It’s not about the Nail – Why men always want to fix things and what to do about it

This hilarious video highlights an important truth about empathy that can cause lots of problems in relationships or be a powerful source of connection.

Fabulous Imago Therapist Pat Love in a recent talk commented on the fact that the brain actually has two empathy networks. The first is the one most woman are familiar with called the mirror neuron network.

This network enables us to literally feel into the world of another.  Mirror neurons were discovered  by accident during some trials on monkeys brains.  During a break one of the researchers grabbed some of the monkeys’ peanuts and began shelling and eating them.  The watching monkeys’ brain lit up as if they were actually eating the peanuts themselves.

Fun point: A similar version of this experiment can be tried by getting some men to watch any of the many Jackass episodes where one of the guys gets kicked in the testicles – observe how the watching men silent curl up around themselves and moan in a classic empathy display.

The second network is what Pat Love calls the TPJ (Temporal Parietal Junction) network.  This part of the brain assimilates incoming data in order to assess a best course of action.  It’s what enables firemen, ER nurses, doctors and paramedics to come to a disaster scene and triage how to most effectively help.

Men obviously are socialised more towards the TPJ network in fact Pat Love’s book How to improve your marriage without talking about it trades on this fact.

End of Part 1 – in Part 2 I’ll give some practical tips on how to utilise this difference to improve your relationship.

9 thoughts on “It’s not about the Nail – Why men always want to fix things and what to do about it

  1. kokkieh says:

    This is important not only for our relationships, but for our interaction with other people in general. How often, when we encounter people who are in trouble, we just want to fix things, Extreme Home Makeover-style, without actually first finding out what is really the problem and listening for how we can be the most help to those people. I’m convinced this is where the proverb about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions comes from – people who jump in to help without listening first.

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  3. mulheres lindas says:

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your web site.

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