MEN’S BOXES AND WOMEN’S WIRES
It all began while sitting at a beach bar in the peak of the summer heat. A good friend of mine told me that what causes conflicts between men and women is the difference in the way they think. There are several definitions of those differences, and I find some of them to be quite amusing. One of my favorite comparisons was made by Mark Gungor, a speaker and pastor from Wisconsin. At one of his seminars, he spoke about how men’s brains are made of boxes and women’s brains are made of wires. Although this interpretation was meant to be comical, I actually feel that it provides the best foundation for understanding the ideas of this book. I decided to use it since men usually respond better to those types of comparisons, as opposed to poetic language. I also feel that it provides a vivid representation of male and female thinking.
So, in my understanding of Gungor’s theory, men think and act according to their mental boxes. Each box is dedicated solely to one subject or meaning and is separated from other boxes. Therefore, each box holds one thing and only contains crucial information. Whenever something new enters a man’s life, he creates a new box for it and labels it, metaphorically speaking, of course. An average man has quite a few boxes in his system. They are labeled “Woman”, “Spare Time”, “Work”, “Car” and so on. There is also an empty one. The empty box is an essential part of a man’s thinking. We can witness the use of that box when a man sits in front of a TV and blankly stares at the screen, without appearing to use his brain. Some might even say his brain shuts down. That is how men satisfy their need for relaxation. It is a form of meditation, which women practice by whipping out their yoga mat, carefully getting into the lotus position, closing their eyes and putting all their efforts into escaping the world. Men simply tip over into their empty box, sit in a comfy armchair and stare into whatever is happening in front of them, not using their brain.
When a man wants to mentally move from one box to another, it takes him a few moments. He must first step out of one box, close it, then open another one, and enter that one. This mental shift is, as you will learn reading this book, often what makes women upset.
Unlike the male system, the female system is made of wires. Imagine a heavily intertwined installation of wires, which women themselves cannot master, let alone men. Every concept in the installation is connected to thousands of others and it can have at least fifteen different meanings. All information is shot through the system at the speed of light, regardless of whether that information is vital or not, which can produce numerous unpredictable outcomes.
Let’s apply that to a real life situation:
A man is sitting in his living room, using his empty box. He is watching the documentary Machines of Glory.. His wife comes home with a new hairdo. She greets him in a happy manner and he replies, without really looking at her. Of course, he is currently in his empty box, so he is not very responsive. “I’m running a bit late because I had to go to the hairdresser,” she announces, almost singing the last few words in order to get his attention. An attuned man would detect the special tone of her voice. He shouldtip over into the “My Woman” box. However, this takes some time, during which the woman’s installation is working furiously: Not only did he not look at me when I walked through the door, but he didn’t even notice my new hair, let alone comment on it! While the man is searching for the right words in his “My Woman” box, her installation is powering ahead full-speed. He doesn’t love me anymore. He doesn’t find me interesting … The man finally finds the words he was looking for: “Oh, yeah! I like it.” The woman’s installation breaks down those words and sends them to processing. He likes it. He must have said that just to get rid of me. He actually doesn’t like it! Or he doesn’t care. I am sure he has his eye on that young new neighbor. Her long black hair and full lips. He must like her. Why else was he being so mysterious when I asked him about her? He was actually not being mysterious. (He simply didn’t want to waste any time talking about the neighbor since he thinks she is way too young and dolled-up for him to be interested in her. He is happy with his woman, but he just doesn’t know how to express that to her often enough.) The woman then, not recognizing that this is her installation speaking, says: “Well, do you like someone else more than me? Maybe our fancy new neighbor that you are being so secretive about?” In that moment, an attuned man would have already had his “Other Women” box ready. But by that time, this man has lost the battle. He will end up learning a couple of new things from this occurrence. But even he had the box ready, it would take some time to transfer from the “My Woman” box into the “Other Women” box, which the woman’s installation would read as looking for excuses. She would get emotional and experience fear, insecurity and anger. She would probably go on saying: “I see. You are keeping quiet because you are looking for the right excuse. You DO like her! Are you seeing her, for God’s sake?!” … and so on and so forth, with the situation getting out of proportion.
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