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Male - Female Relationships: Avoiding the Defensive Lineman and the Backfield




Excerpted from
Winning Points with the Women in your Life One Touchdown at a Time
By Jaci Rae

As you probably already know, the defensive lineman's job is to sack the quarterback. As the quarterback, if you want to sidestep the defensive lineman and "scramble" in your relationship, you will need to learn the difference between actively hearing and passively listening to the woman, i.e., "the defensive lineman" in your life.

Just as the head coach for the Miami Dolphins needs his team to hear what he has to say about certain plays and plans in order to communicate the winning strategy, so does your partner. If a team member doesn't listen enough to the coach during the practices, he may end up on the bench for the first game. Being benched for too many games and he becomes a liability to the team and runs the risk of eventually being cut from the roster entirely.

There is a very important distinction between actively hearing and passively listening. Later on, I will share with you how women feel their words. This should give further insight into the reasons why "hearing" is so important to women. For now, however, let me give a brief explanation as to why I choose to make a firm distinction between these two phrases. In your lifetime, I'm sure you've heard over and over the frustrated expression, "Do you hear what I am saying?!" Why do you think the word "hear" is used instead of "listen?" To find out, let's look at the actual difference between these two words.

While the meaning of the word "listen" is "to make an effort to hear something," "hear" means "to learn by listening" or "to listen to attentively." Can you see the real distinction between these two words? To "listen" implies the action of simply "making an effort" to hear something, whereas the word "hear" implies the action of "learning" through that action. It's a personal choice as to whether we "listen to" (make an effort) or "hear" (learn) what is being said to us. I believe the phrase "selective hearing" applies to listening, implying the act of actually putting up barriers to learning, while the phrase "active hearing" applies to the process of truly learning about what someone has to say.

The man in my life actively hears everything I say. It always amazes me when he listens to me recount the details of my day or a particular event for an endless amount of time and then comments on things I have said throughout my long spell of talking. He is actually learning about who I am and what I cherish. How do I know he is actually learning?

Let me give you an example. Almost everyone who has gone to school has had the following experience. A huge test is coming up in a class that you need to study for. While you have listened in class, made notes, passed smaller tests and written papers on the subject matter at hand, you still are not well versed in it. Why? Because you haven't really learned the subject for whatever reason.

For the big test you cram the night before for all the information outlined to you during class so that the subject matter will be fresh for the next day's exam. The day of the exam you do really well and pass with flying colors.

Now let's jump ahead a few years. Someone asks you questions on that same topic, but you don't quite recall the information. While anyone can cram for a test the day before a final, not everyone can remember a few years later what they learned during their cram session. Why? Because they didn't really learn it. They simply stored the majority of the information in their short term memory banks. When someone actively hears what is said to them, they are learning the subject matter just as the man in my life learns about me, thereby storing or indexing the information he has learned about me in his long term memory banks.

So how do I know he is learning about me when I talk to him? Because he will bring up something I would consider a very minute and insignificant detail I shared with him either about my life or something that happened in a particular day quite a while later (meaning not even on the same day or perhaps even the same week or month). When he does this, he endears himself to me and causes me to feel special and honored in a way that no other man has ever done. I am always deeply moved when I have conversations with him and he remembers what I have said. This causes me to want to become even more dedicated to his needs and desires. So don't "cram" for your partners' information. Actively hear.

I have heard many women use the phrase "selective hearing" when it comes to the men in their lives. Why is that? Its because they perceive that the men in their lives are not hearing, and therefore not learning, about the way they feel or think or about what has happened to or around them during their day. If you want to get past the defensive backfield or any "red dogging" or "blitzing" that might occur, you need too avoid miscommunication and learn to hear what your partner is saying to you, no matter how trivial you think the topic currently on the table for discussion may be.

Men Are at the End Zone;
Women Are at the Kick Off

On average, men speak between 12,000 to 13,000 words a day and women use between 25,000 and 26,000 words per day. This means, that by the time men have reached the two minute warning in the fourth quarter of the game and they need to make a touchdown to win, women are just getting warmed up!

So what are the implications of this? When a man is ready for the locker room after the end of the game, and a long cool swig of Gatorade - i.e. ready to go home and have dinner - a woman is just getting ready for the verbal kick-off when the man walks through the door! That means, when a man finishes a long day at work, he has probably reached his maximum daily quota of words spoken. By the time he arrives home, he may want nothing more than to eat dinner in peace and quiet and then curl up with a book or watch television on the sofa next to his loved one. Basically, he has finished with his fourth quarter and is now on his way off the field, completing his game day.

For a woman, on the other hand, even after a long day at work or time at home with the children, she may have only achieved half of her maximum daily quota of words spoken and is ready for the second half of the game, setting up a clash. After discovering this interesting fact, I could see why some men think that many women are chatterboxes!

And yet, although our differences seem to be daunting, they're also what make us such a unique and perfect match. We are each halves that together make a perfect whole. It was designed that way. "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'" Genesis 2:18



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