One of our biggest predispositions as women is to over-nurture, over-give, do too much, think too much and dote too much. We women tend to go too far into a place of giving without even being asked to do so. We become frustrated and angry when our efforts are not appreciated, acknowledged and reciprocated.
We take on more than we can handle because we try to compete with the notion that super-woman status is possible and desirable.
Unfortunately, when we give too much without taking time to relax, renew and rejuvenate, we run into trouble. We get taken for granted, given less than we deserve, running in circles. Men will default into the space of the lowest bar you've set for them nearly every time. Remember this when you're making allowances for bad behaviors or forgiving too quickly without consequence. They'll get away with whatever you allow them to get away with.
Men, don't be too offended, I'm not saying that the old adage "men are lazy" is true, exactly. You men are simply results-oriented and energy conserving as any hunter in the wild would be! It's instinctive.
We women, on the other hand, tend to be more nurturing than you require, allowing you to take for granted without even realizing it or intending to. If we can learn to be more sensitive to our inherent tendencies and differences, we can all be happier within the context of a healthy give-and-take.
Too often, women demonstrate the kind of affection they'd like to be receiving, and continue pouring it on to set the example. We're told that the more you give, the more you receive. This is not necessarily true. Sometimes, the more you give yourself, the more you receive. That's not encouraging you to be a raging narcissist and take whatever you can get. That is to say that you should lose the guilt over making time, space and allowances that make you -- and only you -- happy.
We often find ourselves angry and at wits' end over redundant, repetitive behaviors in our partners and mates because we, at first, pretended it was no big deal when he showed up late, flaked on a call or failed to remember something important to you.
Let's make no bones: the pandemic of promise-breaking is not just limited to me; however, I hear the most complaints about it from women frustrated over the casual promises men make and break without much adieu. This diminishes trust. It makes for an insecure and unhappy lady; so quashing it from the very beginning is a must.
Accept nothing less than a man who will take responsibility for his word. His actions should always coincide with them. When they don't, you should certainly view that as a warning of things to come. These are the red flags many of us run right past in our haste to couple with the one we're lusting after. It's a mistake!!
Don't allow a man to crash through this boundary in the beginning, girls. You will be sorry later. It's virtually impossible to alter the rules in place after any significant amount of time has lapsed. Relationships become structured on the agreements you make early on with yourself about what you will accept and with them about what they can get away with.
We must raise the standards to an acceptable level if we're to thrive and grow in an equitable and nurturing space. We must insist that bad habits reinforced by a society run amok with bad behavior are nipped in the bud before they get passed down to another generation of poorly trained men and women!
It is our responsibility to set the bar appropriately to lead by example, to lead by accepting only what we deserve and to find the men who are willing to treat us the right way by respecting and trusting themselves enough to honor their word, commitments and intentions with actions that support and coincide with them. It is our responsibility to rethink the tradition of giving too much and sacrificing more than we should just to preserve the peace. It's not OK to suffer in silence.
It is OK to insist on balance and equity, respect and honor, trust and reciprocity. It is OK to set the bar high enough that you are never put in the position of getting less than you deserve. It is OK to learn how it feels to receive by giving to yourself!
Follow Danielle Cavallucci on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cavallucci