Shaunti Feldhahn: Understanding the Inner Lives of Men – Ruby Women Luncheon

[upbeat music] >> I have to tell that I have the best opening line in the world when I meet people at like a party or I’m at a business networking event and you know how you have that conversation where you meet some stranger and you say, what do you do? What do you do? And often I’m at some business event and I hear, you know, I’m talking to a guy and he says, what do you do? And I say, I help women understand men And I usually get this reaction from these guys, it’s like this deer in the headlights, right, what are you saying about us? Or, here’s what I hear as sometimes the next step, we’re really not that complicated Now, here’s a question for you How many of you have heard a guy say that? Come on, how many of you have heard a guy say that, we’re really not that complicated? All right, most of us have heard that It’s not true, okay, it is completely not true As some of you probably discovered in the question and answer time, probably most of us have been confused in some way and there’s a reason for that It’s because there is a lot of stuff going on underneath the surface that we don’t know is there because one of the things, we don’t have time to get into some of the differences that we’re gonna be talking about in terms of brain wiring, but there are some neurological reasons why men and women are so different Literally, God wired our brains differently and one of the differences is it’s a bit difficult for a guy to explain some of the things that he’s thinking sometimes They’re down under there and they impact him everyday and they impact you everyday, especially if you’re in a relationship that’s a romantic relationship with you know, a husband or maybe a boyfriend, or maybe again, like you have a son or maybe you work with men and so, it’s impacting you every day, but you don’t really know what’s going on But, here’s the problem It’s that, you know that second question we were talking about, that sort of thing of, do you think we women are sort of better at relationships? I think down underneath the surface a lot of us women kinda, whether we say it out loud or not, normally we don’t call it out in a question that we talk about over lunch, but I think we kinda think we are better at relationships in some ways and what that means is that by definition, if there’s a problem it’s his fault That’s what that means And what I’ve realized over years and years of research which I’ll explain in a second how I got here, but, what I’ve realized is the way that God has wired men to relate is totally legitimate It’s just totally different And so that we kind of think you know what, he just has to learn to relate better, right But, what if that’s not true What if the way that God has wired them to relate is completely legitimate, just like the way God has wired us to relate is completely legitimate We can all do better or worse at it, but there’s different ways that it functions and so, here’s what I realized Really, we come to this conversation as women with all these assumptions about how men are wired and you know, how they think and what’s goin’ on in there I don’t know about you, but I started being interested in this somewhere around age 11, you know And so, you kinda get these ideas like you know, boys are so weird Why did he do that? And, whether it’s like something that happened on the playground or something that happened in school and you go, oh, in your little 11 or 12 year old mind, you go oh, I bet this is why he did that, and you have an idea or a belief added to your brain And then something else happens, you know, a couple years later and you think oh, I bet this is why he did that and without realizing it you’re building up all these ideas about how men think and I’m here to tell you that some of what we’re believing is wrong Some of those assumptions, some of those ideas about how men think are actually not correct and sometimes it’s not everything, obviously but, some of these things it’s not just a little wrong, it’s a lot wrong and the problem is that we’ve built on top of these ideas and beliefs, we’ve built these habits in how we relate to a husband or a boyfriend or maybe a friend that we’ve kinda got our eye on, like you’re not dating yet, but you kinda wanna be dating or your son or a man you’re working with And so, we’ve got these relationship habits and we’ve

gotta kind of deconstruct that and learn some of this stuff new so that we can understand, okay, here’s the truth about how guys are wired and build some good habits One of the things, just, let’s talk just mostly we’re gonna talk in this lunch about personal relationships, but during, we’re gonna have a question and answer time We can get into the workplace We can get into our sons We can get into other subjects, but if it’s okay just mostly for lunch, let’s specifically talk about the romantic relationship type things And so, let’s deconstruct everything Let’s build back some good ideas and I’m not gonna be able to go into tons of the detail in you know 30 or 40 minutes, but I’m gonna give you enough just to get you started, open your eyes to some things you didn’t see before and it can have some really powerful impacts because what Jeff and I have found, Jeff, my husband, who has helped me with the research on the next book which is the book, For Men Only about how we think, for them, how we think What we’ve found is that most of the time if there are relationship heartaches it’s not because of big ticket issues Usually it’s not, it’s not because necessarily somebody was I don’t know, sexually abused as a child That does happen, those do, but that’s not the majority of problems Most of the time you’ve got a husband and a wife, you’ve got a man and a woman who really care about each other They really care about each other a lot and they’re trying hard and they don’t realize they’re trying hard in the wrong areas and they’re missing each other or they’re hurting each other and they don’t realize it So that’s what we’re gonna be downloading today so that you know what it is that will make your man feel cared for and you can avoid hurting him in ways you never realized So, let me tell you how I got here Real briefly, before we start getting into the actual surprises because it really does make a difference to know this Like Kristen said, I started out on Wall Street and when I moved to Atlanta, which is where I live now, I had a chance to write a couple of novels and one of my main characters in this novel that I was writing was a man I actually have the novel over there on the table and the story kind of revolved around this one male character that I described as a good, decent husband and father and a successful businessman That’s kinda the way I framed him And I will tell you ladies, do you really realize how little you know about how men think until you have to write their thoughts Think about that I had to, I had to put thoughts in this guy’s head Like, it’s a novel, I couldn’t just say what he was doing, I had to say what he was thinking How do I know about what a guy is thinking? And so, originally this whole thing started because I just talked to a bunch of guys You know, whether it was my husband or male friend or you know a business colleague, we’d be in a break and whoever it was I’d say, okay, here’s the scene in this book, what would you be thinking if this was you in this situation? And as they started telling me what they’d really be thinking half the time I’m going, really [laughing] That’s really what you’re thinking I found myself really surprised and the funny thing is as I did more and more of these conversations I realized that it wasn’t just that I was surprised, that wasn’t what was so important I realized that what I was hearing was also really foundational, like the things that they were describing weren’t things that came up in their mind you know, like once every couple of months The stuff that they were describing to me were things that they thought or they felt every single day, multiple times a day and at that point, I’d been married probably about eight years and of course I’m like why have I not heard this before? And so, I started, this is where the analyst hat goes on you know, and so it became, I didn’t set out originally to become a social researcher, I’d started writing a novel, but because of this analytical background suddenly I found myself eventually conducting a massive social research study of men that has now turned into many social research studies And so, what I have done over the last 10 years is I’ve interviewed and surveyed more than 6000 men, including four nationally representative surveys and so, what I’m bringing you is not my opinion Usually if it made it into the book it contradicted my opinion, usually ’cause it was pretty surprising But, it’s not my opinion This is what came out on all of these surveys and I do need to say though, by the way, this is important, that I am gonna be making generalizations based on what came out on the surveys,

but there’s always gonna be exceptions I mean, if 75 percent of men said one way, by definition, 25 percent didn’t, right so, everybody’s an individual The key is for you to learn the men in your life, is this how he thinks? You know what? I think so, let me talk to him about it and you know what? He doesn’t really seem to fit this And so, you can start that conversation knowing a little bit more and sorta starting a common language Now I’m also, just so you know, I’m also gonna be referring to a couple of the other studies that I’ve done, just as we go I want you to know what the other studies are The one that I was just talking about was put in the book, For Women Only This, by the way, is a brand new updated edition I’m so excited ’cause we learned so much since it first came out, so we just put this out last month Very exciting, so I’m gonna be talking about that study a lot, obviously But, there is a little bit we do need to know about what they think about us, excuse me, what they don’t know about us and that’s what Jeff and I did of the study of women which now is close to 6000 women I think we’re like 5500 women because the research is constantly ongoing, so several different surveys of us, as women And then, the other thing that I wanna check and see who I have in the room to know whether to mention this Do any of you have teenagers? Okay, somebody laughed like, uh, yeah, ’cause one of the things that I kinda wanna bring in if it would be helpful to you, is we’ve done the same studies with teenagers because we learned that so much of this is stuff that, whoa, I wish I’d known this before I got married, right And so, early on when they’re first developing those ideas and developing those habits, learning it early and having that healthy foundation, so I might, if I have time, I might try to bring in a couple of things for those of you who have teenagers Just so you’re aware of what those are There’s several others, one for the workplace and one for parents, but those are the main ones I wanted to mention, so you know what I’m talking about Okay so, let’s dive in and start talking about what I found, what the actual surprises were and there’s eight subjects and For Women Only, we’re only gonna be able to get a chance to go through three, maybe four of them, depending on how quickly I talk And honestly, I seriously, get your pen out Write notes on that thing If you wanna capture stuff because there is gonna be some surprises that you wanna capture or you’re gonna lose ’em because it is different than what we’ve heard before Okay so, first most important thing is the context overall about just how different men and women are, rather than any one subject the first thing you need to know is this big unseen difference that rises up to the surface in some moments and we don’t know what’s going on So let me tell you this story real quickly So, when we were doing the survey for one of the other books I didn’t bring up with me, For Parents Only, over there on the table, For Parents Only, was a study to help parents to understand their kids And so, we were surveying and studying guys and girls at the same time instead of all of my other studies at that point had been only of men for a couple of years or only of women, but suddenly I’m talking to these high school and college age people at the same time and these differences were shining out like a spotlight and something happened that to me just captures this We were in a focus group room where I was, one night I was doing a focus group of young men and then the next night I was doing a focus group of young women and these were mostly college age, there was a few high school, mostly college age and we were talking about okay, let’s talk about like in the group with the guys, let’s talk about what is it that you’re most worried about Like, what feels the worst to you? What most hurts you? And what do you most need? What most lights you up? What’s the thing that sort of gives you joy of life every day? You know, trying to nail down those things and as we were in this room, have you guys ever seen those conference rooms, by the way, where there’s like whiteboards on the walls with those doors that shut? You know what I’m talkin’ about? Okay, so picture this conference room with two whiteboards on two opposite walls and they have the doors that shut, so I’m doing this first night with the guys What are they most worried about? What do they most need? And I’m writing on this whiteboard and then I realize, oh my gosh, we’re outta time, gotta go, don’t have time to erase it, so I just shut the doors The next night I was in that same room with a group of mostly college age girls, some high school,

mostly college age and so, I opened this whiteboard and I say okay, let’s start talking about what are your needs as girls? What are you most worried about? What hurts the most? This one young woman raised her hand and she said, excuse me, I object to this language And I said oh, okay And she said, it’s not our fears and our needs as girls, I mean we’re all just people and we all have the same needs and worries and fears as people And I said, okay, that’s fine Let’s talk about your fears and your needs as people And so, I started writing, you know, and they talked you know, for two hours you know and we had this great conversation and I finished charting, we got it all down and then I said, do you girls wanna see what the boys said yesterday? And of course, all the girls are like, yeah, yeah, you know, so I opened these doors and I stood back and I watched as these girls went, because there was not one word the same Not one, except for like maybe the [laughing] Okay, not one word the same And that got across I mean, I’d seen it, but that got across just how radically different we are and we stumble over those differences without realizing it So, what was on the board? So, let’s talk about the differences between men and women in terms of our primary needs, okay So, for us as women, starting as girls, like on the board, and then later as we grow into adulthood, for us as women it’s all about, am I lovable? Am I beautiful? Am I special? Am I worthy of being loved for who I am on the inside? And so, we need to feel loved and cherished and adored and like this man in our life just absolutely loves us, okay, because it’s all about am I worthy of being loved for who I am on the inside? Okay, the guys and later you know, the adult men, they’re like, it’s nice, it’s important, but it didn’t make it on the board, okay For the guys, it’s totally different It’s am I able? Am I adequate? Am I any good at what I do on the outside? Totally, completely different So, where we women most need to feel loved and cherished and adored and that’s what lights us up and that’s kinda what we think is the whole point of having the relationship to begin with, right Like, if you’re not gonna feel loved, what’s the point? And it’s a huge surprise for us to find out that for men you know, that’s not the point at all And that if they had to make a choice and now, this is what shocked me, okay If they had to make a choice, which they wouldn’t want to have to make this choice, but if they had to, they would actually choose to give up feeling that their wife or their girlfriend loved them if they could just feel that she respected them And, I’m seeing some blank faces, so let me say that one more time I’m gonna put this in personal terms if you don’t mind What this means is that your husband or your boyfriend, if he’s like most other men and he had to make a choice, he would actually choose to give up feeling that you love him if he could just feel that you respect him and you trust him and you believe in him and you admire him and you appreciate him and all of those things are more important to the average man, even than feeling that you love him That is a huge difference between men and women and it gets us women into so much trouble because we women are really good at showing love Okay, think about the irony of that, okay We will, won’t we, we naturally say, I love you, right It just sort of comes out of us I love you and we do all these loving things and at the same time without realizing it, maybe we’re criticizing him a lot or we’re questioning his decisions all the time or maybe we’re teasing him in public about you know, you tried to fix the plumbing,

you couldn’t fix the plumbing to save his life or whatever, you know and we’re doing these things that for us, we’re like yeah, whatever, but for him it’s this oh, she doesn’t respect me She doesn’t think I’m any good at what I do on the outside and it’s so painful and we have no idea that that is going on in his heart We have no idea how painful that is, or that that pain is legitimate, like we were just saying It’s the way that men are wired, just like there’s a way that women are wired So, we have to understand that and what it looks like Now, here’s the thing This is really where we get into trouble, okay I think most of us women, we generally, not every case, but we generally do respect the man in our life, right, we generally do appreciate him and we have no idea that we’re sending him the message that we don’t and we have no idea that sometimes our assumptions and our thoughts, you know, he’s reading stuff into it and we’re like, but I didn’t intend to send that message, but he’s actually capturing a little germ of something that actually is there underneath the surface For example, how many of us have ever, have ever thought to ourselves or said out loud, what was he thinking? Okay, we all know most of us have said that or thought that Okay, here’s the translation of that Okay, you ready? The translation of that is he wasn’t thinking That’s the translation, that’s what that means Now, here’s one of the other surprises in the book, one of the other things that I learned Guys think about everything They just do it differently than we do because if we’re thinking about something you know about it, right, because we women are verbal processors That’s literally there’s a brain science difference here that we think things through while we’re talking them through That actively helps most women, not all, but in most cases, that helps us think things through That’s the way our brain is wired Guys are exactly the opposite It is incredibly difficult and uncomfortable for a guy to think something through while he’s talking it through, especially if it’s a big emotional issue, and instead he goes underground It’s really fascinating when I asked the guys to sort of explain, like help me see how you go through this process ’cause here’s what they said They said, it sorta feels like this internal chess match and they’re doing this thing of, okay, well if I do this then this has to have happened over here, but if I do that then this thing has to have happened before and they do this internal chess match, sometimes for days and it pops out the other end as a decision and if we don’t know this, he says I think we should do this, and you say, well, I don’t know, what about this thing over here? And he’s thinking I just spent three days thinking about this We didn’t know, okay But, I realized that sometimes there is actually an assumption underneath like, what was he thinking because that was a really bone headed move, okay Now, let’s back up a minute before I sorta give an example of this and explain why this bothers them so much Okay, let’s nail this down because this is another one of the things that I covered in the book that is so difficult for us to realize or believe, I think most of us have a hard time believing this one It turns out there is a huge difference between how men look on the outside and how they feel about themselves on the inside See, men look so confident, and we sometimes think you know, he looks a little too confident in himself He could be taken down a peg or two Okay, and on the inside what I heard from almost every guy I talked to was totally different On the inside, here’s the internal feeling of a man all day every day, this is literally running, as one guy said, this is running through my veins I’m never without it The way they described it is this internal feeling of, I wanna tackle a challenge I wanna do great things I wanna be a great husband or a great boyfriend or I wanna be a wonderful father or I wanna be a great businessman or a great pastor or whatever, right Okay, so I wanna do great things, but I’m really not sure I know exactly what I’m doing and I hope nobody finds out And what happens is underneath the surface there’s this

enormous self doubt and this enormous vulnerability that we don’t even know is there and it’s like a raw nerve and you can hit that nerve without having any idea that that’s what you’re doing and certainly without, in most of the cases, without intending to So, here’s an example of one of the things that will hit that nerve For example, when we, one man said, anytime and he sorta gave me a rule, this kinda cracked me up He said anytime a woman starts a sentence with, why did you… you know, why did you make this decision? Why did we do it this way? If you’re in a business meeting, why did you choose that pricing, Bob? He may be answering you just normally On the inside it’s like, oh, she doesn’t think that I know what I’m doing and the reason is because they think they’re not sure they know what they’re doing because remember we think, male ego And we don’t realize, no, there is no male ego What it is is male self doubt Underneath the surface and it’s being triggered and it hurts Remember the whiteboards? The deepest heart cry of a man is, am I able? Am I adequate? I wanna be good at what I do on the outside, but am I? If the heart cry of a woman is, am I lovable? The heart cry of a man is, do I measure up? And, he’s looking to the people around him especially you, for the answer to that question And that is where we can be sending a signal that, no, you don’t measure up and we have no intention of sending it and it’s so important for us to realize you know what? It’s not that they have this inflated view of themselves and we’re just bringin’ ’em down to ground level No, it’s underneath the surface, they’re starting below ground level and if that’s true, if that’s true, what an incredible opportunity we have to look for every opportunity to build them up because that has this incredible power So, sometimes the things that bother them or that hit that nerve or that trigger that insecurity or that self doubt under the surface, to us, we would never have seen it that way Okay, like the why did you, question So, here’s an example of this and this is also an example of that thinking things through thing You know, the what was he thinking? So, Jeff and I, silly little example, but we were at some friends home group not that long ago and these friends had a home group where they decided to go through our books and they had all these young kids in the home group and you know, kind of ages nine and under, including little babies And they said you know, we’re having issues, we just need a little bit of shoring up in our marriages and can you just come and just share with us? And we said of course, you guys are really good friends, of course So, we were sitting there that night with them and it was really interesting I shared this example of the, why did you, and I heard over my shoulder, I heard the husband go, huh And I looked sideways, sorry my microphone is, sounds like my microphone may be going out Hold on just a second ’cause I don’t want that to get distracting Okay, let’s see if that’ll work So anyway, so I heard him give this kind of grunt and I looked sideways quickly enough that I saw him and his wife lock eyes, you know, and she was like and he was like, and I was like okay, clearly there’s an example here Would you like to share with the class? And they kinda like okay, something happened last night We were at you know errrr Didn’t like each other very much last night ’cause there was something going on and I said, so what was the example, what happened? And he said well, and he told this story So, it turns out that she had gone out with some girlfriends for dinner and they have these three little kids She had come home after her dinner out, looked in the fridge and said, hey honey, you know, why did you give the kids juice instead of milk at dinner? And, he said, and I got upset, she got defensive and it just escalated and I had just finished telling the group that one of the ways to address this instead of why did you, ’cause if you have to ask why, you have to ask why, right So, I’ve asked a lot of men what do you say instead and this one man looked at me like the answer was so obvious, like I had two heads or something and he said, how different would it be if you just said, I know you must have had a reason, can you help me understand what it is Okay, and I went, okay, you know, good idea

It’s not saying, you idiot, you know, you’re a bone head It’s I’m not there yet, help me understand So, here we are in the home group and they just explained this you know, wife had said, why did you give the kids juice instead of milk at dinner? So I said okay, so turned to the husband and I said okay James, so help me understand So, what was the thinking, or his reasons? And he said, well I looked in the fridge and I saw we only had this much milk in the carton and if I gave them milk for dinner they wouldn’t have enough milk for cereal in the morning, so I was gonna go out and get more milk at the grocery store, but the baby was already asleep and I would’ve had to wake the baby up just to go to the grocery store and I didn’t wanna do that ’cause it messes with his sleep schedule We’ve just gotten the baby down onto a schedule, so I thought you know what? I’ll give the kids juice, but I’ll dilute it by half with water so the young one is really the one that has the problem with the sugar in the juice and so if she gets up in the middle of the night I’ll just go in and I’ll rub her back and she’ll go right back to sleep, so that’s what I was thinking [group laughing] And the wife went, you know and her jaw literally dropped You know how that’s sort of a stereotype, but her jaw literally dropped and she was like, oh my gosh, I was thinking you Do Do You know, I was thinking, you’re a bone head And I realized how often we do that and so, it’s not necessarily that they’re hearing disrespect where we don’t intend it, sometimes they’re hearing disrespect that we don’t realize is disrespect, but it is And there’s just a radar for that And so, here’s my suggestion for you guys, the what do you do about this for this one The next time you think to yourself or you want to say out loud, what was he thinking, stop and think to yourself, Shaunti promised me he had a reason for this, and then say, you know, help me understand and you know what? I will almost guarantee you, now this is not gonna be 100 percent of the time, but it’s gonna be close I will almost guarantee you that you will hear this well thought out string that’s just amazing Okay, we’re getting to the point where I’m gonna need a different microphone, I think Sorry Okay, pause, sorry Testing, testing, is that good? All right, all right So see, I’m like I must be Italian or something ’cause I talk with my hands, so this is like, all right Okay, so truly that would be my first suggestion is in the what do you do about it, is truly, next time you find yourself in that, what was he thinking mode, really stop and say, you know what, he probably does, I’m not there yet, but help me understand And you know what? If you do that you will approach it automatically from a respectful assumption rather than a disrespectful one Okay now, there are many different ways this plays out, many different ways that men can hear a message that we don’t intend Now, here’s an example though of a positive way of approaching this because it’s not about just avoiding that signal of disrespect that we didn’t intend, but a lot of women are like you know, what do I say instead? What’s the positive thing? If I wanna show my husband how much I appreciate him, what do I say? Or, if I wanna tell my son something that’s really gonna build him up, what do I say? So, I have realized that over the years, I really think, I’m not 100 percent ready to say this publicly yet but I’ll tell you, I am really close to declaring that there is an equivalent of, I love you, ’cause for men I love you is nice, but it’s not it It’s not the thing that really hits them like it hits us And I learned really quickly that it doesn’t do the sort of follow your husband around the house and coo, oh honey, I respect you so much You know, after a while my poor husband was like, you know what? Can we time out? I know what you’re trying to do and I appreciate it, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it And so, I’ve been trying to find out from guys what is it that hits them What is it that has the same ring to I? And, one of the things that is powerful is, honey, I’m so proud of you Oh, that hits a man in every way he needs to be hit However, it’s not as every day, okay So, what do you say in an everyday way that’s

the equivalent of, I love you? And that’s where we have two words You ready for this? This is emotionally powerful for a man Thank you Believe it or not, noticing what he does on the outside and thanking him for it has this enormous emotional impact Believe it or not I think it’s I mean, I don’t get it because I’m not a guy, but so far everything I’ve seen has been, thank you, for playing with the kids, even though, you know you were so tired from work and I know you just wanted to crash on the couch Thank you for taking them outside Thank you for mowing the lawn, even though it was so hot outside Thank you for working so hard to help support this family Thank you for the other day when you were so grumpy because you had a bad day at work, thank you, I could see you were trying to pull yourself out of being grumpy just so that we wouldn’t be affected Wow, thank you Those kinds of things, we think of them as just little comments, but to guys that’s oxygen, it’s huge And here’s, okay here’s the problem I realized that I think some of those things, but I don’t think to say them Like, there was one day I was driving into the garage and Jeff was out mowing the lawn, and this is in Hotlanta and it was really hot outside and I realized I would’ve before, I would’ve driven into the garage and I would have thought to myself, oh that’s nice of him, you know, I never would’ve thought to say it Or, if I would’ve said it, here’s how it would’ve come out I can’t believe I’m gonna admit this out loud Here’s how it would come out, oh thanks for mowing the lawn, but you missed a spot And we think, what? But he’s hearing what you did on the outside wasn’t good enough Now, I can tell from some of your faces that you’re having the same thought that I did the first 20 times I heard this and I’m gonna put this into words even though we’d never say this out loud, but what you’re thinking inside some of you is oh please, grow up, get over it Kind of, that shouldn’t bother him, and I realize you know what? We’re saying that because it wouldn’t bother us, it wouldn’t bother me He’s not me He’s wired very differently, by a God who knew what he was doing And so, putting ourselves in that shoes of recognizing, you know what? He will notice the spot that he missed already, I promise, ’cause guys are very in tuned to whether what they’re doing on the outside is any good Instead, okay, somebody said this to their husband the other day, I can tell just from that reaction, okay So, this seriously, if you will find the things that you can say thank you about you may see him light up in ways that you haven’t seen in years Now, I always tell people, if you’re having a hard time believing what I’m saying, seriously, don’t believe me, try it, it’s amazing, try it And you know, you’re gonna get this really interesting reaction I had one young woman I was talking to and she said you know Shaunti, I’m not sure I believe what you’re saying She was probably 23 years old, part-time college student and I said the same thing to her If you don’t believe me, just give it a shot and let me know what happens So, that night she was part-time college student, part-time waitress She went off to her waitressing job and there had been this guy at the waitressing job named Kyle that she’d kinda had her eyes on for a while and thought he was kinda cute and they hadn’t had that much chance to interact, but that night she noticed something that happened Apparently Kyle and the manager of the restaurant had been gettin’ into it over the last couple of weeks and had been having this big conflict and it’d been really making it miserable for everybody else that worked there and that night she watched across the room as the manager came over to Kyle and started trying to get into it with him again and Kyle just refused He said, you know what? This is making it miserable for everybody I’m not gonna do this with you, man Let’s take it offline We can talk about it later This is not the place to talk about it and he walked away So, this young woman I had been talking to went up to Kyle a couple minutes later and she said, you know I noticed what you did, I noticed what happened He was trying to provoke you and you wouldn’t let him You were protecting us, thank you You are a man of honor, thank you And she walked away She said, later, Shaunti, he followed me around all night [crowd laughing] Because, here was a woman who noticed what he did and said it was good and that, do I measure up question,

here’s somebody who thinks I measure up It is powerful, not just for a husband or boyfriend, but for our sons As they’re forming this identity it is so important, so important We can get to that during questions and answers which we need to stop and actually get to questions, but let me mention one thing at the very end, the very last surprise real quickly, because the very last surprise that we got on the survey was just, it stunned me It made me almost cry because I asked, I gave the men a blank space and I said, you know, we’ve had all these multiple choice questions, what’s the one most important thing you wish your wife or a girlfriend, that you wish that she knew, but you feel you can’t explain to her, or tell her And I thought it would be a chance for the men to vent or say all these different things And instead, when I got the surveys back, the survey spreadsheets back with these hundreds of responses I almost started crying because the top response by far, when they could say anything, the one most important thing I wish my wife knew is how much I love her and I realized our guys really do have this good will towards us They do care about us so much, just like we care about them It’s just sometimes we’re missing each other and it’s really a great opportunity to have that good will back and learn some of this stuff because have you, have you been getting a sense as I’ve been talking just how much power God has put in our hands as women? Have you been getting that? To either build them up or to tear them down Final, final quote before we do questions here I was, one of the, I speak all the time and one of my favorite formats is actually where a male pastor will bring me in on a Sunday morning and interview me on stage as the sermon time at church and because both men and women hear this stuff at the same time and it’s really, really helpful, so this one pastor was doing this and he is the man that I have so much respect for He pastors this giant church and he’s on TV a lot, he’s written all these books and his congregation just really appreciates him and he said something at the end of our time together that just took my breath away We had been talking about this how much I love her thing and at the end he concluded, he stood up on stage in front of this massive auditorium that fits several thousand people at once and he said, I know you think you’ve got a good pastor, I know you think that You don’t You’ve got a great pastor’s wife That’s how men feel about us So, let’s just take that as truly recognizing, sorry, Spiderman reference, with great power comes great responsibility [laughing] and let’s use that, let’s really take that responsibility seriously and use that well So, I know we have a few minutes for questions and I know there’s probably lots and lots of questions out there, but I think we have about 20 minutes, so just shout ’em out, about anything, not just husbands, but work, sons, whatever >> You were talking about the confusing question earlier, do men confuse us, and in line also with the, thank you, one thing that is confusing about my husband is when I say thank you to him for something, he says, hmmm Any idea with that? [group laughing] >> Okay, he’s either thinking about what you said or maybe I don’t know, there’s sometimes I’ve heard that and it means my husband doesn’t really believe I mean it That happens sometimes, so it could be either of that Sometimes, by the way, we don’t need to read too much into it, sometimes it’s the equivalent of, okay You know, but I would honestly, I would suggest anyone who has heard, ’cause sometimes women say, but I say, thank you, and he’s like, yeah You know, that’s a guy who’s just not feeling it right now and so, don’t stop Keep looking for those opportunities, you know, ’cause it really does make a difference It’s kind of like the equivalent of, you know how sometimes your husband or your boyfriend might have said in the past or still say now, you’re so beautiful And you’re like, yeah, right, you know Three kids later, 20 years later, but you still want him to say it, even if you maybe don’t believe it It’s kinda that same thing >> How would you suggest that we share this, you know,

the, thank you, and the, we believe in you to our sons? I have a 19 year old who says, I know you love me, mom, and you think that I’m the greatest, but I’m not And, he just is kinda like, you’re mom You’re supposed to say that >> Yeah, guys, the boys do do that, don’t they? Okay, so I have one of each, by the way, boy and a girl That’s my own little guinea pigs right there So, the, how do we do this with our sons? I will tell you that one of the things that I’ve seen, not so much of my own little boy yet ’cause he’s only 10, but I’ve seen with all of the guys that I’ve been researching with in their teens and early 20s especially, is that this sense of, do I measure up? Am I able? Am I any good? And feeling like they are not, is often triggered more by what we’re trusting them with or not trusting them with, than what we say Does that make sense? So, like here’s an example Let me just share an example as one way of solving it because it can be, it can be scary to actually not just say, I’m proud of you, but actually to do the stuff that shows you kinda mean it, okay Like, I was talking to one man at an event This was right before I was gonna be writing and researching For Parents Only, which had a section on you know, moms with sons and dads with daughters and this one mom said she’d been having this big clash with her teenage son who I think was like 16 or 17 and he had been running his own lawn mowing business in the off hours to make money and mostly for their friends, right, that’s who he’d been cutting the lawns and she was getting all these calls from her friends saying he didn’t do it right and you know, ’cause he’s a teenage boy, you know He wasn’t necessarily the most careful person in the world And so, she was trying to get on him and he was getting frustrated and suddenly they’d had this fantastic relationship for years, but now they were just having a, not having a good time in their relationship She said, what do I do? And so, we came up with a solution We talked about it, we brainstormed, like if it’s true that he most needs this, what do you do instead And so I said, let’s try this, you try this and let me know how it works So, here’s what she decided to do She basically called her friends and said, here’s his cell phone number If there’s a problem with it you talk to him Leave me out of it, you talk to him and if he doesn’t do the job to your satisfaction, fire him and hire somebody else, and take yourself out of it completely Let him handle it She told her son she was gonna do that and instead of getting upset, he was like, thank you Isn’t that interesting? Like, you’re gonna trust me with this and it didn’t mean that everything went hunky dory perfect I mean, there were several people who he just didn’t do it quite right and they moved on to others, but he apparently, their relationship dramatically improved and it was an example of kind of taking the hands of, as hard as that is and actually proving, I’m going to trust you I believe in you, I believe you can do it You’re gonna make mistakes, but I believe ultimately you can do this You’re gonna grow into a man So, that matters more It’s a long way of answering it, but what we choose to do sometimes matters more to teenagers than what we say Okay, more questions? >> I work in an office with a lot of men and often will be in a meeting situation and I’ll be asked my opinion or what I think about a solution to a problem and I will give them my opinion or the solution and then they’ll say, well, what are the facts to back it up, and often it’s a feeling or an intuition and they just look at me like, how could you come up with something that didn’t have solid facts So, how do you address that? >> It’s interesting, one of the things when I do corporate events, I do a lotta corporate events and it’s interesting that one of the things that is actually a strength of women that men don’t realize because again, this is literally there’s some brain wiring differences, is that the, let me explain this briefly The superhighway between the left and the right hemisphere’s of the brain, the corpus callosum, in a woman has a lot of connections and different types of connections than with men and so, that allows us to do things like read body language at a much, much

earlier level than what men can read body language and this is all in general, obviously There’s some people that are gonna be flipped, but there’s some things that to us, we say, I just know or it’s just intuition, and it’s not actually There’s something that we have perceived that is different than what they have perceived and so, it’s a matter of tuning ourselves to be aware of, what is it that’s causing me to think this? Like, here’s an example, okay, do you mind? Because if you can put this in those words, then they’ll go, oh, okay So, this is one of the things that I would hear all the time from my corporate interviews with guys is, men were often very eager to prove their female cred, you know, like, really I respect women, really And so, they’d talk about all these great women that they hired and you know, whatever And one of them was, told me this story which to me, was a perfect example of this, where he had been, he was a management consulting partner of a big management consulting firm and he had been doing this deal for probably six months of one major company getting ready to acquire another major company and he had a female associate who was probably only, I think he was in his 50s and I think if I’m understand correctly, she was only like 30 or early 30s, quite young for that kind of a firm And they were in these meetings and unbeknownst to him she was, there was somethin’ goin’ on She just knew and she didn’t talk about it ’cause she knew she couldn’t explain it, but she just knew that these people were having reservations about doing this deal And so, one day in the middle of the meeting, in one of these other meetings she stops the conversation and she says, you know what? I just, you know, this is with the clients, and she stops the conversation and she says to these people across the table, you know, Jack, can I just pause here for just and ask you a question? Are you guys having some reservations about doing this deal? And the man that I was talking to later was like, what are you doing? You know, like he was like, what is this person doing? And to his shock, he tells me, these two men across the table went, well yeah, since you mentioned it, we weren’t gonna say anything, but yeah, actually you need to know that we’ve been approached by another potential acquirer who has a supply chain management protocol that you guys just don’t have and so, we’ve been thinking that it would be a lot better if maybe we did that one rather than this one And this guy I’m talking to was like, oh my gosh You know, six months and like $20 million is down the drain and so, they’re thinking about this and as they start talking about it, they realize, but wait a second we’re about to sign a contract with a supply chain management company in about three months, can you wait? In three months we’ll have this great capacity and you’ll have everything that you need and they went, oh, okay And, this one young woman completely saved the deal because she recognized something And, that’s the thing, it wasn’t intuition, it was literally her brain noticing something that the men in the room just, their brain wasn’t wired to notice at that level yet So, that would be my suggestion Try to figure out what it is that’s causing you to perceive that, ’cause it’s not just that you just know There is something behind it >> When my husband and I agree in doing something with my children, too, in the moment we are talking to them about the thing we’ve decided, he denies it and he says that he has no clue And if we agree and send one of them to do sport or a class he says to them, your mother shouldn’t be doing this when we agreed to do it >> Okay, so there’s a couple thoughts that I have just real quickly, and not knowing the whole situation I can only respond in general you know, obviously The one thing that strikes me as very likely, not maybe for sure, but, is that he felt talked into it and it wasn’t something that he actually agreed with from the beginning That’s possible, may not be what’s going on, but that is possible because I don’t know if you women have noticed, but we can talk people into things pretty good and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been internalized

by them, right So, that’s one thing to just find out You know, maybe it’s some other non-emotional time, just you know, can we talk about this for a second ’cause I’m, you know, sometimes I feel like we have agreed to something, but then you say, no we didn’t, so maybe you felt like I was talking you into it One of the things that might help that, by the way, if that is, turns out to be what is going on, is that you know how I said guys think about everything? They actually need more time to think it through than we do You guys have probably seen this, but literally, the brain, in the male brain they’re designed to process one thing deeply at a time I know that’s a shock to everybody in the room, but one thing deeply at a time and when I say physical brain structure, there is a physical brain structure reason for this because of the amount of brain matter they have in their brain, but because they’re processing one thing deeply they need to go through that whole thing, that chess match, then they can move on to the next thing And if they feel like they’re being pushed for a decision before they’ve had the chance to do that, that’s when you get this like uncertainness, or going back on things or I was never fully invested in that So, it’s possible, I don’t know, it’s possible that that may be he’s like, okay instead of deciding, we’re gonna do this and decide now, let’s talk about whether we do this and let’s let you think about it Do you want time to process it? Maybe we can decide on Thursday? And then see if that makes a difference ’cause if it’s a pattern there’s something goin’ on That may be somethin’ to try >> Thank you for your talk I have a question that might be off topic a little bit, but it’s about body image and the difference between men and women and is there really one? I’ve heard like you know, women look in the mirror and they’re just like, this is not good and guys look in the mirror and like, no matter how bad it is they’re like, I’m good? Are men as sensitive about comments about their appearance as we are? >> So, I love that Have you guys seen the cartoon? There’s this one cartoon where there’s a woman and a man both looking in a mirror and the woman has this like total cute bikini body and what she sees in the mirror is this big fat lady with like sagging thighs And the guy’s kind of like has a belly beer, you know, beer belly and he looks in the mirror and sees You know, what he sees And you know what? A, there’s a little something to that because men aren’t as hard on themselves as women are because, remember one of the insecurities that women, that women have is, am I beautiful? That’s one of the female insecurities That’s not the same for guys They really don’t have that What they do have, and this is a subject we didn’t get to which is the whole sex subject, but what men do have is, am I desirable? Does she desire me? And that’s really more the issue So, sometimes the physical appearance will play into that feeling that I am or I am not desirable, but that’s really more what the question is in their mind Does that make sense? Okay Who else has a question? ‘Cause I’m going back to this part of the room and I don’t wanna, if somebody else has a question I’m not seeing any other hands >> I just wanna piggy back what she just said Men who, I mean, I’ll just say my husband, if he, if I’m all dressed up and I you know, wait for a compliment, waiting for a compliment and I don’t get it, I go, well, you know, just kind of helping him along, you know and you know, he might say, you know, you know I love you I mean, you know you look nice, you know But, he doesn’t say it and then I hear it from other people and I’ll go home and go, but Bob said it and Gene said it, why aren’t you saying it? >> Okay, I have to tell you this is one of the subjects in For Men Only, to help them understand us because here’ what’s going on The men tell me that literally, like it’s like us driving in the driveway and thinking to ourselves, oh, that’s nice of him mowing the lawn Do, do, do, do, do Like, men think like, oh yeah, she looks hot Do, do, do, do, do Like they never, they don’t think it matters to say it They have no idea that it’s such a huge deal for us and so, that’s one of the subjects in For Men Only

Like, it’s a huge deal for us and when she comes up and says, how do I look? She’s not asking, am I presentable to walk out the door in this outfit, because men go, fine And, they don’t realize no, you know, she’s literally looking for, am I still beautiful to you? And so, anyway, once men know it they can learn and once they know how important that is, they can learn to say it, just like we can learn to notice and say, thank you You know, they just don’t know Did you have a question? I thought I saw a hand up over here Are we almost out of time? Oh, one more, there’s one more Is that okay? Can we take one? Okay >> So, I haven’t been married yet for a year so I’m definitely on a learning curve, but my husband is more introverted than I am and a lotta things that you were talking about of how he needs to think through things, like I totally see that So, I guess my question is, when we have conflicts what happens a lot of times is he tends to shut down for a while, while I’m twiddling my thumbs, like are we gonna resolve this or what? And so, I guess my question is, what’s the best approach to him to kinda help him come out of that without being impatient? >> Yeah [laughing] You might not have heard that, but Tiffany said, you’re never off the learning curve, just so you know Okay, you know what? My husband is like that, too, and honestly, this is one of those things that once you can figure out a good pattern for what I’m about to say it really changes a lot ’cause there’s two competing dynamics going on There is his need for processing time and there’s our need for what we call in For Men Only, ’cause we explain the reverse of this to the men, it’s like we have a computer with a window open It keeps poppin’ up and it’s like is this gonna happen? Are we gonna do this? What’s happening? And, we’re trying to click the little X and make it go away and it keeps poppin’ back up My husband says, it’s like your system is infected with Spyware or something So, we have two competing needs ’cause we need to close the window and to figure out what’s goin’ on and are we okay or whatever And he needs a processing time So, what a lot of couples, they kinda work out their own process for this, but honestly something as simple as, okay honey, when it’s like a technical thing, how much time are you gonna need, like can you, for example, if it’s overnight One of the things, by the way, just a quick aside Neurologically, the same signal that in a female brain because our brains are all, have tons of these connections and everything’s all worked up together, the same signal that in our brain can pass instantaneously of a thought and a feeling and talking about it, in a man, because they’re designed to do this one thing deeply, much more deeply, that same signal can take seven hours to pass, so which is why you can have an argument over dinner What are you thinking? I don’t know what I’m thinking How can you not know what you’re thinking? Okay, by the next morning he can talk about it That’s the reason for that, okay So, sometimes if it’s a technical thing it’s just knowing, can we talk about this tomorrow morning, you think you’ll be able to? And deciding, yes or now, yes, we’ll talk about it For something that’s an emotional thing or a big like household project or something he feels like he needs to do this chess match for a couple of days, it’s more like, you know, when do you think you might wanna talk about this? And, coming up with a day and I’ve actually had a lotta guys say, look give me til, let’s just say it’s Tuesday, give me til Thursday and then don’t bug me Like, I am thinking about it I know it looks like I’m sitting on the couch watching ESPN, but I am thinking about it, you know And truly, and trusting and the guy like, and trusting me that I am actually thinking about its So, that may help I hope that that is useful >> Announcer: Biola University offers a variety of Biblically centered degree programs ranging from Business to Ministry to the Arts and Sciences Visit Biola.edu to find out how Biola could make a difference in your life