Elliott Katz Interview – How To Be The Strong Man A Woman Wants
“Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants”
Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Elliott Katz
Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, says in his Foreword to this ground-breaking book, “It offers hope to men and women alike. It is a must read for every man who is ready to reclaim his masculine self and start becoming the kind of man a woman really wants.”
To women: He’s sensitive, romantic and tries hard to please you, but when there’s a problem, he seems oblivious. When you ask for input on a decision, he says, “It’s up to you.” Women, give this book to men. Tell them to read it and say, “This is what I have been trying to tell you all this time!”
To men: No matter how hard you try to please her, she is not happy. You work hard, but don’t feel appreciated. You feel you’ve lost control of your life. Learn how to regain her respect and love and become a hero to the woman in your life.
After reading this book, ask a woman if what it says is what she really wants. You may be surprised at her response.
Challenging many of the confusing messages of the past 40 years, it explains why many relationships today aren’t working and what a man can do to make things better.
(00:49): Hello everyone and welcome to Intersections Match’s Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show focused on the continual evolution into the best versions of our authentic selves. We and our guests discuss relationships and health and wellness, each of which contributes to meaningful and fulfilling lives.
This is Jasbina, your host. I’m a former practicing lawyer and the Founder of Intersections Match, the only elite national personalized matchmaking company focused on singles of South Asian descent nationwide in the US.
I’m very excited to welcome Elliott Katz to our show tonight. Elliott is a professional speechwriter and author of seven non-fiction books, and author of the award-winning book entitled Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man. Welcome, Elliott.
As a professional matchmaker and dating coach, I’m fascinated by insights and perspectives regarding relationships. I’ve enjoyed reading Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man, and would love to explore some of the concepts and insights shared in your book.
Your book consists of nuggets of timeless wisdom as shared by a grandfather with his grandson. Why don’t I read each of the 20 nuggets aloud for the benefit of our listeners? After I read each one, I’d love to give you the opportunity to expand, one by one.
The first nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “If you don’t lead, I can’t dance.” Please tell us about that.
(2:28): That’s really at the beginning of the story where Michael, the main character of the book, is dancing with his grandmother. He says to her, “I’ve heard there’s a theory. This is called the Couples Dance. In the relationship, when one partner steps forward, the other steps back.”
The grandmother responds and says, “Well, it is like dancing, but in a different way. If you don’t lead, I can’t dance.” It’s really the overall message of the book. It’s important for the man to show leadership just like in a dance.
The man has to take lead in the dance. It’s the same in a relationship. If he doesn’t take lead in the relationship, it’s not going to work.
(3:12): What’s an example of an everyday interaction between a man and a woman that may help our listeners apply this concept?
(3:22): It’s really many situations. Many women today complain that, when there’s a problem, men seem to ignore it. They don’t always seem to pay attention to it.
Men, on the other hand, will think, “The woman knows better. The home is her domain. I don’t want to be controlling.” For so long, men were accused of being controlling. Now they’ve gone to the other extreme and don’t want to show any leadership.
The woman is frustrated with the man because she sees him as really not doing anything. I’ve often heard women say that they feel like a single parent because the man is not showing his share of leadership.
Whereas, the man is thinking, “I’m being this nice, sensitive, non-controlling guy. Why is she not happy? I’m being so good to her?” There are many situations like that. That’s really the disconnect, where men and women are in different worlds.
It’s interesting in the matchmaking and dating world. Here is a common example that I’ve heard many times from women. I’ll ask you if you heard the same kind of situation. A man will ask a woman out. Even if they’re getting together for a cup of coffee, he’ll ask her, “Where should we go for coffee?”
He can’t understand. She says, “When a woman is going out with you, you can’t even decide where to go for coffee.” Have you heard this situation?
(4:54): Yes, it’s interesting. I do hear from women many times, “I wish he’d take initiative.” I think that’s kind of along those lines. I’ve definitely heard that.
Your second nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Being strong.” Tell us about that.
(5:12): “Being strong” are overarching words that I use to describe really what a man has to be. He has to be strong. He has to take charge. He has to take responsibility and make decisions. To me, it’s showing leadership, making decisions and taking responsibility.
Even in a situation of a date, show leadership. Be a man with a plan. If you’re going out with a woman, have a plan of what you’d like to do. If you want to take her out for dinner, if you want to go to a movie or if you want to go see some entertainment, don’t just call her up and say, “Well, what would you like to do?” and think you’re being so nice.
Show leadership. That’s being strong. Make decisions. That’s being strong also. When you’re making decisions, people may be opposing you. It’s easy to make decisions when everyone agrees with you. When everyone is against you, you feel you have to do what’s right. That’s being strong.
Take responsibility when you’re in a situation, don’t blame other people. Even if you gave into the woman and it turned out to be wrong just like you thought it would, take responsibility. Solve the problem, don’t blame her. That takes strength as well.
(6:27): Yes, definitely. Taking responsibility is definitely something I would also say that women are looking for. The third nugget is the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Knowing what you want.” Tell us about that.
(6:47): Know what you want. Don’t keep asking the woman, “What should we do?” Men think, “I’m being so nice.” Really know what you want. Be a man with a plan.
Knowing what you want not only applies to a date, but it applies to life. If you’re going to marry someone, you better know what kind of life you want to lead and communicate that to your potential partner. You could decide if you’re suitable for each other and if you both want the same things.
It’s knowing what you want. It’s not just, “Well, I’ll just do whatever she wants.” I meet so many men like that. They think, “I’m being so nice. I do whatever she wants. How come she’s so frustrated with me?” Really, a woman wants a man that knows what he wants and can lead them both to achieve those goals.
(7:39): You mentioned knowing what you want and how it helps both people determine suitability. The starting point for what we do is finding out what people’s life goals are. What are they looking for in the future? If the life goals are different, the compatibility, in my opinion, is limited. I definitely agree with that.
The fourth nugget is the concept encapsulated by the word, “Leadership.” Do you have any examples in everyday interaction between a man and woman that may help our listeners apply the concept of leadership for a man?
(8:25): It’s really what I was describing when there’s a problem or a challenge. I said that, even on a date, it’s when you don’t show leadership and you ask the woman everything.
I was in Starbucks a few weeks ago. I saw this young couple come in. You could see that they were on their first or second date. They got their coffee. Then he turned to her and said, “Where would you like to sit?” I thought, “Can’t you look around and see which table is the nicest of those that are available?”
That is a real turn off. How is he going to show leadership in other situations? It’s simple things like that. When there’s a problem or a major crisis in your family with your children, don’t just leave it as, “Oh, she’ll take care of it.”
Step forward, show leadership and find the solution. If you don’t know what to do, there are lots of sources of information. That’s what leaders do. Leaders do the research, find the information and try to solve all the problems.
That’s showing leadership and that is what a woman respects. So many men think they’re being so nice and non-controlling, but really to the woman, they’re shirking their responsibilities to show leadership.
(9:33): they should work on finding a solution. I like that. The fifth nugget is encapsulated by the phrase, “Not being controlling.” Tell us about that. I know you’ve alluded to that before, but go into a little bit more.
(9:53): It’s an interesting point. I will often say to men, “You have to show leadership.” They say, “I don’t want to be controlling.” Men are accused of being controlling so much that they’ve gone to the other extreme. The important point is that being controlling and showing leadership are really opposites.
Someone who shows leadership is thinking about the greater good. It takes self-confidence. It takes having a vision. It really shows you’re thinking about others. Being controlling is thinking only for yourself, and it’s usually someone who is very insecure and doesn’t really care about others.
A leader does what he thinks is right, even though maybe it’s not what’s best for him, but it is best for his family and his children. That’s strong leadership. Being controlling is just the opposite. It’s just being selfish and thinking only for yourself.
(10:50): That distinction is wonderful. Leadership really encompasses thinking of the families as a unit, or if it’s a couple, a man and a woman. Controlling is more when the man thinks about himself exclusively.
(11:07): That’s being selfish and immature.
(11:10): The sixth nugget is encapsulated by the word, “Listening.” I think that’s really an important one. Tell us about that one in the context of what you’re talking about.
(11:22): It’s very important as a leader to listen to what other people are saying. There’s a saying, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” By listening to others, by knowing what’s going on, people will respect you. They’ll also respect your leadership.
You should listen to your spouse. Listen to what she has to say. She’s an intelligent person. That’s the beauty of having a spouse. She can tell you things that you probably didn’t think of. She’ll see things differently. She’ll see aspects you haven’t thought of.
You make a better decision when you listen to what your spouse thinks. It’s important to listen and it’s not just say, “I’ve decided we’re doing this.” Listen to what she has to say.
(12:13): The best leaders are the ones who surround themselves with people who are great advisors, people who they can respect and really listen to as well. The seventh nugget is encapsulated by the phrase, “Being worthy.” Tell us about that.
(12:38): That’s a key thing. A woman has to feel that her partner is worthy and she will respect him. If she doesn’t feel that he is worthy then she won’t respect him. To be worthy, you have to be the man. Show leadership, make decisions, take responsibility and take charge.
Don’t just be one of the children. She sees him as one of the children, but he thinks he’s a sensitive, non-controlling guy. The home is her domain and he’s letting her make all the decisions. A man like that is not seen as worthy by his wife. Be strong, take charge and then you’ll be seen as worthy. If you’re not seen as worthy then she’ll be against you.
(13:27): The eighth nugget is encapsulated by the phrase, “Being entitled.” Tell us about that.
(13:37): It’s important that a man realizes that he’s entitled to be treated well, and not to accept anything less. It’s not only women doing it It’s the men, too. It’s both ways. This book is focused on men. Men will feel, “My wife really treats me badly.”
It’s really about deciding, “No, I’m going to set the bar high.” Often, one person treats the other person very badly and it just keeps getting worse and worse. Only when things are really bad, the other person reacts.
Part of it is deciding, “No, I’m entitled to be treated well,” and set the bar very high. Decide any little thing, “No, I’m just going to make it clear that it’s not acceptable.” When you act that way, you get treated better.
When you think about it, any man or woman isn’t going to treat another person well who allows themselves to be treated badly.
(14:45): I agree. In terms of what you said about being entitled, one thing I often tell people is that we teach people how to treat us to some extent. I definitely agree with that concept.
The ninth nugget is the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Taking full responsibility.” I know you alluded to that before as well. Tell us about that and if there’s an example of everyday interaction between a man and a woman. Help our listeners apply this.
(15:30): This book is focused on men. A lot of divorced men blame their ex-wives for this or that and all these things that went on.
They can’t understand why no one has any sympathy for them. The reality is that we have a natural inclination to assume a man is going to take charge and show leadership. If there’s a difficult situation and something bad happening, he’s not going to let it happen. He’s going to put an end to it.
You’ll hear some men complain, “My ex-wife spent me broke. She did this. She did that.” Really, the inclination is that people say, “You’re the man. Why did you let it go on?” People expect the man to take full responsibility for what’s going on in his home.
If you’re just complaining and blaming others, no one has any sympathy for you. The message really is to start dealing with the problems early. If you see a problem, take full responsibility. Don’t just think, “Well, she did it. I’ll blame her when it goes bad.” I’ve heard a lot of men say that. Take full responsibility. People are going to hold you responsible in the end anyway, so take it early on.
(16:44): If one is in a relationship where there is that bilateral listening going on, then I think the chances of problems happening is less. Would you say that these all seem to work together in a way?
(17:05): Absolutely. What often happens is that the man just seems oblivious. He says, “I’ll let her decide.” It seems out of his control. Then he sees things that are wrong going on. He just doesn’t step forward and do anything about it because he’s so used to going along with everything she says and not really fulfilling his leadership role.
(17:30): The tenth nugget you wrote about concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Growing stronger.” Tell us about that.
(17:42): In this chapter, Michael the main character is asking his grandfather, “If she wants me to be the leader, then why does she always oppose me?” Men will often say this to me. “If she wants me to be the leader, then why does she always undermine me when I try to do something?”
First of all, listen to what she’s saying. Maybe she’s raising valid points. If not, if she seems to be against what you’re doing, maybe she’s testing you to see if you really are strong and if you really mean it.
You have to see it as an opportunity to grow strong and say, “I’m not presenting myself as the strong man that she’s respecting. I have to grow even stronger and show her that I’m going to be that strong man who shows leadership and makes decisions.” See it as an opportunity to challenge, grow and improve yourself.
(18:47): The eleventh nugget that you mention in the book concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Being manly.” What do you mean by that?
(19:00): People often entertain the words “manly” and “macho,” but they’re really opposites. “Macho” comes from the word “machismo,” which is really about being showy, brash, crude and self-centered. Being manly is the total opposite. It’s really the positive, noble traits of a man who has a mature character and high moral standards.
It’s about being self-disciplined and decisive, having strength in your convictions, being honest and having courage to face difficulties. It’s a very positive thing. The grandfather character in the book explains to Michael that, when he learns what it means to be manly, this is what he should set his goals to be. He should be manly and have these character traits.
It’s a very positive thing. It’s really too bad in our society. We sort of intermingle it with this self-centered macho-ness, but it’s not like that at all. It’s a very positive thing.
(20:02): All those characteristics that you mentioned are definitely ones that I find women are seeking from men. The twelfth nugget is the concept encapsulated by the word, “Giving.” Tell us about that.
(20:26): It’s important to give. This book is written for men. A lot of men feel that they give a lot. They just give, give, give. When they want something from their wives or their children, they don’t get anything. They sort of get ignored. I know women feel this way about men sometimes. I’m just saying this as the spokesperson for men, so this is the focus I’ve taken.
It’s really important to give the other person opportunities to give to you. It’s not that you’re taking from them, but that you give to them. It’s important to let them give to you. That is why love and giving come together. People think that you love, so you give, but really it’s that you love the person you give to. Just by the action of giving, you develop a love for that person.
Here is a very good example to illustrate this. You often see someone who’s hired as a caregiver, someone caring for an elderly person. The more they do for that person, even though it’s a job, they grow to really love that person or have strong caring feelings for that person because they’re giving so much to them. It’s the same thing that happens in a relationship.
If you give to that person, your feelings of love grow. That’s why it’s important to give the other person opportunities to give. It’s true for women, too. A lot of what men do is give, give, give. They say, “I don’t need anything from her. I can handle myself.” But then after years of giving, you need something and you get no response. It’s about giving, and then giving the other person opportunities to give.
(22:12): You should give and be able to receive.
(22:15): Yes, it’s receiving as long as you realize it’s receiving and not taking. People say, “I don’t want to take,” but you’re not taking. You’re letting the other person give to you. You are receiving it, yes.
(22:26): You are giving them the opportunity to give as well. That thirteenth nugget is the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Setting goals.” What do you mean by that?
(22:41): We were talking about this earlier. It’s important that, in a relationship, people have the same goals. Very often people love each other. They love each other so much. Our goal is love.
The fires of love don’t last forever, but you need to have goals. These goals, like any goal in life, will keep you going through difficult times. If your goal is just love and you fall out of love, what’s left to keep you together?
Instead, you can say, “We have a goal. We want to achieve something. We both want to go and do service in another country. We both want to raise our children in a certain way.” Maybe that can involve sending them to certain types of schools that cost money. It’s a struggle to pay for these private schools. “We set a goal. We want our children to have this kind of education. That’s keeping us going, because that’s really an important goal for us.”
It’s very important to set goals. Those goals can help keep you together in difficult times. We’re here for a purpose. With any kind of a goal a person sets on their own, there will be difficult times. They think, “Yes, but this is part of achieving that goal.” If you’re having a difficult time and there’s no ulterior purpose for it, you might think, “What are we doing this for?”
(24:00): Having goals, agreeing on the goals and having mutual goals really strengthens the bond in that way. The fourteenth nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Knowing what’s going on.” Tell us about that.
(24:22): It’s really part of leadership. You have to know what’s going on in your family. If you don’t know what’s going on with your children, your wife and your home, then you’re kind of oblivious to everything. The woman feels very frustrated and she feels like a single parent.
It’s really important to take time to talk to people, know what’s going on with your children’s lives and know what’s going on in your wife’s life. When you see a situation, then maybe say, “Hey, this is difficult. I need to step in and say, ‘Hey, I’ll help you with this. I know a solution for this problem. I’m going to research a solution and we’ll implement it.’”
Then you’ll be a hero in your family. I’ve met professional men in their 40s and 50s who will say, “The home is a woman’s domain. Just leave everything. She knows what’s going on and she’ll solve all the problems.” It’s very frustrating to her. Then these guys can’t understand why their wives are so frustrated.
(25:17): It’s really important to listen to know what’s going on. You have to listen to the people in your family. It allows you to take leadership then during the problem solving and really try to preempt and mitigate things before they get too far. You have to know what’s going on to be able to do that. A lot of these just interrelate and feed into each other.
The fifteenth nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Think before you act.” I think that is generally great advice. In this context specifically, tell us about that.
(26:04): It’s great advice and really it’s important to keep that mind, especially in a family. You may regret things that you say later. Words hurt, especially when the man says things that are hurtful to a woman. She remembers it. It hurts her for a long time and women are generally more sensitive than men.
I think a man can more easily brush off more hurtful words than a woman. It’s like anything else. Think before you act. Don’t just follow your emotions. If there’s a situation that really ticks you off or really pushes your buttons, you might think, “Well, I’m justified in getting angry.” No, you’re not.
Get control of yourself and try to anticipate situations. Think about how to calmly handle them. One of the things I say in the book is, if you just get angry and blow up, what you’re showing is that you don’t know how to handle it.
When you think about it, someone who’s really good at handling difficult situations handles them calmly because he knows what he’s doing. For a person who doesn’t know what he’s doing, that’s the person who yells and screams. Just think before you act, anticipate situations and think about how to calmly handle them. It will bring peace to your home.
(27:24): In the heat of the moment, words are said, unfortunately. They stay with you. It’s really hard to take them back once they’re out.
The sixteenth nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Making decisions.” I know you’ve mentioned throughout this whole concept of the importance of making decisions. Is there anything more you can tell us about that or any examples of everyday interaction that you’ve witnessed?
(28:01): If you avoid making decisions, if you want your wife to make them more, or let the decisions make themselves, your wife will feel like you’re shirking your responsibilities. One of the meanings of the word “manly” is being decisive.
In every situation, there are so many decisions. When I talk to men, I say, “Let’s say you’re at work and your wife is at home. She calls you and she says, ‘What would you like for supper, chicken or spaghetti?’ Men are always like this. You say, ‘You’re a great cook, anything you make will be fine. Whatever you want.’”
The men are resentful. They say, “I’m busy at work. I’ve got important things here. Can’t you just decide what to make? It doesn’t matter.” I say to them, “You have to decide. She called you. She wants you to decide. If it doesn’t make a difference, just choose one. It’s easy. It’s an easy decision.”
There are many decisions. The decision itself isn’t all that important. If you’re going out to eat at a restaurant to either restaurant A or restaurant B, they’re probably both good, but you can’t drive around all night arguing. You have to go and make your decision.
It’s really nice if the man has a plan. He thinks, “I think we should go to this restaurant because I think you’ll really enjoy this food and that food.” It shows that you’re thinking about her. There are many decisions. The decision itself isn’t all that important, but the decision has to be made.
Obviously, there are big decisions. You can’t come home one day and say, “I’ve decided we’re moving to Australia. Start packing.” You have to discuss those and make them together. There are so many of these decisions. It really makes the woman happy if you can take charge and make decent decisions.
(29:50): You mentioned thinking about the other person. This comes full circle to what we’ve mentioned before in terms of planning a date and taking initiative with a date. I hear this from women all the time.
If men go out and put some thought into that date, it doesn’t actually matter where one ends up. A lot of women appreciate that he has taken the time and thought about it.
(30:29): Exactly. I’ve heard that a lot. Really, be a man with a plan. Even if you go in for a cup of coffee, just choose a place and go there.
(30:38): The seventeenth nugget you mention concerns the concept encapsulated by the phrase, “Watch men who are strong.” What do you mean by that?
(30:48): Like learning a lot of things, you learn by watching people who are good at it. One of the ways is to watch people who are strong. Watch men who take charge and become friends with them. Try to absorb their way of doing things.
Very often, men who aren’t strong will say to me, “I feel uncomfortable with men who are like those ‘take charge’ kind of guys. I think they’re old-fashioned.” I say, “Maybe you feel uncomfortable with them because there’s something you could learn from them.”
That’s really what you have to say. Watch them and see how they do things, and how they don’t just always turn to their wives and ask them what to do. If there’s a problem or crisis, they stand up, take charge and see what they can do to solve the problem. They don’t just sit back and hope no one will notice them. It’s like anything else. Watch people who are good at it and learn from them.
(31:45): Look for role models. If you want to do something, look for people who are already doing it well and learn from that. It makes a lot of sense. The eighteenth nugget that you mention concerns the concept encapsulated by the word, “Money.” Tell us about that.
(32:05): Money is one of the most common areas that people fight about. One of the insights in that chapter says that, when there is financial stress in a relationship, it will bring out problems that probably would not have otherwise have arisen.
It’s really important to do everything you can to prevent financial stress. A man can’t just blame his wife if she’s spending money like crazy. He can’t just say, “Oh well, what can I do? I can’t stop her.” No. You have to take charge and say, “We can’t do this.”
Whatever you have to do, you have to show her the reasonable amount that she can spend each month. That’s your responsibility because, if you go broke, people are going to blame you. You’ll say, “My wife spends us broke.”
People will then say, “You’re the man. Why did you let it go on?” The most important thing is take charge. Don’t get into financial stress because it just leads to a lot of other problems.
(33:07): The nineteenth nugget is encapsulated by the phrase, “The big house.”
(33:18): Yes, the big house is also a sliding term for “jail,” right?
(33:24): That’s exactly right.
(33:26): I think we’ve seen, especially in the past couple of years, that people were almost seduced to own these big, beautiful houses. They thought it would be so nice. If you get into houses more than you can afford, life becomes very stressful. Life is miserable.
We’re all tempted by it. People think, “We’re living so modestly. Let’s have a big house and we’ll impress people. Other people have it. We should have it, too.” As a man, you have to say, “No, we can’t afford it.” Even if she tries all these things to pressure you, you have to say, “No, I’ve worked it out here. This is the paperwork. We can’t afford it.”
That’s your responsibility. Really be aware. Don’t get in over your head. You might think, “I’ll work extra hard.” After a year or two or three, it’s enough already. You still have 20 years left on the mortgage. Don’t be pressured into getting that big house prison.
(34:34): The twentieth and final nugget concerns the concept encapsulated by the word, “Working.” Tell us about that in terms of what we’ve been talking about.
(34:44): It’s really important that a person can’t be idle. They have to be working. They have to be doing something productive. Very often men will say, “I’m working so hard at my job. I want my wife to sit at home.”
When you have young children, that’s fine when they are infants. There comes a point when the kids are in school. The woman is at home. She’s idle. Choosing idle leads to depression. They’re unhappy. Then they starting thinking their unhappiness is the fault of their husband.
It can really lead to marriage break ups. It’s really important to make sure your wife is doing something productive. You’re spending all day doing productive things at work. You’re excited about it. You don’t realize she’s sitting at home being idle, not being productive. It’s depressing.
It’s really important to keep her excited about doing things and be productively occupied. I read this insight and I sort of became aware of it. A lot of divorces are from the woman just sitting at home. She wasn’t happy. She would get together with her girlfriends. They’d all complain about their husbands and they all got divorced. Once I became aware of it, I saw that it is a big problem.
(36:09): That’s interesting. Working is about so much more than just earning money. There’s a sense of fulfillment, accomplishment and meaning. One can feel like they might be missing that in their lives. That sounds like recognition of work being about a lot more than just earning a paycheck. It’s much more than just financial.
Elliott, I know your book is directed towards men. I’m wondering if there’s any words of wisdom you’d like to direct towards women on our show tonight. Maybe to help them help their men be in a better position to be strong in the way you’ve mentioned. Do you have any words of wisdom for women?
(37:10): First of all, I wrote the book for men and I encourage men to read it. I tell them, “Read it. Don’t show it to your wives, just do what it says. You’ll see that improvement.” Women are the biggest buyers of the book. They buy most of the books. They ask me, “How do I get my husband to read it?”
It’s like the total opposite of what I thought. Tell your husband to read it. Just tell him you want him to read it. I had one woman say that she was going to give the book to her husband and say, “It’s a short book. It’ll take 45 minutes to an hour to read. Read it. I’ll be waiting for you in the bedroom in my negligee.” That was one approach.
(37:57): There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive.
(38:00): Yes, give him some incentive. Also, you can pack it with his lunch. Pack it in his briefcase so he can read it on his commute to work. Just encourage him to read it.
In terms of the strategy to encourage men to start being strong, it’s like that situation where you’re going out. You say, “Where are we going?” He says, “To a restaurant. Do you want to go to restaurant A or restaurant B?” You can say, “You decide,” and then don’t say another word. Let him decide. Don’t say anything.
If there’s a situation at home with the kids that you would like him to take charge in dealing with, just ask him to do it. Just say, “The situation here with Johnny, could you please take care of it?” Then if he asks you what to do, just say, “Well, I don’t know. I just do research or maybe look on the internet.” Have some ideas there but don’t tell him what to do.
Then when he does something, recognize it and say, “Thank you. You did a good job. You made a good decision. I really appreciate you handing the situation. It really helped me a lot.” In any kind of situation, you have to encourage people, give them positive feedback and really just keep working from there.
If he doesn’t want to make the decision, don’t make it for him. If he’s going to drive around all night looking for a restaurant because he won’t decide where to go, let him drive around all night. Don’t make the decision. Once you say, “You decide,” let him decide. Then when he makes a decision, tell him, “That’s a good choice. You made a good decision.” You have to build him up.
(39:39): That’s an important point. Regardless of the gender, men and women both appreciate being appreciated for their gestures. When someone does make that decision, don’t retract from it. That’s great insight.
Do you have any final words of wisdom or parting thoughts you’d like to share with men or women?
(40:16): Men will say to me, “How do I start? I’ve been married five or ten years and my wife is making all the decisions. How am I going to change things?” I say, “The first thing is what you don’t do.” You don’t say, “Okay, I’m the leader now. You decided we’re going to do it this way, but I’m the leader and I’m going to do it the complete opposite.”
That’s not very smart. It’s just going to cause more conflict and it’s really not going to solve anything. The thing is to look for situations that need to be dealt with. Look for situations that your wife isn’t dealing with or dealt with and just wasn’t able to resolve.
You’re not undermining. Just step forward and say, “I see the situation. I’m going to solve it. I’m going to find a way to solve this problem. I’m going get the resources, get whatever we need or get the professional in. I’m going to solve this problem.”
At first she might look at you like, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” Just keep doing it and ultimately become her hero. Really, what does she want? Suddenly you’re stepping forward and saying, “I’m going show my share of leadership and step forward and deal with situations.”
You’ll be her hero and that’s what she wants. Then she’ll feel that she has a spouse and she isn’t a single parent. That’s really such an important thing.
(41:45): I’d like to thank you, Elliott, for joining us today and sharing your insights with us. It’s been a real pleasure.
(41:57): The book is available on Amazon.com.
(42:01): Your award-winning book is entitled Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man.
(42:13): It’s available on Amazon.com and also from Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. If you go in and they’re sold out, just ask them. They’ll order it and give it to you pretty quickly.
(42:22): Again, the title is Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man.
In case you joined us late or would like to share this show with people in your life, I’d like to remind you that today’s radio show will be archived and available as a podcast on Intersections Match’s website, which is www.IntersectionsMatch.com. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate you hanging out with us. Do email me with topics you’d like discussed in future shows. Make sure to join us for next month’s show. Thank you so much.
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