Ever had one of those life incidents where one comment, one sentence defines your life to that point in said life? In reading The Female Brain, on page 15, Dr Louann Brizendine shares, in early brain development in girls, we learn to read faces, cannot stand not being able to read unemotional faces, and will go out of our way to get an unresponsive face, to show positive emotion, towards us. It is how we know whether we are, “…worthy, lovable, or annoying.” She then says,
“Little girls do not tolerate flat faces. They interpret an emotionless face that’s turned toward then as a signal they are not doing something right. …girls will go after the face until they’ll get the reaction they expect.”
I remember this, as far back in my memory as I can go. I remember adoring my Granddaddy Coy because his love for me was all over his face! I’ve seen a picture of me, about 3-4 years old, at his cabin in Red Feather Lakes CO, with pure joy on my face!
But then in the book, Dr Brizendine, says something that really floored me, with its connection, to a truth about my life. After talking about how little girls go after emotionless faces to gauge their value, she says,
”It’s the same kind of instinct that keeps a grown woman going after a narcissistic or otherwise emotionally unavailable man— “If I do it right, he’ll love me.”
I can’t begin to express the investment of my time, effort and heart, with unacceptable situations with men, wasted in this effort. Relationships, marriages, family, bosses, clients, etc, etc, etc… and I know so many women in the same boat! It is why women, gather closer together, as we get older, wiser and support each other.
We want our friends to be happy and will help them get and stay there any way we can. When our womenfriends step outside of best choices we will give them the look. They know. We know they know. They know we know they know. They know we are there for them, loving them regardless of whether we understand their choices or not. We all understand being in unhealthy relationships and staying in them too long. We recognize we stay with our men for the same reasons we love our men anyway. We aren’t good at quitting and we forget easily, the difficulties we had last time! We like to believe things will work out, magically flip into something sweet we envisioned in the beginning. And when it doesn’t, and we get to the place, where no matter how much we love said man, we find, we love ourselves more and have had enough, our womenfriends are there to mop up our faces, hold us in their hearts and make us laugh at the ridiculousness of life. They will also help us find a new place, pack and move!
And they are quick to point out, that like the old bumper sticker, A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. And womenfriends tell us everything will be okay in the end and it is in the faces of our womenfriends, we get the sweet emotions, we need, to feel we are loved.