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18 May 2020

Understanding Women & Men: Interview With Alison Armstrong

Jairek Robbins

Alison Armstrong started conducting workshops about relationships in 1995 with a goal of reaching one million Americans but the workshops were limited to 16 women at a time because women were so angry and vengeful towards men.

Larger numbers at the “Understanding Women” workshops would be too much for Alison and her team to handle. Her message is so useful today that millions have benefited from it and continue to share it. She shares some of the most important things she has learned about women and men over the past 29 years.

Watch the video below:

Can’t Watch? Read The Interview Below!

Can women learn anything about themselves from the program you created called “Understanding Women”?

They do, and that’s why we encourage couples to get individual copies so that each of them can have their own experience. Lots of women are brought to tears when they learn from the program that something they thought was wrong with them or is personal to them is actually a normal thing amongst all women. It comes with the ovaries!

Women have a certain nature that is shaped by their hormones and all that makes them female, and this makes them see things differently from men. Think about it this way. If you have a Mac computer and a PC, their keyboards look basically the same, but while it would be reasonable to think that you can type something on the keyboard of the PC and have that stuff processed by the Mac, this doesn’t happen because the two systems are different!

That Mac computer vs. PC is an excellent metaphor of what we call hunting mode and gathering mode. Hunting mode is linear and has to do with problem-solving, being results-oriented, direct, uses few words. It is all about get it done, get it done, get it done!

In contrast, the Mac or gathering mode in this case is for the artist, it is intuitive, it has a whole lot of options. Do you want to do it this way, or that way? What about this other possibility? Can you consider this as well?

This difference brings a lot of problems. The hunting mode is focused on a specific goal while the gathering mode is a melting pot of so many things. This is where problems arise in dating, for example. He and she are going to the restaurant and he is focused on driving there (goal oriented) while she is conversing and trying to connect yet he is just there, only interested in reaching the objective (arriving at the restaurant)!

Men don’t realize that women are shaped by estrogen (and it fluctuates throughout the month!) to be more tuned towards connecting, and women don’t know men are focused on solving problems, attaining specific objectives, etc. A woman will be all about connecting and being happy, and then just one word from you turns her from a Mac into a PC!

Are women always in gathering mode?

In about 2008 when we first wrote the Understanding Women program, we looked at women in the gathering mode and the information or insights we gave worked excellently in situations where women were in this gathering mode.

However, we soon realized, after about five years, that most women spent most of their time in hunting mode, and that meant that if you applied the principles of the gathering mode then she would look at you as being a stumbling block since she was focused on getting things done, attaining set goals and objectives! We had to redo the whole program and include segments that handled dealing with women in hunting mode.

In hunting mode, women are basically the same as men so using communication techniques geared at those in gathering mode will not get you anywhere!

How does female sexuality come in?

At least five sessions out of 15 directly deal with female sexuality because this topic is closely linked to everything about a woman, especially regarding the ways in which to make her receptive to intimacy. Sexual intimacy is something that is very important for both sexes since it fosters connectedness, communication and so many other things. However, it is so hard for lots of people to have as much intimacy as they require in a way that is good for both of them.

In the first video, none of that was covered, let alone menopause, maternal instincts, the ticking clock for women, and so on.

Now we have a whole session on how to support a woman so she can have more sex and this is detailed depending on whether she is in hunting mode or gathering mode, together with the things that work in those different states.

What is your favorite session in the program?

I would say it is the session called The Signs. This deal with how you determine whether she is in hunting mode or gathering mode. This session gives you a kind of “cheat sheet” which will enable you to know for sure which mode is active, and you can use the techniques for that mode to communicate meaningfully with her.

One of the easiest signs to read is the way she moves. When she is in hunting mode, she will move quickly and straight to a predetermined destination. Her hips and legs will be in sync working to get her, by the shortest route, to her destination. When in gathering mode, the movements aren’t so focused. For example, she will be going to the kitchen, then her attention will be attracted to the phone, and then later to something else in the corner of the living room, and so on. Swaying hips (as opposed to straight structure and movement) also indicates the gathering mode.

I have also noticed that women are so focused on looking attractive to their partner that they don’t realize how important men regard their attractiveness to their wives. There’s a session in the program that I call “When There’s Not Enough Lead in the Pencil.” There’s this downward spiral that couples get into because inevitably, there will be times when there’s not enough lead in the pencil, especially because nobody knows what puts lead in the pencil!

The spiral happens because some women stop showing that they want their sexual needs met if they think that the man will be unable to perform as required. I observed the “what and how” dilemma among couples in which each of them knows what they want but they don’t know how to go about getting it. If they can’t think about how their partner can possibly provide what they want, then they keep away from asking their partner for that which they want.

Any practical example of how this can be put into practice?

For example, if your wife is pregnant and you think that will prevent her from wanting intimacy, why not ask her about what you want, and then let her (who knows a lot more about herself than you do) figure out how to provide the intimacy you want?

This will solve the classic problem of trying to provide what you haven’t been told someone wants, or not knowing that someone wants something (and you therefore can’t provide it since you aren’t aware they need it).

In short, the person who wants something has all the information about what they want, so they should be the one to communicate it, and the provider, who has all the information about what is needed, can determine how to provide it.

Why don’t we always see things like that?

By nature, humans have lots of instincts and some prevent us from revealing what we want. For example, we have a tendency or a mantra of “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” But then, men are problem solvers and so how can you say you will go to them and say “I have this problem, and I’ve figured out how exactly you are going to solve it for me.” That wouldn’t really cut it, would it?

What makes a partnership between a man and woman work?

Partnerships thrive best on accountability, and this ties in with what we mentioned earlier. If you tell her or him what you want and then let them figure out how to provide it, they will be accountable for their role.

But, if you come to them with what you want and how they should provide it, there’s no accountability there for them, and the relationship may suffer. Men want to be accountable, and they want to be appreciated.

This difference also clearly comes out in the way we evaluate each other. Men never get it that women rate them either 100% or zero, and yet men can award 80% or something like that. The truth is that women are wired to focus on everything that’s wrong, so they filter out anything else. They will focus on what hasn’t been done, what’s missing, what isn’t perfect, every flaw. Women’s brains focus on flaws because they think if they can fix them, then a man will see them as beautiful and love them the more.

So, a man is always disturbed when despite all he has done, the woman will only see what he missed and that’s all that matters. Ouch! Our wiring is opposite of each other. Women value the little things, men focus/value the big things.

What is this thing “diffuse awareness” you talk about?

A woman’s hormones give her diffuse awareness, and this is different from total focus. Men and women aren’t only called the opposite sex, they also have opposing instincts. Put bluntly, we naturally bring out the worst in each other!

This happens because our instincts are geared at survival, not love, happiness, understanding or all those other things.

How does this relate to diffuse awareness?

When women feel that they need to focus (which most times is alien to their nature), they will remove as many possible distractions from their environment as possible. This means cleaning the environment.

A woman will therefore berate herself about, for example not writing a report that is due, and yet there she is cleaning her desk, putting stuff away or doing so many other things. To her, it looks like procrastination, and yet she is actually preparing to focus!

Many women have told me that just finding out why this happens frees them to just stop beating themselves up. Instead, they just allow time for all that needed preparation before they can focus on the important project or assignment.

And the men?

Well, men focus naturally, and therein lies the source of conflict. For example, a woman will wonder why a man left the pillow in the wrong place, why the cushion isn’t straightened up, and so many other little details. Women’s diffuse awareness makes them notice all those things, and they are mad about the situation.

On the other hand, men will also see those little things, but to them, they don’t see those things as actionable since men are wired to focus on goals, big issues and other such major situations.

How can men use this information about women’s diffuse awareness?

If you walk through the house and see dishes in the sink, clean them as quickly as you can so that you don’t delay to get to the things you had set your focus upon, fold the blanket neatly if you see it in the way it shouldn’t be, and so on. Those little things you do will help you to always get the best of what your wife can be since her environment will be clean and free from “noise.” If you want to get the woman into bed, make the bed!

There’s a little game we call “getting certified.” It means being caught doing something in the way that your partner would want it to be done. For example, you can ask your wife whether you can get certified in making her breakfast.

What happens when a woman gives birth?

When a baby is born, a woman will spend oxytocin at a tremendous rate while taking care of the baby. Men therefore need to do things to help her build oxytocin so that her reserves aren’t depleted. Otherwise, she will dread sex, resent any invitation to sex, and she will most likely be unable to climax if she engages in sex.

There are some things that women don’t want men to do for them. This isn’t because men can’t do them right, it is because doing those things gives women a sense of wellbeing, and that recharges their oxytocin.

That is why it is important for men to ask ladies what it is that would make the biggest difference for them. And ladies, as you communicate to these monster hunters, be sure to mention words like the biggest thing, the most important things, and so on. Otherwise, when you say he should pick what to do from the thousands of things that need to be done, he will be lost since you aren’t communicating in ways he understands.

We have a gift for you, and this is eleven hours’ worth of free training by Alison accessible until May 28th, 2020.

Access the Training here:

And use the code HP20

This will give you a free copy of Alison’s Understanding Women program.

The program is normally sold at $500, but we wanted to give it to you free at a time like this to support you. You will then have seven days within which to go through all that content, so you’ve got to commit to doing this.

Thank you for tuning in!

To your Success,

Jairek Robbins



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