Sunday, 14 February 2010

Excuses! Excuses?

Why do we women always find excuses – or do we?

I have written about this before so it really seems to be something that bothers me.

If we are giving a lift to others and the gears are not shifting smoothly – ‘Sorry, but the car is new, haven’t quite got the hang of it!’

If we have guests for dinner, they haven't even sat down at the table yet – ‘Sorry, I hope you like the menu, I think the soup may be a bit salty and the potatoes are overcooked!’

Guys don’t do that. Guys only respond when somebody says something. Guys don’t point the fingers on their own mistakes pre-emptively.

That’s why guys rule the world – and may I say: using poor management skills more often than not – and we don’t.

I believe there are two mechanisms behind ‘pre-emptive self blame’.

Firstly, we don’t cope well with criticism. Oh we can take it all right, that’s not the problem; but the way we phrase our responses is not ‘male – suitable’.

Boss: The delivery was delayed!

Woman: Oh yes sorry, I realised, there was this thing, and then happened that, and on top of it all happened something else,…

Man: Yes I realised, I will have a look into it so it won’t happen again.

While the guy is only acknowledging what the boss just said and is responding with a commonplace, we are explaining the situation and at the same time giving detailed information on how to avoid mistakes in the future.

Implicitly we are saying that we will manage the involved departments better, and that we will incorporate contingency time for emergencies. Oh, we are so far ahead of them – and still, the male half of the world thinks that we are excusing a fault – and the more reasons we give the more it sounds like excuses to them.

Since woman is out of control in this sort of conversation she came up with the cunning plan to put the blame first. So in pre-emptively accusing herself she at least stays in control of the dosage of blame and excuse.

However, men just think it’s silly behaviour, and since she is committing so many mistakes she is even admitting to, she shouldn’t get promotion.

Second mechanism: It works between women!

Women don’t see these reasons as excuses, but as suggestions or ideas on how to fix something. Those ideas are free to be picked up by other women and all of a sudden one is in a brainstorm for even better ideas.

Again – we are so far ahead of the guys!

Instead of common places we have the solutions and are offering a platform for even better ones – and it all goes down the drain because the male world doesn’t understand our way of thinking.

I’m telling you: Since I am using the male approach with the guys and the female approach with the ladies I have become really successful.

Can you imagine me shutting up? Well, it works for them! They are so happy not having to listen to my voluntarily provided information anymore. So I'm using it for myself and create my own success instead of throwing it into their laps.

Oh, and one other thing is very important! One has to praise oneself more often. Women have a tendency to say: ‘We did…’ when actually she did it all by herself. Usually the female half of the world lets all the others shine as well.

Guys don’t do that. Even if the whole team worked on something: The one who presents it, is the one who will be wearing the feathers.


Acknowledge your achievements, be it a half marathon, a business deal or the beautiful dinner you cooked. You fought your own mind and made it - no matter what, you wrecked your head over the numbers and negotiated hard, your potatoes are just perfect and no salt is missing!

Give your girlfriend a call at night and tell her all the reasons and what happened when, but in the situations and with the people where it matters:

Just shut up, look straight into their eyes, say: ‘Yes, I know! And I will take care of it!' …smile, … and walk away.

You’ll be the Queen of the castle soon!

PS: I am talking of Alpha males here. The kind one usually finds in managerial positions. There are a lot of nice guys who suffer the same fate as the ladies, and there are some ladies who adopted the Alpha male behaviour so well that now they are called bitches.


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