More Than Meets the Eye


(courtesy of Google images)

 

Do you ever feel like you’re misunderstood?
 
 

Okay, maybe I should be more specific here.
 
 

As a woman, do you ever feel like you’re misunderstood?
 
 

Do people look at you as if you’re talking to them in a foreign language? More than likely this attitude comes from people you’re the closest to, people who live right beneath your very nose. Member’s of your own household gaze at you as if you’re a three headed monster. And the worse culprit of them all? Yep, you’ve got it. The man in your life.
 

Let’s face it. I don’t think we can argue the fact that we woman are walking hormones. With an ever so slight, flip of a switch, an imbalance can throw our emotions to one extreme or another. One may never know what to expect.
 

Hee, hee, hee. You know what I say? Why be predictable. Boring!
 

Yet, have you ever asked yourself if men are really meant to read women’s emotions?
 

There’s new research that suggests men do struggle to read women’s emotions — at least from their eyes. Yes, there’s a new scientific finding that shows men have twice the problem figuring out women’s emotions from looking at their eyes verses those of men. Apparently, the part of the male brain that is tied to emotion didn’t respond as strong.
 

Oh, I get it. Now there’s scientific evidence that woman are double the trouble.
 

Great, that’s all we need.
 

Now hold on just a minute. Let’s see what they actually said before we all get worked up about this.
 

Although the popular thought is that men and women come from two different planets, both sexes are somewhat similar. Yet, regardless if one comes from Mars or Venus, small studies have implied that men have difficulty with intuition and predicting what women think and feel.
 

Okay, so how do they know this?
 

This is the cool part.
 

Researchers in Germany put 22 men between the ages of 21 and 52 to the test. Using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, they measured their brain activity when the men looked at images of 36 pairs of eyes. Half of them were women and the other half men. Then they were asked to use two words that best described the emotion the eyes portrayed, whether a neutral or negative emotion.
 

Guess what?
 

They found that men took longer and had more trouble guessing the correct emotion from a woman’s eyes. They responded stronger to men’s eyes and the results showed that when it came to fear and empathy, their brains activated differently when looking at a man versus a woman’s eyes.
 

It seems that men are worse at reading women’s emotions. So theoretically, this mental deficiency could lead men to have less empathy for women rather than men.
 

Hmm. How did this happen? I mean, mental deficiency? Really? I don’t know about you girls, but I find this very shocking. 🙂
  

Well, the answer is not totally clear. It is thought that this behavior in men could be hard-wired—that through the years it was more important for men to develop the ability to anticipate the intentions and actions of their male adversaries. Thus men have been conditioned to pay less attention to women’s emotional indicators due to their hunting and territorial nature.
 

Aha! Foreign language? Three headed monster? Moi? I don’t think so.
 

All these years women have been taking the blame for something that’s been embedded in men’s brains only to find out it’s not us. And the great news is women now have the scientific research to back this up! This just validates what women have known for years. I couldn’t wait to share this with you. This is exciting news!
 

So the next time that certain someone makes you feel misunderstood, have them look you straight in the eye and tell them there’s more than meets the eye here baby!
 
 

So what do you think about this study? Do you find yourself misunderstood? Do your loved ones look at you as if you have three heads? Are your planets in alignment with your loved one or do you find them in disarray? When talking to others, do you find it helpful to look them straight in the eye? And do they in turn make eye contact with you?
 
 

Thank you so much everyone for sharing your many fine thoughts and comments!
Karen

 
 
For more information about this subject please go to http://www.plosone.org.
 

28 thoughts on “More Than Meets the Eye

    1. Karen Post author

      Aha! Susie, I didn’t see your comment until now. I’m so sorry for not responding earlier. Thank you so much for coming by to see me. LOL, pitch and volume helps your husband understand where you’re coming from, especially cursing. Girl, hubby and I are going on 38 years. May I just say that for the most part, he gets me. He tries to pick up my signals. But sometimes, we get our wires crossed. Oh boy. It’s not a knock-out, drag-out fight or anything. And we can be talking about the same thing, but we don’t find that out until later. Some things are just lost in the translation my friend. It’s all good! Have a great weekend Susie! 🙂

      Reply
  1. Debra Eve

    Okay, I’ve got to trot out my MA in Anthropology and point out that the researchers overlooked other interpretations for these results — perhaps women veil their emotions. Or perhaps given an instruction such as “Show anger,” a woman’s idea of what anger looks like differs from a man’s. I’d have to read the original, but all in all, I’m finding the results highly suspect and absolutely fascinating. And of course, they’re focusing on MEN. Nice post, Karen!
    Debra Eve recently posted..Carl Gordon Acts on Divine CallingMy Profile

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Debra! Oh, an MA in Anthropology? Well then, you would know if this study is authentic or not. It was an interesting subject though. Of course I had to make it fun Debra. The communication skills, whether it be direct or insinuated through eye contact has always been challenging between men and women. We certainly are hard-wired different, that’s for sure. But I think it’s a learned skill that both sexes can adopt and put into action. Glad you enjoyed the post Debra. I appreciate your thoughts and I hope you have a beautiful weekend! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Lynn Kelley

    I wonder who came up with this study, having men look at photos of men’s and women’s eyes? How do they think these things up?

    Okay, got off target for a second, but the study’s results are correct as far as I’m concerned. Men are for the most part clueless when it comes to reading us and I’ve learned that it’s less frustrating to just spell it out for them, cut to the chase.

    Fun post, Karen! Good for you doing the fast drafting!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hey there Lynn! How are you! I don’t know who thought this one up. But it did make a lot of sense. Yes, as you said, clueless is an accurate word for it. And yes, it is less frustrating just to spell it our for them. Ah, communication. Men and women sometimes do not speak the same language Lynn. I’m trying fast draft. But I’m afraid that is not my thing. I think I’m too slow for it. But I’m trying. Oh, congratulations on the new grandbaby! You must be so excited. Take care and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jason Andrew Bond

    Interesting thoughts Karen, which totally align with my experience. I so often struggle to understand what my wife is feeling. Over the years we’ve developed a great compromise. I can’t figure it out what she’s feeling, but I care, so she has become more open when I ask her how she’s feeling. I am trying to learn to read her emotions better (female-ish) and she his learning to express herself more directly (male-ish). If men ask (because we can’t figure it out on our own) most importantly we are showing that we care. Keeping the door open when we show that we care is a great thing to do. We’re kind of disabled and need crutches. It’s kind of like having a center for kids who can’t read too good. 🙂 (Zoolander anyone?)

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jason! Thank you, thank you, thank you for dropping by and leaving your thoughts. I really appreciate that you put your two cents into the discussion. I hope you know I was having a little fun with this subject. Although the study was interesting, wasn’t it? It did explain a lot of things regarding how a man and woman communicate with one another, regardless whether it be through eye contact or otherwise. It did make some sense. And I also appreciate that you shared your struggles has a husband. My hubby and I have been married a long time. He tries so hard. And I think perhaps that even though it may not be natural for a man to perceive the emotions of a woman, I do believe that over time, men can learn as they get to know us. But I also think it goes both ways. As you said, we women need to be more open about our feelings. Although I have been told that sometimes I can be too open. lol. Ah, there’s a fine line Jason. Good thing we were in it for the long haul because it takes a while to figure all this stuff out. Thanks again and I hope you and yours have a great weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Prudence MacLeod

    Hmmm, didn’t we already know this? Who needed a study to know women respond better to women’s emotions? Here’s my question, who the heck pays for these studies? Better yet, how can I get a grant to study men’s reactions to women’s voices saying, “Honey, could you take out the garbage?”

    Great topic, Karen, and lots of fun. Keep them coming. 🙂
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    1. Karen Post author

      LOL Prudence! “Didn’t we already know this?” Ditto! And I don’t know who pays for these studies. Probably the government. Aha! A voice study. There’s one for ya. But I think men are tone deaf! lol. Glad you found the post interesting. I really enjoyed your comment today. You’re so funny. Have a wonderful weekend! And weather. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Diane Capri, I found you in spam again. So glad I didn’t miss our visit. I have to get together with that Laird and work on this problem. Wasn’t this fascinating? It was interesting how science backed up our intuition Diane. And that it’s linked to body language was a new one for me. The eyes? Who knew? Now I’m gonna have to make sure that hubby looks me straight in the eye when we talk to one another. Maybe that will help get my point across. Ack, what am I thinkin’. After 37 years, if we haven’t figured each other out by now…LOL! Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts as always! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Gretchen Wing

    Seeing some familiar reactions here. I too would say that my husband reads me extremely well, but then he’s had 34 years of practice. Men in general? Yep–that study rings true. Would like to see more such studies, but on the other hand, you gotta love science that supports your own intuitive hunches. Thanks for sharing this, Karen!

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Gretchen! Glad you enjoyed the post. I completely understand how you feel. I too have been married a long while. Going on 38 yrs. My hubby is still trying to tune into my emotions. They try so hard, yet sometimes they just cannot get it right. That was an interesting study. Knowing that there is some truth to their findings helps us understand one another better. At least we know that our hunches were not so far off the mark. Thank you for coming by and for sharing your thoughts Gretchen! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  6. K.B. Owen

    An interesting study, Karen! How cool and scientific-y of you. 😉 I think that men aren’t good at reading a woman’s emotions from her eyes is that they don’t have enough practice at actually looking at a woman’s EYES. Usually, they are looking elsewhere, IYKWIM. Up here, fellas!! 😀
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    1. Karen Post author

      LOL Kathy, you are crazy! So you like that I can get all scientific-y, eh? Ya never know. lol. And yes, IKWYM. I’m quite sure you’re right about where their eyes land Kathy. Although that has never been the case with me. lol. Ah guys, gotta love ’em! They sure try don’t they? 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Christine! Interesting study, eh? It made perfect sense to me. I had some fun dramatizing it a little bit. But in theory, I can see where men relate to men because of their protective background towards their families. Yes, nurturing is not their forte’. But they sure try hard, don’t they? And yes, lots and lots of communication. Thanks so much for your thoughts and for stopping by! Have a great weekend! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      “My H can read me like a book.” Christine, how long did that take? Uh, you guys have been together for quite some time. I bet you two finish each other’s sentences. But if H doesn’t know you by now, you’d be in trouble. Oh, perhaps this is where all that great writing ideas come from. Now is makes sense. No spooky about it. I don’t doubt it for one minute that H has your number. But so do I! LOL! {{Hugs!}} 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Ack, you read this already? Oh well. I saw it over the weekend and thought it would make an interesting topic. I couldn’t help putting my own twist on things and amp it up a bit. lol. It was an interesting study, wasn’t it? It makes sense to me. Might be a good theory to use in our writing, ya know? Hope you’re feeling well Jennette. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hey there Jenny! Uh, trying to write. Not too successful this week. Too many distractions. And I don’t have children at home. What gives? Not feeling well doesn’t help. Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow! Now, back to work for the both of us! Oh, you’re leaving for DFW soon. I hear that a sweet English bird will be landing in that direction and will be staying for 3 weeks. Wowsers! Y’all are gonna have a great time. Take good notes Jenny. I expect a full report when you get back! 🙂

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  7. Sheila Seabrook

    I love to read about the differences between men and women, and this study comes as no surprise to me. My husband has been trying to understand me for umpteen years and he still misreads what I don’t tell him. LOL. Of course, it goes both ways … 🙂

    And I always — always! — make a point of looking the person I’m conversing with in the eye. They’re important to me and I want them to feel they’re worth my attention!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hey there Sheila! How’s it going girl? I know life’s been crazy, but you gotta know we miss you, right? “My husband has been trying to understand me for umpteen years and he still misreads what I don’t tell him.” LOL, is right! I go through the same thing here. It takes a lot of patience by both parties. I’m constantly translating the “corresponding face to the corresponding emotion” as Meg Ryan brought out so nicely in one of her films. Which one was it? Oh, I know…French Kiss. Great scene. Thank you so much for popping in and sharing your thoughts. Please take care and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      So Coleen, did you like this one? I couldn’t help myself. lol. I agree with you. I too think there is a definite difference in how we perceive emotions. If you give a guy a problem they’re gonna want to fix it. That’s how they’re hard-wired. We may not be asking for a solution, but needing a hearing ear. But that’s not where their minds goes. Although most guys try so hard to read us. Yet, we end up having to translate. Bless their hearts. Thanks Coleen and have a great, safe (thought I should put that in there) weekend! 🙂

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