to this smooth sailing place, but it’s over now. I can enjoy and reap the benefits of waking up everyday with the same reality.

I’m not a doctor or a professional of any sort that knows anything about the brain, but I can tell that men and women think differently. When members of the same sex get together, we relate differently. We are driven by different ways of interacting. I remember talking to this same man, a long time ago, about some mutual friends. I knew his friends’ wife in another setting, and we had seen each other and had discussed what women always discuss. We discussed our marriages, our lives, their kids, our houses, and our fears and desires. A month or so later, my ex went on a work trip with this man. When he got home, I asked how he and his wife were doing?  I said that she had told me they were having some issues with their child the last time I saw her. He looked at me incredulously. “We don’t talk about that kind of stuff,” he said. Then, he added, “I didn’t know he was married.” What? I remember asking what they talked about. He mumbled something about sports and work. I was astounded that they didn’t even get to basic stuff like whether or not the guy was married.

It’s no wonder we struggle with each other given these fundamental differences in the way we think. Someone shared the below video with me one day, and I’ve shared it with numerous people throughout the last 10 years. One of my friends watched it, and exclaimed, “Why don’t they show this to you in high school? It would save everybody a lot of trouble.” It’s by Mark Gungor. He’s a pastor and conducts marriage seminars.

I so wish I’d known this earlier in my life. I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made in dealing with men expecting them to think like me. I just didn’t get it. I also didn’t get that there was nothing wrong with my way of thinking and reacting either. I spent just as much time thinking I was crazy comparing my emotional state to a man’s as I did in comparing his to mine and thinking he just didn’t care. I actually wish my brain had a nothing box in it. It might be nice to take a rest sometime.

3 Comments on “The Nothing Box and The Exasperating Web…Men and Women’s Brains

  1. Pingback: Men's and Women's Brains Really are Different

  2. Pingback: Men's and Women's Brains Really are Different - True North Relationships

  3. Your brain does have a nothing box in it. Have you ever tried meditating? It might help you pull the box out from underneath all the wires in the dusty corner where you have been storing it.

    More recent studies have shown that the actual correlation that shows the basic brain differences of the sexes as described in the nothing box idea is at most 5%, and is probably something like 0.5% when being realistic. This means that you are at most 5% more active-minded than the absent minded husband by the virtue of being a woman.

    Where it really hits home is socialization and inculturation. The nothing box phenomena is bred by the expectations on men in our society. if you would care to discuss this further, I would be glad to. I can be reached on Facebook under the name “Brock Petersdorf-Nelson.”

Talk to me, please...

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