Self Esteem Secrets For Women

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Do you view someone close to you as just plain MEAN or INSENSITIVE?

I know I used to. In fact, I used to think that my wife’s
favorite pastime was yelling at me…that is, until I discovered
the secret of ‘SOFT’ and ‘HARD’ people.

(More on that in a moment.)

I remember, during our first year of marriage, I was having
problems with one of my employees. (I owned an ad agency at
the time.) My wife told me to just go up to him and CONFRONT
him. “Just tell it like it is!” She’d say.

“Yeah right.” I thought to myself…easier said than done. I
HATED conflict and I still do. And I used to avoid it at all
costs. I just wished my wife would understand how DIFFICULT
it was for me to go up to someone and confront them!

I would much rather just let the ‘storm blow over’ and hope
for the best.

Every day I would come home from work and she’d drill me….
“Did you confront John yet? I told you to do it today…did you?”

“” I’d sheepishly say under my breath.

And that’s all it took. She’d just EXPLODE.

She’d scream at the top of her lungs as if I was 40 miles
away...“I told you to…why don’t you ever listen…why don’t you
get a backbone!?!”

“Blah..blah…blah…you’re a moron..blah…blah” is all I’d hear.
I quickly learned to just tune her out and “ride out the storm.”

One of my wife’s favorite sayings was…”What’s wrong with you?!?!”

Eventually, I realized that my wife had lost complete control
over her negative feelings. And I just wanted to get away, but
that wasn’t an option for me.

All this yelling DID take a toll on me however; it drove me
to find a solution. To make a long story short, I started
putting together patterns of people’s behavior and I stumbled
upon a secret that single-handedly helped me maintain my sanity.

And that secret was…The concept of Soft and Hard people.

Let me explain ‘in a nutshell’ exactly what it’s all about…

All people are either ‘Soft’, ‘Hard’ or what I call ‘Balancing’.

If you are Soft, you:

- nurture naturally
- you’re sensitive
- you’re warm
- you’re thoughtful
- you hurt when others hurt
- you feel what others are feeling
- you really do care what others think of you
- you want to be accepted by everyone close to you
- you are very uncomfortable with conflict
- you put the needs of others ahead of your own
- you care a lot; you can’t help but care

Does this describe you? If so, congratulations…you are
a Softhearted person. And although these are wonderful traits
to have, your greatest strengths often come at a price. The
price you pay is a pressure you feel inside but others do not
understand. It is an emotional pressure you experience during
those little instances of daily life.

(Like the situation with my past employee and my wife that
I described earlier in this email.)

And if you ARE Softhearted, the nurturing ways you’ve been
comfortable with all your life are very foreign to another
group of people.

This group of men and women are called Hard people and
they do not accept Soft qualities like tenderness and
sensitivity as a way of life for themselves. Their direct
and at times, rigid ways result in treating Softhearted
people with very little patience or flexibility.

Just as my wife did…and STILL does for that matter. But
understanding WHY she is this way made a WORLD of a
difference in our marriage.

But what you must understand about Hard people is that their
way of life, much unlike Softhearted people, is one of
determination, confidence and getting results. They want to
get to the bottom line and they want to get there FAST…even
if it means ‘steamrolling’ over Softhearted people (like me)
to get there.

And let’s not forget about the Balancing’ person. These people
are sort of a mix between both Soft and Hard people. They have
often described themselves to me as ‘switching’ from Soft to
Hard as different situations arise. It’s almost like they have
2 different personalities. These people can often relate to
almost anyone because of their love for both the Soft and Hard
traits. In essence, they are constantly ‘balancing’ between Soft
and Hard on a daily basis.

So let me ask you again…

Is there someone in your life who is causing you pain because
they are dear to you, but they often come off as INSENSITIVE
or just plain MEAN?

If there is, I’m willing to bet that they are a Hard person…
and you are a Soft person. Soft and Hard people are often
attracted to each other because the other possesses traits
that they do not have themselves. But more often than not,
once they get to know each other, instead of being like
‘2 peas in a pod’, they’re more like…oil and water.

The bottom line is that neither Soft or Hard people are the
“bad guy”. They just have very different ways and beliefs.
The key is learning how to understand how each of them need
to be treated.

For instance, if there is a Hard person in your life, and
you want them to do something for you, instead of TELLING
them what to do, try rephrasing your request into the form
of a question.

Demands just make Hard people’s negative feelings come out.
But questions are a non-threatening way of getting Hard
people to do something because they like to be the one
GIVING the commands, not TAKING them.

This little tip alone made a significant difference in one
woman’s marriage when she stopped ‘telling’ her husband what
needed to be done and started ‘asking’ him instead. (When he
saw that his wife was treating him differently, he started
treating her with more acceptance and patience too!)

If you’ve found this insight helpful and you want to learn
more about Soft and Hard people, (especially if you are a
Softhearted woman married to a Hard man), I highly recommend
you read the book “Softhearted Woman Hard World”.

(But lately I’m finding that Hard men married to Softhearted
women have been finding relief in reading the book themselves
because they are able to finally understand why their wife’s
ways are so radically different from them.)

Take care,

Larry Bilotta


  • From a clear knowledge of the religion and spirituality all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures." - Adi Sankara

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:04 PM  

  • The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 4:07 PM  

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