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srah succeeds where all self-help books have failed!

Lots of people claim not to understand the other sex, or claim that they're a different species or that they come from another planet. Personally, I can kind of see where men are coming from in that aspect. I am going to set out to demystify human relations. Or maybe just human-srah relations. Keep in mind that I have never read one of those self-help books, so I may be saying exactly what they've already come up with. Or I may just be spouting crap.

In Social Systems & Collections on Friday, our lecture discussed cognition, habit and emotion as three factors governing any decision or experience of the world in varying proportions. It's drawn as a triangle. An experience that involves mostly habit is represented by a point near the habit corner. If it combines habit and emotion, it's between those two corners.

According to Dr Cohen, since WWII, the most store has been put into the cognitive experiences, ignoring habit and emotion. But cognition is the slowest reaction of the three. And I think that perhaps it's quite slow in me. It felt very good to finally realize what was going on in my brain.

I think that whether it exists or not, most women have been trained to believe in "woman's intuition" and that we should do what our first instinct tells us. I don't think this is always a bad idea but men, not having been raised to appreciate their emotions, don't understand where our decision-making process is coming from, if not from the cognitive part of our brain.

Sometimes I do something and I don't understand why I'm doing it - I just understand that it's what something in my brain is telling me to do. Later I come up with a rationalization from the cognitive part of my brain, but this can sometimes be hours or days later.

For all I know, this could just be me. Maybe this isn't a problem between men and women. Maybe this is the problem between me and all of humanity. But even assuming that this makes some sense, if men haven't been raised to trust their first, emotional reactions over their cognitive ones, I'm not sure if they can relate to women in this way or understand what I'm talking about here. I guess I'd just ask that people be aware of different ways of dealing with different experiences.

Please give me your feedback. I would like to know if I am a genius or a quack or if I should just sit down and behave myself.

srah - Monday, 8 September 2003 - 8:48 AM

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Comments (10)

gravatar Jez - September 8, 2003 - 9:06 AM -

Have you heard about the new self-help book? Women are from Venus, Men are Wrong.

Men most certainly do have instincts/intuition, and sometimes most certainly do act solely based on this. Most times though, speaking for myself, I examine this instinct before acting.

You are part genius, part quack, but you should still sit down and behave yourself ;)

gravatar srah - September 8, 2003 - 9:25 AM -

I don't like to make broad generalizations like this, because I do know that there are men who trust emotional reaction and women who don't.

I really don't like generalizations at all. I don't think people should worry about "understanding men" or "understanding women"... they should accept everyone on a case-by-case basis rather than trying to understand them based on their gender. So I don't know what the point of this post was.

That said, I think men are generally socialized away from their emotions and women towards.

gravatar Mr. Hibbity Gibbity - September 8, 2003 - 9:31 AM -

Did this post come about as a result of what I wrote?

Hmmm. Good points all around.

I have an extension to this theory. That theory being that 'artist types' have the ability to bridge the gap between the two worlds of cognitive reasoning and emotional reaction.

Not only emboding both halves in themselves, but then also portraying such unison in their artwork . . . hmmmm, I'm not exactly sure how that last part works. Anyway . . .

At the same time, I think it's a hard balance to maintain. That's why many artists are so flighty - they're constantly struggling with their emotional and cognitive intuition.

If nothing else, it's an interesting theory.

(As for the food in my goatee . . . it's called 'saving a snack for later' Haha.)

gravatar richard - September 8, 2003 - 10:47 AM -

you convinced me.

I'm mostly cognitive, but I do sometimes have a spark of intuition, mostly it's a "be prepared" thing like, Bring your flashlight tonight, or someone needs a hug. But when I look back at it critically, there seem to have been little clues leading me to that "spark"
It's as if my brain put the clues together, reasoned out a solution, and told me what to do without telling me why or how it came to the conclusion. Sometimes I never know why. Or how I knew certain things.
I have learned to trust a woman's "intuition" because I feel that their brain does a lot more of this type of reasoning. I don't need them to tell me why, they don't need to know why, but it's usually right.

gravatar Mr. Hibbity Gibbity - September 8, 2003 - 10:50 AM -


It's truly amazing how the oppposite sex compliments one another.

gravatar Somewhat - September 8, 2003 - 11:48 AM -

You're a genius, obviously. Can't believe you had to ask ;-)

gravatar srah - September 8, 2003 - 11:49 AM -

Well, I knew it, but I wanted to make everyone else say it.

gravatar katie - September 8, 2003 - 1:29 PM -

I think you're on to something. In reference to the extreme ends of the generalized spectrum, I would say that women act on their feelings without thinking about it first, and that men act the way they think they should or the way they want to, without first considering the emotional repurcussions.

This is why I am such an advocate of RELAXING. Just be. If you have strong feelings that make you want to jump at an impulse, resist the urgency and act more relaxedly (??). If you think something to death and want to jump to execute your perfect plan, wait a bit and see how that plan will affect others, or yourself.


gravatar richard - September 8, 2003 - 5:23 PM -

you are getting ver-r-r-ry sle-e-e-eepy

gravatar Dan Cock - September 8, 2003 - 10:16 PM -

If women's decisions are based on intuition or emotional reaction, then there's no empirical basis to predict or decipher what the hell they're thinking. Being a guy, naturally that irks me. It means there's always gonna be lots of fumbling miscarriages of relationships.

Your post reminds me of a preview I saw for a new Woody Allen movie.

The girl says, "Couldn't you tell I liked you from the way I totally ignored you?"

The guy replies, "There was something compelling about your apathy."

I realize this comment in no way resolves or enlightens anything.

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