Something interesting happened at work today; I got a front row view of alpha behavior from one of my co-workers–and I have to say, I am impressed.
One of the things I have noticed about women in general is their tendency to let their emotional state block rational analysis–not hinder, but out and out block. Today, a young lady approached my desk looking for directions to a department that is located in a building several blocks away. When I tell her this, she complains, “But the webpage said it was here”.
Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s not located in this building–it’s over at XX address.”
Her: “But I checked the web–it’s supposed to be here.”
Co-worker: “I understand your confusion, but he’s right.”
Her: “But the–”
Co-worker: “Look. If you don’t listen to what I say, you won’t understand what I’m trying to tell you. You have to go to XX address, because that is where you’ll find what you are looking for, ok?”
The moment he said “Look,” I saw a definite change in her behavior; when she spoke to me, she kept looking around, confused and unfocused–clearly upset. When my co-worker said “Look,” she snapped into focus, and was visibly listening to him.
I think I understand something about what I’ve been doing wrong in my interactions with women. I tend to look at things from a problem-solving mindset–what does this person need to solve their problem? Is it directions, information, support? I then offer them what they need, and expect them to respond as I would. That wasn’t working with this woman, because she was too emotional (upset at being wrong) to do the logical thing (take the correct info and move on). This is actually kind of common, now that I think about it–all to often, people ask me for information, and then don’t listen.
My co-worker knew what to do; he took command of the situation, and directed her to the appropriate location. He led, while I suggested. He actively changed her behavior, while I passively attempted to do so.
The closest thing I can relate it to (and brother, would I catch hell if I said it out loud where I work) is what Caesar Millan does with dogs: he assumes leadership status and leads dogs to a calmer, more submissive state. My co-worker did the same thing–he assumed leadership status and lead her to a calmer, more submissive state.
I don’t think I’ve ever done that with a woman before–if I have, I did so without realizing it.
After all I’ve been through, I’m still acting passive; I’m sliding right back into the same fucking behavior that has made me miserable all along.