‘You Hurt My Feelings’

From Dennis Prager‘s radio show today. Author Alison Armstrong was the guest. "Prager H2: What happens when spouses hurt one another? What is the source of the anger? What hurts a woman’s feelings? What hurts men?"

Alison: "Typically, when a woman is hurt, her feelings are hurt. She’ll say, ‘You hurt my feelings.’ To a man, that’s ‘And? Where are those? Can I see them?’

"Men don’t know that women’s feelings are an extra vital organ right in the center of our chest. It is our connection to spirit. When our feelings get hurt, it’s as if this vibrant pulsing organ becomes petrified. It squishes up. It physically hurts when it squishes up…and the life force is squished out of us…a death force travels through our system. We stop breathing. We gasp for air. It shuts down our arms and legs. We curl up into the fetal position. We do what I call planking, where you’re buried under dirt.

"And then this blackness, it rises up into our heads and it shuts off our vocal cords and we can’t look at the person that hurts us anymore because it feels like it is stabbing into our eyes. When it gets up into our heads, anything good disappears. Any happy thought or possibility of partnership or communication gets shut down. It’s like a computer crashing except it gets worse.

"When our normal vibrant life-filled system crashes, there’s another thing waiting — the rage monster. It has one purpose only — the total annihilation of the person who hurt them. The rage monster has access to the petty offense file, the things that when the woman was in good shape weren’t worth arguing over. She didn’t care. She brushed it off, not knowing it was being copied to the petty offense file.

"When her feelings get badly hurt and the whole system crashes, the rage monster opens the petty offense file and takes the last thing that happened that hurt her and puts it together with anything in that file and it acts like an editor. It rearranges information for the most provocative argument. ‘You did this and you did that and your mother and your father and you’re just like…’

"It is rearranging the information to produce the greatest attack possible on whoever hurt her.

"The person who hurt her, the man who notices she’s been gone, will come and say, ‘What’s wrong now?’

"It’s the tone. ‘What’s up with you?’ That hooks the rage monster up to the vocal chords and this stuff starts spewing out of her mouth.

"She doesn’t need to. She’s really just this little voice saying, ‘It isn’t this at all. You just hurt my feelings.’

"It just naturally comes out in this spewing rage. The man on the other end naturally tries to defend himself against the barrage, which feeds the mechanism. Shutting down would be better.

"You can just go to the heart of the matter and be completely sincere and say, ‘I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.’

"It’s like flipping the switch back on. You’ll hear this gasp for air and the system will be restored."

"Women switch back and forth between the masculine and the feminine more easily and more often than a man does. With every woman, you have two people you’re dealing with."

"Men will rarely say, ‘You hurt my feelings.’ They may say, ‘You hurt me.’ Or, the most frequent phrase would be, ‘I was crushed.’

"Men are very literal. You can see a man has been crushed. It looks like somebody pulverized his collarbone and his shoulders cave in. He is crestfallen. He just falls in on himself. This happens to a man when someone he cares about does something that has him experience being disrespected or disregarded or that person was disloyal. The ‘dis’ words. Another phrase men use is, ‘You blew me off.’"

Dennis: "You can see it is in the body language."

Alison: "Yes. It has a physical expression."

Dennis: "What hurts a woman’s feelings?"

Alison: "Most of my work has to do with preventing this because when the rage monster goes off and says these terrible things, it is often the end of a family. This blows lives apart. For something that is mechanical. She isn’t choosing to blow up.

"Often a man will do something that if a woman did the same thing would mean that she didn’t care about the other person.

"The man will be late for dinner on their anniversary. She presumes this means he does not care about her. He is fulfilling some other duty. He’s not at a sports bar.

"A woman will presume that a man does something for the reason she would do something and it is the presumption that hurts her.

"If a woman is late, a man will presume that there is a good reason unless there is evidence to the contrary. If a man is late, a woman will presume he does not care about her.

"My son Greg. There was one time when he made a snide remark, he just disapproved of something. He said, ‘That’s stupid!’ Within moments, I was turning to stone. That something I cared about he thought was stupid. That’s something that men do a lot. They have opinions that something is stupid. And that hurts.

"You don’t say to a woman, ‘Don’t be an idiot!’

"In the realm of the spirit, men and women are doomed. Our instincts put us at odds with each other. Men and women assume they are versions of each other."

Dennis: "No. Women assume men are versions of them."

Alison: "The first time I was on your show, the subject of sex came up. Shocking.

"You said that the problem was that women weren’t focused on it. That’s why women didn’t want it as often.

"I cracked up. Women don’t focus on anything. We’re not designed that way."

Dennis: "I’m not a football fan, but when I go into a bar or restaurant and football is on, I will stare at it."

Alison: "Excellence and competition appeal to a man’s instincts, but if the woman you are with is talking passionately about something, you won’t look at the football."

Dennis: "I’ve never had a man get up after a speech and say, ‘I was offended…’ It was always a woman, even though I did not know her. Women’s feelings are hurt more readily."

Alison: "Mainly because we misinterpret a man’s actions. We think he’s watching TV and ignoring me. He’s late because he doesn’t care enough. We project our own emotions and that’s why we’re hurt. If you understand a man’s motivations, you’re rarely hurt. Men tend to have good motivations."

Dennis: "Most guys are pretty tender in how they treat women."

Alison: "If a man is late for an anniversary duty, it’s because he’s fulfilling a duty, doing something to provide for his family.

"How men get injured. I wanted to rent a car. I wanted to rent a Mitsubishi. I called my husband. He said, You’ll be much happier with the Ford. I got the Mitsubishi. He was crushed.

"If you ask a man for his opinion, he’s going to give you the best of what he’s got. Women don’t know this."

Dennis: "Whereas males are raised to fight their natures, females are not. Female nature in the past 50 years has been far more adulated. Even the mere suggestion that women may have to fight their natures is regarded as sexist."

Alison: "Women need to get a grip on their cavewoman within as much as men need to get a grip on their caveman within."

"I can work with your instincts to get the best out of you. I can avoid antagonizing your most primitive reactions."

Dennis: "Everything a woman wants is attainable."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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