As humans, we have a natural instinct to be protective of those we love. Whether it be a significant other or a family member. This instinct makes us want to help when we can. To offer guidance or solutions – but sometimes, this isn’t the best course of action to take.
As men, we need to understand that women don’t want us to solve their problems for them, but rather to be a support system to listen and understand while they discover their own solutions.
Here are five times that this rings true.
She is having a fight with her friend.
A woman’s relationships with her friends are often outside the realm of her relationship with her boyfriend. When offering advice or getting involved, we run the risk of saying something offensive or sounding like we may disapprove of one of her friends. This can only lead to awkwardness in the future, especially if you all spend time together.
Plus, if these are childhood friends she has known for far longer than you, saying something negative about them is akin to talking badly about her family. Simply listen to the situation at hand, and only offer (unbiased and fair) input if she asks.
She is frustrated with something you don’t understand.
I tend to be an eternal optimist and have learned that sometimes trying to lighten a frustrated mood actually makes things worse.
If every time your girlfriend vents to you, you feel the need to offer a silver lining, she may feel as though you’re minimizing or stifling her feelings by not letting her get them out of her system. Let her talk it out and only speak if it offers more value than simply understanding.
She’s having issues with her child.
Whoa man, especially if you’re a new boyfriend and not the father of the child, you are on some seriously thin ice here. I can’t speak from much experience as I haven’t really dated single mothers, but I know enough to stay away from telling someone else how to raise their kid(s).
She tells you she wants to be alone.
Maybe you did something wrong, maybe you didn’t. Maybe she’s having problems at work, or maybe it’s a family issue. Either way, if she wants to be alone – let her be alone. We all know what it’s like sometimes to just not want to be around anyone, and thinking you can help if you just get her talking is a bad idea.
Give her some space and let her figure it out – she will appreciate it more.
Sometimes, less is more, and while we like to think we have all of the answers – sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay.
She brought her work home with her.
Is she stressing about a big presentation or meeting a deadline? We all know the pressure that a job can put us under, and sometimes we just need to zone in on the task at hand to get it done. This isn’t the right situation to sit down beside her and help her with her math homework.
Bring her some water or a glass of wine, let her buckle down, and go back to your Call Of Duty.
In all of these situations, it’s still important that you are there for her to offer help if she asks for it or really needs it. The only thing I’m suggesting with these points is that you don’t force the issue or pry your way into personal or emotional matters that she needs to figure out on her own.
Because much of our communication is non-verbal, it’s important that we pay close enough attention to see if someone is getting frustrated or annoyed with us but doesn’t have the heart to tell us to just walk away for a bit.
Play it safe. If she wants you around, she will let you know.
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