Q. I am sure you have heard this said as a joke, but I am dead serious: “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” You’re a brain function specialist. Why are male-female relationships so difficult?

A. I suppose the bigger question may be, “Why do human relationships seem so difficult at times?” In my brain’s opinion is comes down to expectations. Albert Einstein was reported as saying: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Every brain on planet earth is unique and unlike any other. Period. That’s the reason comparing one brain with another is such a dead-end street. With emerging brain scanning research on brain differences in general and more specifically between general types of brains i.e. males and females, much of relationship and communication difficulties may boil down to expectations.

In my experience, altering my expectations that another brain will ever perceive life as I do has been life-changing and life-saving in many ways. In terms of communication, period, never mind cross-gender communication, how many people truly “speak the same language even when they think they are speaking the same language?”

Recently I read a quote by Carl Rogers that is quite interesting, especially if you substitute the word “brain” for the word “sunset.” Hope you enjoy it. I certain did!

One of the most satisfying feelings I know—and one of the most growth-promoting experiences for the other person—comes from my appreciating this individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right-hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.

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