Background. Judging the behavior of others is a necessary function of life. We judge harshly when others’ actions or words make us feel bad about ourselves. We judge kindly when they make us feel good. It’s not so much what they do, it’s how it impacts us and how our reactions spring from our feelings at the moment. The accumulation of micro judgments compiles into our opinion of the worth to us of the one we judge. However, the process makes a huge turnaround after conquest. Men and women judge quite differently after than before conquest; they primarily use another sensor.
The Natural Way. As hunter-conqueror and sex prey before conquest, his eyes and her ears are the dominant sense organs. Within any relationship that follows conquest, they switch. Their relationship primarily depends upon what he does to and for her and what she says to and about him. Thus, her femaleness urges her to judge by looking at what he does. His maleness urges him to judge after hearing that she says something and, if relevant to his interest, listening to what she says.
Irony follows. His ears and her eyes play the most important roles at energizing their behavior. It explains why innocent actions often offend and reactions often seem to not be directly connected. Such as:
- Her nagging assaults his ears, which tends to make him want to avoid the noise by favoring his most natural sensor, his eyes. Perhaps by looking for other attractive females (which means that nagging also reduces her attractiveness).
- His laziness spoils her vision of their future.
- He hears about her gossiping about him, and he feels doubly offended by her apparent betrayal.
- She sees that he won’t ask for a pay raise, and she loses respect for his courage in the mistaken belief that she knows what’s best for him at his job.
- She sees him refuse to take time off from work for her, and she feels taken for granted or less important than his job.
- He hears her whining about lack of money. He becomes de-motivated instead of energized to do better, especially when he also sees that she’s not as frugal as he and is also well-clothed and -fed.
- He hears her speak admirably of another man. First, he feels inadequate in whatever feature/trait she admires. Second, he gets more suspicious than if he sees her talking to some other guy.
- She sees him flirting, which to her is worse than hearing him admire another female. (His admiration of another does not register with her as emotional infidelity—at least not at first, that is.)
- She sees that he’s extra tight with money. She hears his reasoning but intends to never agree, which separates their interests about money.
- She sees him litter the house wherever he goes. She flares visibly and he learns quickly to disregard her.
He trusts his judgment when he can see her reactions, which enables him to more easily disregard her. He figures he sees the full picture; her messages get through loud and clear. But, precisely because of loud and clear, he can easily disregard her. He can more easily identify his interest and weigh his risk.
He’s not so confident of his judgment when he hears her displeasure. He seeks efficiency in his judgments, but he’s less sure he perceives the whole picture, or that he’s gotten the full message clearly. Doubt intrudes. Consequently, her words spoken gently, shrouded in indirectness, crowded with curiosity, and lacking in blame generate delays in his judgments and carry more weight and influence.
Her success in getting what she wants takes us back to this sentence at the top: “His maleness urges him to judge after hearing that she says something and, if relevant to his interest, listening to what she says.” She has to first learn—long courtship maybe?—how to make it habitual with him to listen immediately rather than hearing her and deciding what to do next. When she can close that gap, she emerges on top of relationship communication. Imagine it this way, he isn’t truly devoted until he habitually listens rather than just hears before making judgments. Reduced to the simplest form, true devotion depends on sincere listening at her first words.
Both change after conquest. One major change is that they switch dominant sensors from what prevails outside any subsequent relationship. Relationship management calls for utilizing those phenomena to solidify and harmonize the relationship, which requires relationship expertise that men lack.