From complaints to solutions
As I explained in my previous article titled “Why do we women complain so much“, the root of every complaint is the dissatisfaction with something and, at the same time, the expression of the desire for this something to change or be changed. That means that complaints can be constructive. But how can we come to see them in such a way and recognize their value? What is the solution?
Many of us women have learned that complaints are the only solution. We are faced with a problem and, effortlessly, one more complaint comes out of our mouths. I have suffered for many years from this evil! And the worst thing is that I didn’t even notice.
Complaining is a solution because it works
But why do women complain so much? Firstly, because this strategy has worked in the past and was adopted unconsciously for this same reason. If someone complains about being hungry, our impulse is to offer them food, right? If a girl tells her boyfriend that favorite purse is worn down, he might listen to her complaint, take note of it and give her a new one on Valentine’s Day.
In the scenario I just described, the complaint could turn out to be effective. It would be an indirect way of asking for a new purse. I don’t see anything wrong with that… except that maybe the message — more precisely, its pragmatic meaning — won’t be understood, so no action will be taken and the one who complained might end up disappointed.
To avoid the possibility of disappointment, why not just say, “I need a new purse. Would you give me one on Valentine’s Day?” It is absolutely necessary to learn that we have the right to express our needs directly and desires without feeling guilty about it.
Empowerment lies, first of all, in making it clear to the other person that they will not be criticized for being direct. Secondly, it consists in showing them that they have the ability to meet their own needs and fulfil their own desires. Since this is a new reality for some women who have just left their parents’ home, it is important to support them at the beginning of this process.
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The solution to unspoken expectations
Let us return to the previous example. What if the girlfriend hints that she wants a new purse and her boyfriend doesn’t catch it? She’ll complain. What if he gives her a perfume when what she expected was a purse? She’ll complain too… and probably not say why.
Tacit expectations are a source of conflict. Many of them stem from cultural differences.
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Expecting unspoken expectations to be met is as fair as pouring oil on the floor of a dark room and not telling the person who is entering it to watch out. Of course they will slip and get hurt. All for lack of communication.
Many expectations are unconscious and/or cultural. So it would be very difficult to make a list of them. Knowing that, the easiest thing is to communicate them every time they cause a conflict. Just say, “I’m disappointed because what I wanted as a gift was a purse.”
This way, the reason for the conflict and the complaints becomes clear, as does the desire hidden behind it, which makes it possible for this desire to be fulfilled.
To find out more about the male perspective of the matter, I recommend this article, entitled “Things men complain about women“.