I asked Dave how he was doing since it was the anniversary of his wife?s death. He replied, ?It?s rough, but what is even worse, is women won?t leave me alone! I don?t want to hurt their feelings, but they phone me too so I can?t even have peace in my own home.?
Dave is encountering desperate women who feel they must have a man in their lives to be complete. Their obvious need is what drives the men away, the opposite of their intent.
You react to people based on how you perceive them. These perceptions are influenced by your perceptual styles: Audio, Visual, Feeler, and Wholistic. Further, when you are desperate, this clouds your perceptions because you see what you want to see. ?I just know I?m perfect for him? or ?I know he?s interested in me.? You lose your objectivity.
Desperation makes you reactive, causing your hot button to be easily pushed. Your hot button stimulates an emotion out-of-control, which is fueled by fears.
When people of the Audio perception are reactive, there is an undercurrent of anger waiting to vent. Maintaining personal control is important for them. ?Get out of my way, he?s mine!? There are basic fears for each perceptual style. For Audios, they are:
- Afraid of life being out of control (?With you in my life, I can be back in control again.?)
- Afraid of losing face and not being respected (yet, by being pushy or fighting with perceived competition, this is exactly what you are doing).
- Afraid of not being lovable (You speak you mind and may talk with a confrontational tone. For some men, this might too forward. They might like you but don?t find you lovable.)
Remedy for Audios: Lighten up and be sensitive to his feelings. Be willing to let him pursue you rather than you badgering him. If he doesn?t call or ask you out, maybe, as authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo say in their bestseller book: ?he?s just not that into you.? If you relax and realize if it?s meant to be, it will happen, that you can?t make it happen, you will be more in balance with all four of the perceptions. Your softer side will emerge.
When Feelers are reactive, they become indignant, feel sorry for themselves. Feelers are caring and will do thoughtful things but they are also setting up unspoken expectations fueled by their fears:
- Afraid of not being appreciated (?You didn?t say thank you? ? an expectation placed on him even though he didn?t ask you to do it.)
- Afraid of not being liked, loved (Giving and receiving love is a top priority ? ?I want to him to share his life with me.?)
- Afraid of making a mistake (You don?t want to disappoint him so have a difficult time saying no to requests ? an easy target for men who use women.)
- Afraid of getting hurt (You want to feel secure in a loving relationship. If he wants to be just a friend, you may feel hurt because you expected more.)
Remedy for Feelers: Realize your unsolicited help, such as bringing over meals, might be considered interfering with his privacy and won?t be appreciated. Become your own best friend rather than a needy, desperate woman looking for a man to rescue her. Men enjoy being with someone who is interesting. Show your natural enthusiasm for living ? your fun side.
When Visuals are reactive, they become frustrated and depressed. Their biggest trap is perfectionism. ?I like you but you need to change in some areas. If you love me, you?ll be willing to make those changes.? This desire for the ?perfect? man is fueled by their fears:
- Afraid of not being able to live up to one?s own high standards (?If we work at it, we can be the perfect couple.?)
- Afraid of running out of time (?I visualized my life as being married and the older I get, the less men there are to make this happen.?)
- Fear of the unknown (?I want to feel secure about my future ? to be able to visualize it as a comfortable life.?)
Remedy for Visuals: Let go of perfectionism. You can easily be hurt by criticism because you view what you do as who you are Don?t be so hard on yourself if you make mistake or if a relationship didn?t turn out as expected. Learn to accept yourself as you are. You have a wonderful sense of humor because you can easily see the humor in everyday situations. Discover ways to make your life fulfilling without a man. Then you won?t appear desperate because ?you?re not getting any younger ??
When Wholistics are reactive, they become resentful and blame others for their discontent. This resentment is fuel by these fears:
- Afraid of not being valued or given a chance (?I know you could love me if you?d just give me a chance!?)
- Afraid of failure, not reaching full potential (As a Wholistic, you are born with a sense mission, that you are destined for excellence. If this hasn?t happened, you may use excuses to soften the disillusionment you have in yourself.)
- Afraid of restrictions, loss of freedom (?I can?t make a commitment ? I want to be free to go with the flow.?)
Remedy for Wholistics: Beware of letting your desperation cause you to ?settle for less? if you are disillusioned with yourself. You might be attracted to abusive men because you don?t deserve better. It?s never too late to reach excellence, whether it?s being a wonderful grandmother, or writing a book, or finally having the time to do those things you always wanted to do but didn?t have time.
When you aren?t looking for a man is when they are most likely to find you. They might find you or you might approach him though a computer dating service. But if he doesn?t reply to your message despite how strongly he ?courted you? in his first messages, he?s lost interest. It doesn?t mean there is something wrong with you!
Be yourself. The ?Red Hat Society? has expanded into hundreds of groups because they are women having a good time just being themselves. Remember Dave?s plea, ?I wish the women would leave me alone!?
Short note about the author
Carol Welsh, M.S. is the author of ?Stop When You See Red.? She has over 25 years of experience as a speaker and is a frequent guest on talk shows. Her Web site is www.stopred.com.