- Dr. Hogan, you’ve talked a lot about the differences between men and women. This seems like a very politically inappropriate view point. Do you believe persuading men and women is different as well?
“We found men were much more likely than women to be at the extreme ends of the behavioral spectrum, either acting very selfishly or very altruistically, very trusting or very distrusting, very fair or very unfair, very risky or very risk averse and were either very short-term or very long-term focused.” That report comes from a hot off the presses study in Sydney of over 50,000 men and women from almost 100 different sample groups. but differences are not just about choice or decision making. [Stefan Volk from the University of Sydney Business School, Psychological Science, forthcoming]
Volk, like a few really sharp minds in psychology doesn’t focus on AVERAGES, he focuses on SPECTRUMS. These findings, while very new (not even published until next month), are not atypical. In fact they replicate other findings for decades but change the focus from what is average to looking at a much bigger picture.
Men and women are very different humans. There are plenty of papers and read books attempting to prove that men and women are essentially the same. They are simply wrong. I have no political agenda. We actually know, for example that one difference between the sexes is that, on average, men take short cuts in all aspects of life. Women are more likely to follow the rules to get a task completed.
If you treat men and women “equally” and not teach and train the differences, you ask boys and girls to believe that what they experience and feel is not “normal” when “normal” is not the same for men and women.
Example: Imagine a fairly well behaved kid. That kid is deemed “normal.” Great. This kid grows up, goes to college and kids out of college and is likely to command a higher salary than a kid who is deemed abnormal. Say this kid has schizophrenia or severe autism. That kid is not likely to gain a high salary, if he/she can gain a salary at all. The notion that you treat both kids the same is ridiculous and the idea that you pay both kids as they grow up, the same, is even more ridiculous. One will perform adequately and the other is not likely to do so.
It’s very “normal” for kids to have literal handicaps (something that makes some part or all parts of life more difficult for them) or disabilities (where they can do very little in a functional fashion). No one in politics will tell you this but there are numerous challenges facing both boys and girls, men and women. Some are VERY limiting factors and are “normal” across millions.
The question today refers to being different. There is no question that women and men, boys and girls are incredibly different from each other, in hundreds of aspects, and in predictable ways.
Boys are far more likely to be autistic than girls. 4:1
Boys are 2:1 more likely to have ADD.
Boys are 3:2 more likely to have schizophrenia.
Boys stutter 2:1 more than girls and are more than 2:1 likely to have Tourette’s.
Women are more than 2:1 more likely to have depression, panic disorder and anxiety.
Women are 3:1 more likely to have bulimia or anorexa nervosa.
Women and men from culture to culture have different roles that have been handed to them from generations back. We know today that cultural change has recently outpaced evolutionary change as far as how humans are developing.
Women have babies. Men don’t. Women tend to remain with their children after the man has left with another woman. This is on average.
Women and men tend to average the same IQ but the tails of the curve tend to be different. Women cluster toward the middle and men are far more likely to have the highest IQ and the lowest IQ.
Baby girls cry longer when hearing other baby’s cry.
Girls hold eye contact longer than boys.
Psychologists have been bred through schooling to believe that all differences are political or cultural.
Simple life experience that is NOT cultural but has been here since creation allows people to understand that men and women are different and because of their experiences, they continue to be different into adulthood.
The fact is there are far more logical reasons, for example, why little girls prefer dolls to boys prefer building toys. That goes back to women have babies, tend to be real parents. Once a woman has had that baby she has a major life change that she doesn’t go back from in most situations. Meanwhile, men’s investment in a pregnancy is very modest indeed. The woman has to take care of her baby for 9 months before the baby is even born. The guy can drink all the alcohol and take all the drugs he wants. Shoot he can even move out before the baby is born and leave the woman with the baby and the woman WILL be left with the baby.
It’s simply “real life.”
Because men are physically bigger than women they are more likely to be superior in most forms of athletics. Not all. Most. Men on average are physically stronger than women.
Denying facts that go beyond culture is foolish. Consider competition.
There are a lot of great athletes that are women. There are lots of competitive women. But even in competition for wages, men and women essentially are paid the same coming out of university. However there is a difference when it comes to negotiation for wages. When women respond to ads online for a job and it says negotiable, women will negotiate as often as men. When it says $X per hour men are far more likely to negotiate.
Consider emotional fantasies. When women are angry at men they often want to talk about him and punish him. But rarely do they want to kill him (spouse) in a fantasy situation. Men are more likely to entertain far nastier reactions.
Women look at much different content on adult websites than men do. If men looked at what women do, governments might become very concerned and censor adult sites. I’ll let you dig deeper here. The research is dense, curious and flies in the face of politically correct points of view.
In the U.S. there is a lot of pressure on women to attempt to role play something and someone they aren’t. And that is true of men as well. The role playing is that men are far more behaved at the office than they are when they go home. Although culture is triggering more crime by women, the fact is men are far more evil at their worst than women. Women rulers rarely encourage the holocaust. Male rulers fill the history books.
On the optimistic and hopeful side, it takes a lot of pressure off of both men and women if there can be open communication about what they feel inside and how they WANT to behave. Fitting into a role you don’t want to play is a very difficult thing to do, though short term it can pay dividends.
Persuading women is often the same as persuading men, but depending on context, women are convinced by very different things than are men. Subject for another question, perhaps next month.
2) What are the 5 biggest emotional blocks to people getting what they want in life at both personal and professional levels?
Consider the first question today then know that after we’ve accounted for those two big factors, the next five would be,
Any one of these will stop most people in their tracks. Two is devastating for almost anyone. That means you have to fix these problems immediately.
3) Where do these horrible feelings come from? How do we get rid of them?
They could be justified or unjustified. In other words it can make sense to be fearful of a lion or bear ready to take a swipe at someone. It can also be irrational to be afraid to stand up in front of an audience that’s essentially friendly, there because they want to be.
“See a good therapist” is like saying, “see a good doctor” because “mine is the best.” Of course they are. OK, that’s not right or possible. There are 5 – 10% of doctors or therapists that are good but gambling on maybe and “hoping for the best” is only 10% of the solution. The answer does come with talking through these feelings with someone who will direct you to the core points. Where did they really begin, have they grown or have they come and gone? What are the triggers? Have you stopped the behaviors that generated the reactions (some of which were possibly legit and some of which probably weren’t)? What about making amends, if not with others, with yourself.
Imagine you ask god for forgiveness. Assume you get it and then imagine what god would have you do for the world around you, people, individuals not organizations, that you can do good for in ways that far supersede the defective behaviors that were exhibited. There will come a point where you will know that you have done good for others and for yourself.
Finally regardless of your negative feelings (per se) always ask, “are they justified?” “How specifically?” “How else?” “If my best friend did/thought these things what would I tell that person?”
Talk to ONE person, not Facebook, not others. Never put your issues in public. That is a disaster for you, your future, your family. Your issues are exacting a toll and when you have others “commenting on your feelings” you now have worse than the average therapist, you have worse than the average friend. Never do this.
This will help get you started…
4) What does a relationship look like without unnecessary fear, anger, resentment, guilt, shame?
This is tricky because if you simply erase guilt, for example, without repair and without making amends and doing good for others, you have likely created a monster of yourself.
The psychological phrasing is “sociopathic behavior” because simply erasing feelings means you can’t empathize with others. And you don’t want to be the psychopath/sociopath next door and you don’t want them living with you.
5) I don’t hear you use the word “toxic” very often. Why not? What would be a toxic relationship?
Toxic is poison essentially means poison or deadly. Once someone has labeled you or your relationship with someone as toxic you have that label stick in your mind forever, at least in the context of the “friend” who used it.
To use the word toxic without knowing all the facts, all the history, all the details, all the motives, is dangerous. You never want to use that word with another person you love or care about, in reference to someone in their life or yours.
There absolutely are toxic people. Most people who can’t empathize are poisonous to someone who can empathize.
Labels are nasty in general. I’m not a fan in psychology and I’m not a fan in non psychological discussions.
Plenty of behaviors are stupid. Plenty of people are stupid (they excel in ridiculous or poor behavior) But plenty of people are not toxic.
A toxic relationship would be one with extremely negative physical actions toward another person.
A person who hits a wall instead of a person has done good.
The person who is angry but asks to talk, even if the conversation is a bit heated, that’s better. Better yet is being certain not to label people. Never swear at people, “you fkr” doesn’t help and may be disastrous. Never label a person. “You are evil.” Even if it’s true, the best you can be in conflict is looking to not blame. If you avoid blame, avoid physical contact, flying objects, share how you feel and ask how they feel and agree to never have these problems again, is a step in the right direction.
6) When looking at our past, most people seem to believe that they are destined to be that person forever. If a person is comfortable with their character in consideration to the idea of being -something- some label of their character, true or false, what should they do?
Recent behavior predicts upcoming results. Behavior in the far past does not predict upcoming results. Everyone has behaviors that could have been different and learning from those behaviors and the results of those behaviors is important in changing, evolving, improving, “growing” today and tomorrow.
Without a driver, a strong motivating factor or factors (positive or negative) people tend to maintain the status quo, for better or worse, for long periods of time. Incentives and punishments will often make a difference.
I was in a California mid level prison to interview a sheriff. They were getting ready to go on a fire crew. There was very little security for the guys walking out the door with the guards. I asked about it considering my security check coming in was fairly impressive. I saw nothing of the kind on their departure. “Aren’t you concerned they’ll try to escape?”
Sheriff smiled, “They always come back.”
I believed him. And it was concerning.
SAT (standard achievement tests) predict grades at University. Graduating university/college in the U.S. (not Europe) is directly correlated to income. In the U.S. graduating advanced levels of degrees is directly related to increased income.
There are lots and lots of things that predict behaviors going forward. If someone has punched someone in the past they are likely to do it in the future. Once the brain learns any behavior it now has a pathway (literally) to do it again. Doesn’t mean the person will, it just means the likelihood over a “blemish free” past is now significantly increased.
Serial entrepreneurs aren’t likely to look for “jobs” and people with standard government and corporate jobs aren’t likely to transition intentionally to entrepreneurial work though obviously this is something I’ve worked with people on for two decades and guarantee you it can be more than a little successful transition.
You aren’t destined to be the past IF you have motive and desire to change and you have the tools (whatever they are to the circumstance) to change.
Finally most people outside of the socio pathological team can change and it’s simply a factor of effort, team, motives, tools. This is true in most behavioral aspects.
7) What’s the most important thing in personal success?
The relationships with those in your immediate proximity and then those in family and friends who you are in regular contact with. Problems of numerous different kinds (lack of respect, lack of appreciation, too little money, where to spend money, impingement on personal freedoms, people cheating in all or any ways) with spouses, friends, lovers, your kids can eventually erase personal success. The context, the “environment.”
After all of those things the next most important factor is self regulation and the use of those precious self regulation units you get every day.
If that’s true the secret to personal success is to surround yourself with people who give you life and will save your life when things go bad around you.