Hello again, bitches and bitchettes.
(God, it feels good to be able to curse sans asterisks.)
It’s been about a year since I’ve been on here (because: busy writing for paying sites #sorrynotsorry), but I just thought I’d hit pause to cover a hot topic issue that every feminist’s opposite-of-sexy lingerie is in a bunch over of late: mansplaining. Mansplaining (if you’re not familiar), is this thing that happens when pompous men condescendingly lecture femmes about a give topic. It could be about anything from politics to how to properly grill dead animals. But the idea remains: they talk over you, they’re rude, they’re loud, they’re derisive. Whatever. And, obviously, not all dudes do it – but the ones who do can be annoying.
Which makes me wanna ask myself – what about it is annoying?
Well, first off – if they dunno what they’re talking about – that’s eyeroll worthy. Or when the delivery is poor. Or if the limited filter of perception through which they are explaining said topic is obvious and sophomoric. If their thoughts are scattered or inconsistent, that’s also a fail. And, finally, so is when they don’t stop to listen to what you have to say-…
Wait, wait, WAIT a second.
I’ve just described what women do… to eachother, too.
(Insert mindblow gif.)
So, wait… why’s it so different around guys? When this is actually a gender wide issue?
Simply put (oh, look, I’m chick-splaining), it’s societal. We’re taught by everything around us to be pleasers. Combine all that cultural crap with the fact that – as women – we’ve got an innate, evolutionary desire to be desired, and boom. That translates into worry about being liked in social interactions. And suddenly We’re more concerned about whether people like us than our own standards. Then, when an awareness bomb blows up in our brain and we realize what bullshit that is, we yank the reigns the other way on our high horse. And guess what? No one listens to us from up there either where they can’t hear you over your brand new, personally crafted ego of solid ideals. But I get it. I too was stuck in the belief system for ages that you either have to stand there and quietly look pretty, nodding and feigning awestruck wonder… or sport a rottweiler face of anger… or even a sullen one that’s closed off. Problem with any’ve this, though, is that zero point zero of these tactics work in getting you heard. What does work? Connecting.
And since I learned that, I literally never have this problem with either sex, when I apply it.
Unless I start getting anxious, emotional, or quit speaking in an authentic and direct way, it works just about 100% of the time. And how do I do that? Well, first I make sure to enter interactions calmly. That way, when it comes time for me to talk, people usually listen. And for those who interrupt, I have the awareness (which I don’t if I’m carrying frenetic energy) to make a choice. Instead’ve getting offended (’cause nobody respects someone trying to jump back into the convo wiping tears from their ego eyes), I make the choice to realize the following fun fact: I can talk right back over them, too. And I can be more interesting when I do it, too. No backing down. No letting them butt in. No getting frustrated and exasperatedly asking “Can I talk?” sarcastically. (Because, duh, it just gives them a chance to say no or ignore you.) Nay, sir. I don’t ask. I gleefully take. You will listen to me. Not because I’m a convo pillaging 300 character. But cause, if you won’t, I’ll either usurp the speak scepter with humor or make sure that you’re not heard either when I calmly carry on with what I was saying. (That calm bit’s important, ’cause the moment you match their crappy energy – they win.) I won’t cry or get self-conscious. My voice won’t waver. And I refuse to exit the room vexed. But what I might do, is crack a joke (at your expense, probably, depending on my mood) just to get the attention off you and back on to me so I can resume the important point I was making, which is probably for the betterment of woman and man kind alike. The trick is, once we’ve finally pried away the conversational baton, to keep calm and speak with passion. If you’re not confident about what you’re saying, no one will listen to you – regardless of their gender or Jenner or species or whatever new thing’s trending in humanity by the time you read this. On the contrary, when you speak with passion – from an authentic place – people listen. People want a reason to feel that same spark they see in your eye. So find a way to turn the topic positive, and fly with it all the way to your landing strip of convincing them of wherever you’re coming from.
And that’s what it’s all about. You don’t get respect based on what’s between your legs. You get it by standing your ground on those legs, speaking with confidence, and realizing that retreating in any way (by acquiescing with a faux smile or getting tetchy) won’t get you what you want: to be heard. And this goes for anyone you’re talking to – whether they’re filled with ovaries or orbs with tails – who won’t listen to you. So, how do you do that? By treating convos like a sparring match. Quit focusing on your end game. You’ve practiced that enough in your head already. Instead, be watching for each language jab coming, and be ready to block it (comically is how I tend to do it) and return fire. And counter-intuitive though it may seem, you know what that fire is? Relating. Your hit should be a three part message: 1. Acknowledgment of the other person’s point. 2. The yes-and transition. 3. The message you actually wanna say. Instead’ve being insecure or getting stuck in your own head, spend the convo actively listening, and scanning your opponent’s message for ins. And the second they drop their guard, throw a passionate kick of diction they can’t resist listening to.
Sure, we bishes have got plenty going against us. And we can complain if we like.
But I’ve tried that before. It’s boring. No one changes. It doesn’t help me win.
I’ve found interpersonal evolution to be far more useful.