When you see a woman crying, she is open, vulnerable, and looking to you. What do you do? Many men panic in these situations because they know that these are the moments that can make or break a relationship.
Relationships have their ups and downs. You laugh together, you savor moments, create experiences, and build memories. What happens when one is hurt, open, and vulnerable? The real moments? How do we act, what do we say? These are the moments that fear-based instinctual actions may harm more than help. What do you do when you see your woman crying? Let’s start with what NOT to do:
DON’T fix her: While I am so grateful that men want to provide and protect us… that doesn’t mean we want you to change us. In fact, we’re looking to be protected from judgment… not judged. We’re looking to be provided safety in our emotional state, not told to stop feeling that way or yanked into another reality before we’re ready. We don’t want you to change the subject or tell us it’s going to be fine. We don’t want you to make it all about what it brings up for you.
DON’T make a joke: In the past when I was uncomfortable about something I would laugh to release my inner tension, yet it hurt the other person’s feelings even more. I would try to make light of something in an attempt to make someone see the bright side because I was uncomfortable with the emotions it was bringing up for me! Yet, this negates the moment, can belittle how someone feels, shows you can’t just BE with intensity and might really piss her off, insinuating her pain is funny.
DON’T hold her still: Men often meditate in stillness. Women tend to meditate in movement, most often dance. This is not a rule, of course. Yet when a woman is triggered emotionally, think, “energy in motion,” and let her move. Don’t try to put a lid on her body or she might really erupt. Don’t try to squish away the emotion. Don’t try to contain the uncontainable.
What can you do?
Just be with us. Listen. Breathe.
Be a relatively quiet, solid rock.
Ask us to tell you more, you care, you’re here, you’re listening.
Give her space to walk around, roll on the floor as she lets the emotions move through her.
Be the banks of her river, and give her space to BE.
See the beauty in her courage to feel, and be grateful to be the safe cocoon walls.
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