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Female Emotion

How and why does this stuff work? Why does language turn women on?

In order to really get a handle on this effect, it's helpful to remember that men and women process emotion very differently.

How so?

A man experiences an emotion like he would a hand that is punching them or caressing him. The feeling is sharp, sudden, localized, and temporary. For that matter, a typical man's brain seems to reflect this emotional localization: emotional excitement in the male brain seems largely confined to the right hemisphere. In the typical woman, emotional processing seems to take place not only in the right hemisphere, but in the left hemisphere as well. Further, the corpus callosum—the connective tissue between left and right brain hemispheres—is thirty percent thicker in the average female brain than in the average male brain, so that a greater quantity of intuitive, emotional, right-hemisphere-based information flows to and affects the analytical left-hemisphere.

Put crudely and simplistically, the female brain seems wired to generate and experience more emotion than the male brain.

For our purposes, it's useful to presuppose that a woman's emotions are much stronger and more numerous than a man's. She experiences an emotion as though it is something immense, all-enveloping, impossible to ignore—as though it is an ocean in which she is completely immersed. Whereas a man might experience a variety of emotions, then disregard most or all in favor of trying to find a way to reach a chosen objective, for a woman, each of those emotions is individually significant, and each needs attention and resolution. For a woman, an emotion isn't one part of the picture, to be prioritized or factored out; emotions determine the picture. How do you think about that meeting next week when you are flailing in ice-cold water? How can you be worried about that project when you are in a profoundly relaxing sauna? Women experience emotions as places or tangibles—their emotions are the environments within which physical events, which are comparatively unimportant, tend to occur. To convey an emotion to a woman, you should describe it as a place, a space, or an object with qualities you can see and feel and touch and hear. ("The feeling is so powerful that it's like a red laser which just pierces your rationalizations, you know?")

For a woman, then, emotions determine perceptions. What she feels right now is going to determine how she experiences things right now. Her perceptions of past, present, and future events are subject to revision, based on what she's feeling at any given time.

Given the intensity of female emotion, it makes sense that women seem to have different priorities than men, and to focus on different things as being meaningful. A woman experiences facts, incidents, physical events within the "objective", external world as the thin black outlines of a picture; her emotional responses to the facts of the physical world are the colors of a picture, and the colors' intensity and power can easily render facts and objective data trivial by comparison.

Next we'll examine how the female experience of emotion relates to the female experience of language.

Review

1. Women's emotions are stronger and more compelling than men's.

2. Women feel emotions as if the emotions are huge physical places that they are inside or solid, tangible things whose impact they can physically feel.

3. Women's emotions determine their perceptions and sensations—if they are not prepared for something emotionally, they will still react badly to it, even if it feels good physically.

4. Women's emotional responses are more meaningful and compelling to them than the "real-world" and "the facts".

X. Metafeelings and the Structure of Romance

Female emotions are comparatively complex.

Female language is comparatively complex.

The complexity of female emotion seems directly related to the complexity of female language.

With women, you can use rich language to generate rich emotions.

For women, emotion connects powerfully to language, so let's examine the differences between the way men and women deal with words.

For men, language is informational. We listen in order to gather facts and thereby accomplish our objectives more easily. We say things so that people around us understand what we want them to understand. Speech serves the same function as the newspaper.

For women, language is informational, but it's also emotional. It's not just news, it's experience. It's not reading the newspaper, it's playing in the sprinklers and eating ice cream and pretending to be a ballerina and going to a junior prom and dancing and cuddling and kissing in the bleachers. Remember what we said before—women use more of their brains when interpreting language than do men. Language, for women, is connected with emotion. They get their emotions out, and find out what their emotions are, by talking—and this works the other way around, too. By listening, they take emotions in. You can very quickly get them to feel powerful emotions by describing powerful emotions to them. Words, for women, are emotional tools, just like hammers and saws are, for men, physical tools. Both reliably produce solid results.

Words, for women, are rich experiences, things to be felt and savored. Words, for women, are as powerful as bombs or bouquets. When you speak to a woman, you have the opportunity to create a rich, colorful, intense experience that transports her into the world of her own fantasies. When you give her what she dreams about, she finds it easy and natural to give you access to her body.

What does she dream about, and how do you give it to her? To learn the answer to these, we need only examine that source which women so often consult, and of which they are often so ashamed: the romance novel. Literally fifty percent of the books that are sold each year are romance novels. Obviously, they help to meet a powerful need.

Now, the obvious assumption is that the need they are meeting is the one advertised in the genre name: "romance," with all its connotations of beautiful, chaste heroines finding fulfillment atop castles set on wind swept moors, this in the arms of rich, roguish, yet passionate sword-wielding he-men.

It's true that the content of the fantasy is part of the romance novel's appeal. But a very, very powerful part of the romance novel's appeal is its form—specifically, the particular way that it uses language. Adjectives and adverbs fly freely. Description is lush and elaborate. Most importantly, this richness of description is not limited to things one can see and hear and touch.

♦ The crucial, driving element of the romance novel—the feature that allows it to hook so deeply into the fantasy lives of so many women—is its use of words to describe subtle, complex emotions.

♦ These "subtle, complex" emotions are second- and third-order emotions, that is, emotions about emotions, and emotions about emotions about emotions.

♦ Both sensation and emotion are described in great detail; in situations where a male reader might think no adjectives are needed, clusters of two, three or more are often supplied.

♦ Rich, layered descriptions of intense emotional states will induce those emotional states.

A simple feeling is something like this: "The sun feels warm on my skin." A complex feeling—a feeling about a feeling—a metafeeling—is something like this: "The sun feels warm on my skin, and this makes me feel alive and renewed." Somehow the physical feeling leads to a metafeeling of "renewal"—and the metafeeling will be more important for a woman than the physical feeling that kicked it off. Metafeelings, for women, explain and make sense of physical feelings. (Men make sense of metafeelings, to the extent they have them, by relating them to physical feelings and things they can see and touch and hear.)

For women, abstract concepts like "communication" and "love" and "relationship" and "connection" and "destiny" determine the meaning of physical events. So, as we'll explain in greater detail later, you can get her to experience and interpret physical events the way you want her to by relating these physical events to abstract ideas that she likes. Connect the physical events you want to take place with the abstract concepts that she values, and she'll perceive the physical events through the lens of those concepts—the physical events will then become valuable to her.

Metafeelings are often more complex than the simple example about warmth and renewal we just gave, because women's emotions easily cascade—one emotion leads to another, which leads to another. Here's an example of somewhat greater complexity: "Feeling how warm the sun is on my skin sort of makes me feel alive and renewed. It makes me feel like my life is now in the kind of space where it's safe to be open, and this lets me know our being together like this is meant to be—it's fate, it's destiny."

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Notice that our hypothetical speaker got from feeling sunlight on her skin to feeling that you and she were "destined" to be together. Was her chain of reasoning logical? No. But it's not really a chain of reasoning—it's a chain of experience. You can easily build experiences just like that one, and a woman will find them meaningful and compelling.

Men tend not to get wrapped up in meta-feelings. Emotions about emotions, to the extent that men feel them, tend to pass fairly quickly, and not feel that intense in the first place—certainly men feel them less intensely than women do. Men are driven most strongly by physical feelings and their immediate thoughts and responses to these physical feelings.

For women, on the other hand, metafeelings are what life is about. Objects and actions—the things men care about—are, for women, just convenient things that give them an opportunity to experience metafeelings. A fact or an action, for women, is like a clotheshanger; mounted on it, like a glorious, glamorous Gaultier dress, is an emotion, and which do you think matters—the dress or the hanger?

As we said before, facts and objects, for women, are just the outlines of the picture; the important, compelling, meaningful part of the picture is the emotional coloration. And the colors can easily contradict and overwhelm "the facts".

Metafeelings, for women, are very meaningful and very powerful; basically, the meaning of an incident or an action is the meta-feeling, the emotion, it produces. Emotions lead to other emotions, and the further removed, the more abstracted a metafeeling is from the basic sensation— the more metafeelings in the chain between a given metafeeling and the primary sensation—the higher the metafeeling is in the hierarchy of a woman's priorities, and the more influential that metafeeling will be.

To understand this hierarchy, pretend you're looking through a microscope. The physical event is furthest from your eye—it's down at a little plate at the bottom. Imagine there are various plates of glass, color filters, lenses, and so on, between the physical thing way down there and your eye. The further one of the intervening things, like a color filter or a lens, is from the object, the closer it is to your eye, and the more it will affect the way you see the object. A speck on the lens right in front of your eye, though actually tiny, will appear huge, and may even block out or radically distort the appearance of the physical object you're supposed to be looking at. Meta-feelings are like the various things between the physical object and the eye—they modify perceptions of "real-world" experience.

Words, as we know from fMRI scans, produce greater emotional response among women than men; in a sense, women use words in order to stack emotions atop one another, and thereby create complex emotional responses. Words, for women, are the linchpins of emotion. (At first glance, this contradicts what has become an academic cliché, the association of words with the left-brain, and with the male psyche, and the emotions with the right-brain, and the female psyche; perhaps a more sophisticated way of viewing the matter is that the emotionally detached use of language is a male province. For men, words have less richness, less savor, less power, than for women.)

1) These stacked, abstracted, higher-order emotions tend to baffle, or seem trivial, to men. The idea of "being in a space where I feel open to relating to you in a way which allows us to be physical and allows me to feel good about feeling you inside my heart like this while still feeling like I'm really being true to myself" seems, to men, at best unnecessary, and at worst insane. However, the female reliance on very complicated psychological processes is a good thing! Why?

2) You can emulate the structure of these metafeelings in your speech. You can talk the way women think and feel. By talking in the way of romance novels, by talking in the way that women talk to each other and to themselves, you can induce the very powerful emotions that women associate with this kind of language. You can very incite the kind of passion that most women dream about, just by talking to women in the specific way that they need.

Note that while some of these examples may have lots of words, the pattern is simple: Physical Feeling or Real-World Stimulus or Emotion X leads to Emotion Y, which leads to Emotion Z. Z is more meaningful and powerful and persuasive than Y, and Y is more powerful than X.

X leads to Y, which leads to Z.

(Example: "Awareness" leads to "connection," which leads to "love.") Z modifies and determines Y and X: Y, to a lesser degree, modifies and determines X.

I feel Z about Y, which comes from my experience of X. When you feel X, it gives you a sense of Y, and the great thing about Y is that it leads to Z.

The further you go up the hierarchy, from X to Y to Z to AA to BB to CC, etc., the more abstract and intangible the concept will become, and the closer it will be to her sense of "identity"—that is, who she "is", what she deserves, what she's destined to experience, how she relates to God or Allah or The Force or The Universe, etc.

And the further you go up the hierarchy, the more the abstraction you're dealing with will modify and determine—will frame—the things that lead up to it.

Review

1. Women experience emotions as environments or physical things.

2. You should describe an emotion to a woman as a place or something you can see or hear or feel or taste.

3. Men process language for information.

4. Women process language both for information and emotional content.

5. Words, for women, produce strong emotions.

6. Meta-feelings are emotions about physical events or other emotions.

7. The more abstract the meta-feeling, the more influential it is.

8. Women stack abstract words on top of each other in order to create meta-feelings.

9. You can stack abstract words atop one another to create strong emotions in women.

10. The more meta-feelings, the more emotions that you describe as following from a single event, the deeper the responses you elicit— each new emotion you describe sends her further into herself and generates a stronger emotional response.

11. Remember: women tend to have built-in, detailed fantasies connected with words about emotion. Therefore, saying a bubbleword with emotional implications (e.g., "connection," "trust," "sharing") will tend to cause a woman to feel something of what you are talking about.

12. Using several positive bubblewords in a single sentence will tend to send your female listener to an inward fantasy-land—that is, put her in a light trance, within which we'll feel very good and very emotionally responsive.

13. Use multiple adjectives: one, then another, then another, then another

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An example of stacked concepts. Notice how a physical experience, a physical feeling, leads to progressively more abstract emotions— meta-feelings. The more abstract the meta-feeeling, and the higher it is in our diagram, the more powerful and influential it will be. In this case, "destiny" supplies meaning for— and frames the interpretation of—everything shown below it.

XI. The Inward Spiral

The last chapter was pretty complex. Let's consider it from a different angle, so that what we're getting at is perfectly clear.

Men relate to primary experiences—whether a chair is physically comfortable, whether a deal makes a certain amount of money, whether something looks good or not. Women relate most to evaluations of and feelings about experiences, and feelings about their feelings.

For a woman, the important thing is not whether a chair is soft or in good condition or squeaky—the important thing is how she feels about the chair being soft or in good condition or squeaky. What's even more important is how the way she feels about the chair's physical attributes relates to feelings about things which are even more general—the way she feels about her life, and what the chair suggests to her about herself. Is she being authentic? Is she challenging herself? Is she feeling connected with herself or those around her? Is she following her destiny?

With women, the important thing is less the sensation than the value or the emotion.

Women easily and instinctively connect real-world, physical experiences—things that can be seen and felt and heard and touched— with concepts about what those experiences "mean". She makes connections between real-world things and emotions and abstract concepts, and the emotions and abstractions are much more important than the real-world things that led to them.

Why is this important?

Because you can choose any emotion or experience, and add the phrase, "this gives you a feeling of X."

X, for our purposes, should be something pleasant, because it's what she'll start to experience as you talk about it. Women naturally think in, and experience, chains of emotion. X leads to Y leads to Z.

For example, you might tell her that a feeling of comfort leads to a feeling of serenity and this leads to a feeling of being open to new experiences. Being open to new experiences, you might continue, leads to a feeling of knowing that you are growing and developing and in touch with your path.

None of these things has any necessary connection—but if you present one emotional state as leading to another, women will follow along and experience what you are talking about. Women's emotions cascade— one leads to another, and the more abstract the emotion, the more meaningful and powerful it is for her.

You can move her from one emotion to the next even more easily by putting pleasant metaphors between them. Bridge the gap with imagery.

Say, "When you feel X really powerfully, it's just like walking on the beach and feeling the waves caress the sand; and when you really feel that powerfully, it gives you a feeling of Y, which is just like when you gaze into the eyes of someone you are falling in love with, and that can really lead to a feeling of Z, which is just like feeling wings on your back, and knowing you are meant to fly..."tc.

The metafeelings, the emotions, you induce should become increasingly close to her values. In a seductive context, if you haven't elicited her values yet—if you haven't learned why she does what she does and what things she looks for and thinks about when making choices—you can usually rely on generic feminine values. We'll cover this more later, but they include things like connecting emotionally to someone special, a sense that emotional relationships drive everything else, believing that somewhere, there is Mr. Right, The One guy meant for her; believing that there are certain emotional experiences she needs and does not need at a given time; believing that life has phases during which some things are appropriate and other things aren't, and that there are few things more destructive than doing something, especially sexually or romantically, which isn't right for her, during this phase, or in the "emotional place" she's in; and believing that emotions and irrational, unexpected things like fate tend to overpower, and so must take precedence over, things like plans and beliefs and wishes. For women, emotions are what makes things possible or impossible—of course that's pretty much true for everyone, but women have that in the forefront of their minds.

emotion n (example: "utter freecfom'r}

Irthis makes me feel..." emotion 4 (example: "freedom")

1Fthis makes me feel..." emotion 3 (example: "profound awareness1')

Irthis makes me feel..." emotion 2 (example: "awareness")

Irthis makes me feel..." emotion 1 (example: "discovery")

Irthis makes me feel..." physical event, physical object, idea, or emotion

Continue reading here: Emotional Extrapolation

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