Advice for Understanding When (and Why) Asking Men to Do Things Can Cause Anger
Dear April Masini,
Why do men get so mad when you ask them to do something for you?"
Got A Mad Man
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Got A Mad Man?,
Not all men get mad when you ask them to do something. In fact, most men don’t get mad when you ask them to do something. Therefore, you need to look at the reasons he may be getting mad. The reasons that men would get mad if you ask them to do something are listed, below.
Why Men Get Mad:
You’ve asked them to do something unreasonable.You’ve asked them to do something that they can’t do. Men don’t like to fail. They want to be your hero. They want you to see them as capable. They want to see themselves as capable. If they can’t do something, many times they will lash out at you, rather than admit defeat. They are unreasonably stressed and your request is the last straw. Everyone takes on too much these days. It’s so easy to do so much that so many people try to do too much. When stress builds up, it’s easy to explode. Often the person you explode at or the reason you explode, is not the reason you’re exploding. It’s just the last thing to push you past your limit – whatever that limit is. He may have a lot more stress on his plate than you’re aware of. The man may see your request as a power play in an unhealthy relationship dynamic. If he feels put upon by you, then your request may seem less like a request, and more like an order. Even though you’ve asked, he may not hear you asking. He may hear you ordering him. His anger at your request has less to do with the actual request than it does with his feelings about himself in the relationship.Control Your Partner's Emotions.
4 Ways To Handle His Anger At Your Requests:
Don't be blind to the fact that you may have asked your partner to do something that is unreasonable. Reconsider the request. Either ask him if the request is unreasonable, or assume that it is. The next step is to apologize for asking him to do something unreasonable. You can then explain your feelings, how you didn’t realize that this was an unreasonable request, and if you had, you surely wouldn’t have asked him to do it.
Understand that men and women are different, and are good and bad at different things. Women are much more able to multi-task and take care of detail oriented tasks, in general, than men are. If you ask a man to do the grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning, and drop off the library books and pay the late fine – things you do all the time without even thinking twice about it – you may be asking him to do something he just can’t do, can’t remember, and knows he’s going to fail at. Forget about rationalizing what he can and can’t do. You’ll get into a time consuming debate with yourself or with other people. Rather than waste valuable time, accept your limits and boundaries as well as his. Alter your expectations.
Take the focus off of yourself, and put it on him.If he’s really stressed, and your request pushed him over the edge, he’s going to lash out at you. Not because you have asked him to do something, but because he is feeling overwhelmed. Rather than be sad that he got angry at you, look at the problem from his point of view. Maybe what you're asking him to do is unreasonable, given all of the tasks he has to complete already. Maybe you don’t know everything he’s got on his plate. Ask him how he’s doing. Get him talking about what’s going on in his life. You may need to delegate some of the things you need help with, to other people, besides him. This is a good practice to get into. You may also want to give and show him some appreciation for all he’s doing.
Roll up your sleeves and look at what the real problem is. If you and your partner have a relationship dynamic that is not discussed, but is looming beneath the surface of all your conversations and interactions, then you need to face it. If one of you is angry at the other for something, it’s common for the anger to be expressed or acted out at derivative problems instead of the real problem – like your asking him to do something, and his flipping out. Spend some time just sitting down with him and talking about how things are going and what you both wish was different, and how you can both make adjustments to change your lives and your relationship for the better. This is the currency of relationships. If you can do this, you can get through everything.
Take a look at my book, Think & Date Like A Man, so you can gain a greater understanding of why men act the way they do and how you can use this to your advantage.