How many times have we heard the lament, “But he never talks about his feelings.” And in many ways this lament is the truth but most people don’t have a clue why. Enter Shelly Taylor, PhD of UCLA. Taylor did the first research specifically on women and stress and found that women respond significantly differently from men. While men are more prone to “fight or flight” Taylor found that women are not inclined to follow suit. Women, she found, are more likely to “Tend and Befriend.” That is, women are more likely to move towards other people and interact. In other words they are more likely to talk about it! All too often this leaves women wondering why men and boys don’t do the same thing. But alas! Men and boys have very different ways to process things. You can learn more about those things by reading Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: Understanding The Unique World of Boys. Find out the ways men and boys use “Fight or Flight” to process their upset.
“My son wants to win. Nearly all the time. When he doesn’t he gets upset. He won’t quit playing his video game until he reaches level 22. Food, rest, drink, nothing stops him.” I hear this often from parents. They scratch their heads about their boys being intent on coming in first or as close to the top as he can make it. Why is this?
Improved research techniques have revealed that testosterone is less about aggression or violence, and is more about striving for status. Wanting to be on top. This has been fuel for men for centuries to compete against each other to do things such as explore, research, create music, architecture or just about any other endeavor. Cultures worldwide have been created through this sort of energy. So when you see your boys striving for status understand they come by it honestly.