Thursday, July 18, 2019

Men Are Like Waffles

Try writing as a man sometime, figuring out what goes on in those handsome heads.
In Love Inspired Suspense books, half the story is seen from the hero’s point of view. I love reading these stories, because I, like every other woman on earth, want to know what our men are thinking.

Here’s the problem, most romance authors are women. So how do we get into our hero’s head? I’m fortunate to have some men, very good sports, who will bluntly tell me – a man wouldn’t care about this detail. A man would never say that line.

Beyond torturing friends, I’ve also done a lot of reading. According to Bill Farrel, behind that gorgeous smile is a waffle. That explains a lot!

Basically his theory says that a man’s mind is divided up into compartments, like the squares on a waffle. And, here’s the really hard part to comprehend – men can only be in one, maybe two boxes at a time. 

One of the things I found interesting from this book is how men de-stress. They actually have squares in their waffle set aside for that. We think they’re avoiding or ignoring us when they play golf or watch football, when in reality they’re in their decompression chamber recuperating from the day.

Women, on the other hand, like to talk things out. I’m not sure about you, but this need is so strong for me that if there’s no one to talk to, I’ll talk to myself. Or at least journal my thoughts until I have all my problems laid out and thoroughly discussed. Then, finally, I can relax.
We accuse our men of not wanting to talk about anything, ever. However, I have it on good authority that this isn’t true. Rather, they like to mull over their problem first, cleaning up the thorny underbrush until they have a clear understanding of the situation. Then they will seek wise counsel. We can be that trusted resource if we converse in an orderly manner.  

So when we’re talking to our hero we need to identity the square we wish to visit and stay there until we’re ready to move on, carefully closing that box before announcing the new location. That means discussing our toddler’s playground clash without obsessing about the certainty of a criminal career. Apparently our tendency to link current events to future outcomes jumps about fifteen boxes in a man’s mind.
I know. I see the linear connection of point A to point B. I’m just saying, when his eyes glaze over, pull back and evaluate how to match the conversation to his boxes.

If we want him to be our hero, we need to be his. That means recognizing and respecting his perspective. Once we’re anchored in the same box we can benefit from his complementary mindset. As Jerry Maguire said, “Help me help you.”

Read more in Bill and Pam Farrel’s book Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti