It is time for another “Craig’s Top Five List”. On Monday, we looked at male mocking with the conclusion that perhaps we would be wise to strive for a higher standard in the way we approach gender-based relationships. Here are a few suggestions:
- Acknowledge our differences: I am saying this as though it has never been voiced before, in the history of humanity. Of course, the exact opposite is true — it is hard to get through a day without some exasperated soul needing to exhale this sentiment. Clearly, you don’t know what you don’t know and under this condition, any form of growth is impossible. Otherwise stated, awareness is a prerequisite for change.
- Accept our differences: By now I am sure you have figured out that difference is code for what I don’t like, don’t understand and cannot accept about “them”. Since each gender represents fifty percent of humanity it may make sense to try something different; let’s face it — How is your current pattern working for you? Not so good?
- Stop the Veiled Criticism: There is something unifying about being able to share your frustration with those holding down membership in your gender club. Somehow, if they share your angst, it affirms the view that you’re not crazy. And if you are really courageous, you allow these whimsical commentaries on the other sex to slip out while they are present. After all, “its just a joke; I don’t really mean it. I am so tired of this politically correct stuff, aren’t you”? you offer to your membership. Well, if it smells like a dead fish and it looks like a dead fish, its probably a dead fish.
- Celebrate our strengths: Once we get past the frustrating parts of male-female relationships, we can rejoice in what we value in each other. We need to acknowledge reality –that we are attracted to each other for reasons other the physical; for example, passion, intelligence, courage, sensitivity, calm, creativity and so on. Its the deeper issues that truly define who we are.
- Treat Each Person as an Individual: If we can treat each person as unique, then we override the stigma of gender or for that matter any other way of classifying humanity. The more we choose to slice and dice humanity, the more we will frustrate our goal of unifying the human species.
I have just completed reading an amazing book entitled “Change”, based upon the principles of brief therapy. Clearly, surface or simple change is possible; however other forms of change demand more sophisticated solutions. More on this in a later post.
And that is the issue! Change is a difficult challenge. Can you see this prescription working? How are things in your workplace?