In the first part of this series, I looked at the 5 Modes of a Guy – it’s pretty basic and easy to follow. Today we’ll look at the Modes of a Woman – not so basic or easy to follow. Women are more complex because, as I noted last week, they can be the nicest or meanest people you meet. To add to the complexity, women can be very different depending on the situation like they can be very different in public, at home, or by themselves. They can also be different depending who they’re around. This diversity makes sense because girls are “sugar and spice” and there are a whole lot of different sugars and spices… and sometimes the sugar or spice goes bad.
Before we get into the Modes of a Woman, I should note that most young men are more like women than the “guys” I’ve been discussing. In their “I need to impress my friends or prove myself to win a woman and/or be successful” phase, they tend to be much more emotional and driven than the man who’s married and has his career in order. There’s a reason there’s the dad bod – we’re not nearly as driven because we don’t care about proving ourselves anymore. We’ve found our way and now life is about enduring. Hope and dreams are done (that sounded darker than I meant… although not far from the truth). There’s a reason men often go through a mid-life crisis or have dad depression. For the most part, we like our more steady lifestyles, but there are times when we want to re-spark a sense of excitement like we once had when we younger… that and we miss our quicker recovery time and not getting injured doing simple things like, you know, sleeping – it’s pretty sad.
I should also point out that when I claimed last lesson that women can be broken down into five categories based on meanness, this meanness has a strong effect on the different possible Modes of a Woman. Where men have five basic modes (Playful, Middle Ground, Serious, Upset, and Explosive), women double this simply by having added modes “& Condescending.” This isn’t to say all women are condescending, but certain ones are. I’m sure you can think of a few who fit that description – they’re nasty. Not only is the Modes of a Woman double the size of a guy’s, there are more sub-categories within them – yea, for being complex. To add to this complexity, every woman is different with what modes she uses and when she uses them. This Master List is like a menu for the woman from which to choose. Guys are more basic… unless they’re teenagers who can be just as confusing as women.
I should point out that my wife doesn’t land in the “& Condescending” category very often, but it can feel that way. This is a common mistake by the recipient. We need to be careful not to be too quick to classify someone as “& Condescending” because sometimes that person is being misinterpreted. I know I’ll see my wife as being condescending when she’s really acting out of fear and defensiveness. I’ve found this misinterpretation is a high risk for dealing with moms and mother-in-laws – women often see them meaner than they are. Being condescending means you feel superior or look down on the other. A major clue a person isn’t being condescending is their tone goes up. A voice going up is a sign of fear just like raised eyebrows. A look of contempt (aka disgust) is more of a sneer and/or eyebrows pointed down. This is one of reasons I’m a big advocate of asking questions to double check the person’s intention and not just assume the worst because that leads to a lot of unnecessary hurt and conflict. I’m a professional who deals with emotions all day for work, and I can still get it wrong because feelings can be liars.
I should also point out there are two kind of yelling; there’s the “I’m trying to get you to back off kind,” which is very fear based and comes out of self protection, and there’s the “know your place,” “I’m better than you” kind of yelling. The first is defensive and the second is condescending. I find most guys are in the “I’m trying to scare you to back off” category while women are more likely in the “know your place” category, but there are always exceptions, and again, we should never assume.
The Master List:
- A Genuine Playful: Can be particularly rare depending on the woman because for a lot of women, proper is more important than fun.
- A Forced Playful: Women are more likely than men to put on a show in social situations because they want to look good to others or to prevent being judged.
2. Playful & Condescending: Some women can be kind of playful, but there’s a hidden message to it and/or a condescending nature to their joking.
3. Positive Middle Ground:
- Warm & Welcoming: This is less playful and more about being proper with strong warmth.
- A Helpful Side: Women tend to want to help others. My wife once told a guy friend he needed to trim his nose hairs for his date with a girl. He was embarrassed, but he listened. It was definitely better coming from her than from me… if I would’ve even noticed. If I did, I would’ve more likely made a joke like “I think I see Tarzan swinging from your nose hairs like vines.” There’d be no malice in my joking, and even if trimmed, I’d likely make jokes about Tarzan losing his fun.
- Nurturing: There’s a reason why a lot of women are drawn to being nurses and teachers.
4. Negative Middle Ground
- Entitled Based: Feeling like you are superior and deserve control is another possibility.
- Anxiety Based: Controlling behavior is often out of fear.
- Controlling Mode:
- Complain Based: This is basically whining and wanting control over people through sympathy
5. Mean Mode:
- Cold & Vindictive: This is revenge driven and can be an “I will ruin your life” attitude
- Hurtful: This is someone who is hurting and wanting to be understood, so they drag you down with them.
- Emotional Mode:
- Overload: This makes sense because women tend to be more emotionally based, they are more likely to take on other people’s emotions, and they tend to be more people pleasers.
- Guilt Side: Women typically have a very strong guilt mode that affects how they act.
- Perfection Mode: In general, women can be perfection driven, but it can also be a mode where they are very focused on being perfect, which is most regularly seen when they’re getting ready to go out or have friends over to their house and they go overboard cleaning (at least it’s overboard to a guy).
- Perfection & Judgemental Mode: When you have a perfection side, you are at risk of being judgemental of others.
6. Serious: Women tend to enjoy the serious conversations as they share their hearts with each other as a way to bond whereas men prefer to joke. One isn’t better than the other, just different.
7. Serious & Condescending: This is a serious side that has an edge to it. It’s what makes men scared of serious conversations because serious conversations feel a lot like blaming and criticizing the guy.
8. Upset: When a woman is upset, there’s a strong likelihood that she doesn’t feel cared about and/or understood and this has caused her to move beyond serious. She might also simply be here because she’s feeling overwhelmed by everything going on around her.
9. Upset & Condescending: This is when a woman isn’t just upset; she’s putting others down for making her upset and/or not making her life easier.
10. Explosive: This tends to be an attack that’s “the best defence is a good offence” or it’s an unloading of bottled up emotion.
11. Explosive & Condescending: A normal feeling after an explosion is to feel bad and wanting what you did to be forgotten while this kind of explosion is more “You deserved that and you should feel bad for making me that angry,” with a side of “You deserved that.”
This week may you consider the different modes of a woman and whether I’m onto something or way off.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)