My oldest brother and I have grown very close as adults. As children, he was too paternal to be my friend but as adults, the 4 years difference in age has become inconsequential and our mutual respect for sarcasm and upfront communication styles has become our bond.
One of the funniest conversations that we have with each other is about the difference between women and men. This is an age old debate that great minds have successfully written books about and built careers around. Our most recent debate focused on the emotional spectrum that each gender calls upon at any given moment and how that affects the interaction between the sexes.
According to my very insistent brother, men have the sum total of 5 - 7 emotions that they identify with and can articulate: Happy, Sad, Mad, Jealous and Horny. For those particularly evolved men you may be able to throw in Conflicted (Confused) and Depressed.
It seems that women however have somewhere in the area of 146 emotions (and counting). The funny thing though about women's emotions is that many of the 146 emotions are, in fact, nuances of the same emotion. The reason they get their own spot on the list is because women will respond or react differently to each nuance. For example, feeling rejected is not the same as feeling sad. If I am feeling sad; I will likely cry. However, if I am feeling rejected; I am not likely to cry at all. I am much more likely to be upset with the offending party, maybe even act as though I am angry or disappointed with the offending party.
Generally speaking, men seem to understand when I am sad that the appropriate thing to do is to offer some words of solace, leave me alone, hug me or all of the above. All pretty appropriate in my opinion. However, if I am feeling rejected; the same response is not going help the situation at all. Mostly because, right or wrong; if I feel rejected, he is likely to blame in my eyes. Therefore, I do not want his sympathy or his (interpreted) trite efforts of comfort. I want an apology (even when he doesn't understand why I feel rejected). I want a genuine promise not to reject me again (even if he had no idea that he was rejecting me to begin with). I want him to understand that he made me feel rejected and I want him to feel badly about that. Now, I do know logically that this is totally unreasonable. I also know that sometimes; I am not even sure how I am feeling so, my desired response from my significant other is not something I can even ask for. But, I also know that when my emotions are in charge; my logic is nothing more than an irritating little voice in the back of my head.
While I may have made my brother's point for him; I find that I still argue with him on this topic telling him simply that women are not "crazy" as he likes to label us. Rather, women are emotional (at least the ones that I know). We experience a very real journey through our emotions on a daily basis. Some of us are the type to be introspective and analyze our emotions; while others simply act on our emotions without excuse or apology. Either way; I am happy that I'm a woman and he seems very happy that he's a man!