A while back I got chatting to the awesome Men's Confidence Coach and creator of How To Get Girls In College, David Hrostoski. We liked each other's philosophies and so we decided to do a spot of guest blogging for one another... The topic of this particular post has been a huge recurring lesson for me recently and so I wanted to bring it back here to share with my Spirit Lovers.
Here's the intro David wrote to the original post, which I highly recommend you check out here, because David's work is super duper cool....
"Recently, I’ve spent a good amount of time chatting with Jo Westwood, the Spirit DJ from Nottinghamshire, England, who helps young women remix their lives to reach their fullest potential.
Not only was I impressed by the sexy and sophisticated English accent (teehee), but also by her deep knowledge and understanding of relationships. After a few email conversations and Facebook messages last week, we hopped on Skype for about an hour and a half to talk about collaborating.
I took a lot from our free flowing conversation, including how the paradox of choice relates to relationships (expect more on this later this week). Then, we got back to business. What were we going to write for each other’s blogs?
I decided to write about a common question I ask women when they tell me about reoccurring boyfriend problems: “Are you dating who he is, or who he could be?” You can read the post on her website, HERE.
I then asked her, “What’s the one thing you wish more men knew?” She told me the story of a man who’s actions and temperance allowed her to feel fully accepted and loved. She wished every man knew how to make a woman feel this way.
And from that, came the following post: A Woman’s Perspective: What All Men Should Know.
A Woman’s Perspective: What All Men Should Know
One of the first dates I ever went on with my ex boyfriend, I was totally grumpy. I was tired. And irritable because I’m self employed and though it was a national holiday for him, it was a normal work day for me. So I kind of wanted to be at home getting my hustle on. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I might have even been a bit rude. And it was windy. I hate the wind. It blows my hair around and makes my eyes water and my nose run. Not a good look when you’ve already got a face like the back end of a bus because you’re cranky. Then as if the Universe was playing a joke on my miserable arse he took me for fish and chips and I got some food on my face and he let me sit there the whole time with it until I looked in the mirror and spotted it. Cringe!
Later on, after I got home, I texted him and said how sorry I was for being an over tired grumpy bitch and that I couldn’t believe what a fool I’d been when he was evidently very awesome.
His reply demonstrated one of the greatest lessons men could learn about women.
“Don’t worry JoJo, I don’t want you to be anything other than you. If that’s how you feel that’s what I want you to show. I just want you to be you. Just being with you is enough Xxx”
I was literally floored. I have never been with anyone (and I’ve had my fair share of long and longer term relationships) who has so unequivocally accepted me for who I am, and expressed it so openly.
Whilst being aware that this statement, coming from a woman, may be interpreted as just another chick harping on about how hard life is when you have a vagina, I’m not afraid to speak the truth because I believe it will help you in your current and future relationships if you would do me the honour of looking at it as a non emotionally charged fact…
Women are harshly judged and berated for showing negative emotions. Women are socially conditioned to not express negative emotions, because it’s just not ladylike.
You know that phenomenon of women nagging their boyfriends and husbands and even male friends to be better, do better on a consistent low level? That’s because it’s not cool for us punch walls and holler expletives at the top of our lungs. And trust me, just like guys, sometimes we feel that way.
It’s a lazy statement and state of mind to think that all women are, or at least in time, turn into bitter wizened old witches who have standards so high and so particular that even if you wanted to try you’d never reach them. Or that they’re crazy fatherfuckers (I do enjoy a gender specific insult every now and then!) who’s emotions you just can’t predict, who’s moods swing more freely than Nicki Minaj’s sexual preferences.
Just like men, sometimes we get angry, upset, frustrated and pissed off. But we’ve been taught that to be successful in life, work and relationships that we should wear a veneer of feminine happy-go-lucky-ness. The irony is that nothing pisses us off more than not being allowed to be pissed off. To be told to “calm down” or “get a grip” if we get passionate about something and God forbid, raise our voices.
Just like men, women want to be accepted for who they are, wholly, without judgment, without exception. Is it not true that the people who are kindest to you, who judge you the least, who just let you be, barely ever have to see the more gnarly side of your personality? That’s because we just don’t feel like being that way around those people. They lift us up to a higher standard of ourselves just by holding the space for us to exist authentically. And that’s got sweet FA to do with gender. It’s a universal truth.
So before I finish, two things: You might be wondering why this amazing man who showed me that this kind of acceptance does exist, is now my ex, as opposed to current boyfriend. Sadly a tragic event in his life, made our relationship pretty different and pretty difficult. So to relieve the pressure on both of us we called time. But we’re still friends, and yes he has set the bar very high for the men in my future.
Secondly, next time your girlfriend, sister, female friend throws a hissy fit, just let her. In that moment stop thinking of her as a woman, a separate alien creature steeped in hormones and stereotypes. Just imagine, just for a few minutes that she’s just a person like you. A person who sometimes needs to blow off steam to feel normal again. Yes, that means not telling her “Don’t cry” and risking seeing this usually beautiful being turn into a sweaty ball of puffy eyed red rage. Stay neutral. Listen. And when it’s over shower her with love and acceptance and tell her it’s ok.
You can thank me later.