My good friend, who calls himself SY Guy, makes a good living as a Strategic Planner in the communications business and he has, apparently, learned to be pretty strategic in his love life, as well. Here’s why I say this… in his own words:
She told her friend on the phone how so-and-so in the office was not carrying his weight. It’s really upsetting her. This guy has been a thorn in her side for months. On the phone she seemed to tell her the same story three times. I can only imagine there were different nuggets of information or insight in each telling. I can only imagine each telling got a different response from the friend on the other end of the phone. But I don’t know. As a guy, things are black-and-white. Not much nuance. I report to someone on the phone what happened, and the buddy on the other end says, “He’s an idiot. [Pause] “How ‘bout the Cub pitching staff this year?”
But I have come to appreciate woman-drama. It gives color to my otherwise black-and-white world. It brings me closer to the woman in my world. And it gives me usefulness…
And then when I was 45 I learned the power of “I’m sorry” – no, not as an apology to someone I wronged, but as woman-code for “I understand.” in response to something upsetting in their lives. So now, when facing drama in my GF’s life I say, “I’m sorry.” She responds, “It’s ok.” And I get credit for being understanding, which helps us feel more intimate and that deepens our relationship.
And woman-drama helps me feel useful. By being understanding (“I’m sorry”) but more importantly unfazed, I am helping her cope, by being calm, steady and clear-minded about what to do next. At least I think she finds this useful. I better ask…
Hmmm. I’m not sure if he’s being strategic…or he’s just really smart. What do you think?
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