Watch: Why Women Are More Anxious Than Men

By: Brianna Weist

I recently watched (and some of you may be familiar with) a set of social experiments in which a group of men and then a group of women agreed to go on a date with a person they met on Tinder – a model, who would be in a fat suit when they arrived.

The experiment claims to be based on the fact that number one fear for women dating online is that they’ll meet a serial killer, and the number one fear for men is that the woman will be fat.

Low and behold, when each of the men arrived and met their date, they were… offended. They were mad because they felt lied to, and did little to cover their displeasure with the woman’s appearance. Only one of them didn’t walk away or excuse himself to the bathroom – never to return. But none gave her a chance, or took any interest in getting to know who she was, all because she wasn’t thin.

Now, as I was watching this, I’ll be honest. I was thinking, well, okay, it’s not completely unreasonable to be off-put if you’re expecting one thing, and get another…

That was, until I saw the women’s video.

Not one of them walked away. They gave the guy a chance. They connected with him. They laughed at his jokes. They did acknowledge that they were disillusioned about his appearance, but they were not rude or entitled about it.

… And one of them kissed him at the end. Another offered up a second date. They got to know who he really was, because they were able to see past their expectations about what he should be.

Click to watch video for men

Click to watch for women

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that research shows women are twice as prone to anxiety as men, are twice as often diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and that women are significantly “more inclined toward negative emotion, self-criticism, and endless rumination about [their] problems.”

But here is the important part: we also know that this is not the result of a biological or hormonal difference. Indicating that it is, unsurprisingly, cultural.

Simply, women are not encouraged to honestly acknowledge their feelings and cope with them in proactive, mindful ways – and this is mostly to maintain how others perceive them.

Taylor Clark dubs this the “skinned knee effect,” wherein from a young age, boys are encouraged to confront their fears, and girls are encouraged to hide them. “If little Olivia shows fear, she gets a hug; if little Oliver shows fear, he gets urged to overcome it.”

And when these emotions “go underground,” they become ingrained in the subconscious, and then begin to have a huge and often overlooked impact on day-to-day interactions.

Studies also tell us that women tend to be insidiously competitive, jealous and spiteful toward other women, especially those they are close to. Because they are taught not to win at someone else’s expense (to be a perpetual people-pleasers and peace-makers) their healthy, natural, normal, innate competitiveness must become tempered.

And the more it is inhibited, the more it remains unacknowledged. As anybody can tell you, as soon as you pack a feeling away in a dark closet… it becomes a potential monster that you have to prepare yourself for – and that feeling of dread and suppression begins to bleed into otherwise unthreatening, daily situations.

Though these are just a few examples plucked from the pile of research on the anxiety gender gap, the point is that anxiety is, in an abstract sense, the anticipation that something ‘bad’ is coming, or the fear that one cannot handle it.

More accurately, the fear that they cannot hide it.

It’s the running idea that bad things cannot be dealt with because feelings cannot be felt. And so the fear of them, the fear of losing culturally-induced composure, compiles into anxiety. Intense anxiety. Unbearable anxiety that remains dormant until something sets it off and it crops up endlessly. “I know this sense of panic and urgency is coming from somewhere… and so I must search for it, project it and deal with it in ways that aren’t actually addressing the root of the problem.”

Women suffer greater anxiety than men because they’re taught… not to. They’re denied simply being honest about their feelings, and most often in a way that convinces them it will yield positive results. It will make people love them. They will seem “together.”

But at what cost?

In terms of the women in the experiment, certainly they were kinder, more positive, and opened themselves up to the possibility for real romance, but only because they were conditioned to be just that: open, accepting and willing, no matter what.

Who is to say they were actually interested in that man? I certainly am not. But what we do know is that the men who were not interested in their date didn’t have to pretend for the sake of someone else’s feelings.

There isn’t an anxiety gap. There is an honesty gap, and there is a decency gap. There’s a middle ground on which we each need to rest a foot: that you can be honest without hurting someone intentionally, that you can cope with your feelings without being violent or cunning about it, and most importantly, that it’s human to feel on edge when your instincts are being compressed. That the most we need to do is let our inner demons out and discover they were nothing more than the fear that they could be something else.

Let me know what you think about this by commenting your opinion.

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How To Write The Best Story Of Your Life

  • Each new day is an opportunity to write a new story; a blank page to start over and begin writing a new chapter. You have pages to fill with your own words. You have sentences to live by and characters to support your story. Make sure you write a story that you love, a story you are proud of, a story your children and grandchildren will want to read over and over again, and make sure you write an authentic one, an original one, a story that reflects your life, your dreams and your desires – not a copy of someone’s life or a story someone else has written for you. Here is how to write the best story of your life.
  • Start by building the right characters. Your characters are the ones that make your story come to life, and they are an integral part of your journey. Pick the right characters, the ones that will stick with you till the end of the story, the ones that will support you when your story is falling apart, the ones who will fill all your pages and chapters, and the ones who will help you write a happy ending.
  • Find the purpose of your story. What are you trying to tell the world? What are you here for? And what story do you want people to read about you? Find a meaning to your story that makes you come alive and inspires you to wake up every day. Find a meaning that keeps your story interesting and keeps you interested , find a meaning to fight for, live for and die for.
  • Don’t let defeat put an end to your story. Every great story has periods of despair, failures and defeats, but this is what makes it even more compelling and this is what makes it even more substantial. This is the climax of your story and the turning point. This is when you start changing and your whole story changes. It now becomes about how you handle defeat, how you rise up after you fall down, and how you change the direction of your life after failure. A victorious ending requires a series of lost battles.
  • Pick an exciting theme. The theme is one of the most fundamental components of your story. Pick a theme that ends each chapter with hope, faith, and a desire to make tomorrow better. A theme that makes your character stronger in every chapter, a theme that makes people root for you and want to see you make it to the end. Pick a positive theme, a humorous tone maybe, or a theme that depicts the strength in struggle and the beauty in vulnerability.
  • Love is the essence of your story. Your story will be very weak without the power of love. You have to write a story of love and passion. Love is what keeps the story moving forward. It could be a lover, a friend, your work, your parents, your children, God or the love of the journey, the love of the unknown, or even your struggle to find love and define it. No matter how you tackle it, love is the crux of your story.
  • Don’t worry so much about the ending. Pay more attention to the details of your story and the way it’s unfolding. The best writers often don’t know how their story will end, they just start writing and the ending comes to them after they’ve shaped the main plot. If you focus too much on the ending, you might miss out on the whole story.
  • Give it a spectacular title. The title is what summarizes your story in a few words. It’s what makes people want to read your story. It’s your choice how you want people to perceive your story. Each day you make a choice as to whether the title ends with a question mark, a period, or an exclamation point.

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Bodies?

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Body

If we could see souls instead of bodies, what would be beautiful?

What is the first thing people would know about you? What would you be most afraid of them seeing? Who would you impress? Who would you love?

What would you adjust as you walked past the mirror? What kind of work would you be in? What would your goals be, how would you strive to be better if what you collected in the bank or put on your body or attached next to your name on a business card no longer affected what people saw?

Would you spend your time in gyms and stores or in libraries and temples? Who would you let yourself fall in love with? What would your ‘type’ be? Tall, dark and handsome or creative, kind and self-aware?

Who would we idolize, and what? How much of our governing body would be fit to lead? Who would we make famous? Who would we celebrate?

Would we restructure our value system to prioritize the things that bring us true peace and desire, not just better than the norm? What would we do with all that money, if we weren’t spending it on decorating and changing and convincing everybody else that we are a way we really aren’t?

How would we define success? As who gathers the most shit around their souls or who is transformed the most and shines the brightest? What would it be like, if our priority was to just become lightness? What kindness and joy and healing and rawness would come of the journey there?

What would happen if we could see people not as “bad,” but as… blocked? If we could see the ways they’ve packed away their pain, or how they hold a belief that keeps them away from being kind to others? How they are unaware that those issues even exist?

What if we weren’t afraid of the ways people are different than us?

What would happen if we realized our bodies never wanted anything more than to feel connected, and acted out on nothing more than their false ideas of being separate, different, exiled, the odd one out, the almost-but-not-good-enough?

What would happen if we embraced our desire to play out and frame with our individualism, but eventually returned to the knowing that we are all just energy fields? And where would we be if we realized that we were all from the same one? What would happen if we realized we really weren’t that different at all?