Merman - June & July 2010
Question: From our perspective, women are on a continuous path of self-actualization. Do men do this as well? Do they ask if they are in balance or what area of their life they can better?
Merman's response: Hmmm, men and self actualization? Well I ah, ahem, well err we all know that 95% of all men self actualize and that the other 5% lie about it. Oh…as I review my sea side chronicles I see that you are referring to a concept pioneered in the work done by Maslow and self actualization is at the top of his hierarchy of needs…ah yes of course…good thing I have a degree in sociology heavily laden with psychology…of course!
Self actualization is best defined as "the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualized in what he or she is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. Maslow used the term self-actualization to describe a desire, not a driving force, that could lead to realizing one's capabilities. Maslow did not feel that self-actualization determined one's life; rather, he felt that it gave the individual a desire, or motivation to achieve budding ambitions. Maslow's usage of the term is now popular in modern psychology when discussing personality from the humanistic approach.
Read through that again…I like to think of it as the Popeye theory when I apply it to men. "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam". Being a sailor Popeye and I are very close and have had many conversations about the topic. Anyway, although I don't have a cargo hold full of research on this I believe that men do self actualize but they may not, as men will do, think of it the same way you mermaids think of it. Actually, men may not think of it at all – but they are doing it and doing it equally to the number of women that do it.
Right below self actualization on Maslow's hierarchy are the following:
I know what you are thinking…men might best fit in the bottom of the pyramid! Ha! But I believe we all run around up and down that pyramid depending on our time of life, current circumstances and what we need or lack at the time. It is possible that the men you know in your life are randomly engaged at the psychological level. That doesn't mean that all men are all the time, but after a long day at the clam beds believe me sometimes it is great to be thinking about nothing but "breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and excretion." Hey, sounds like vacation doesn't it?!!!
So, in conclusion my dear, for both men and women, I would approach life more based on the pyramid, exploring all 5 areas and not worry too much about staying at the top of the period for too many hours each day. Maslow agreed that even though he arranged this pyramid it didn't mean that it represented a process buy which we climb up or down in order, but a playground where we spend the time that each of us needs to spend at whatever level we may need to spend time at a particular stage in our life or moment in our busy day! It just depends on the individual and we are all individual and different.
Celebrate the difference my dear. We are all doing the best we can. Sadly, sometimes that just isn't very good.
Question: My husband doesn't seem to notice me when I'm looking my best. But, when I'm all grungy is when he decides to compliment me. What's this about?
Merman's response: Huh? That's kind of funny. I can offer a few possible explanations but if it is bothering you enough you should just go ahead and ask him or let it go and be glad he likes your looks even when you are grungy. Now that I say that I think I know what is going on. Brace yourself here are few racy thoughts!
The "Hot Construction Worker" Theory
A lot of times on television they show hot sweaty men doing construction work, all dirty, sweaty, tool belted, etc. and they make that look sexy! A lot of women think that is sexy too. Maybe that is the image that your merman has of you and in some way he desires you most when you are all hot, sweaty, grungy, etc. I know, most mermaids would rather be all clean, powdered and perfumed before engaging in intimate contact with their merman, but maybe, just maybe your man longs for the "construction worker fantasy" in his female. That is a good thing! Go with it. Think of the money you will save on fancy clothes, perfume, hair and nails. Just buy a new pair of work gloves every now and then and watch the fireworks that will create!
The "Spontaneity Theory"
Maybe he wants a little spontaneity. Mermen like spontaneity in their interaction with mermaids. So in other words expect it when you least expect it. By complimenting you when you are grungy he may really be saying, "Hey – let's be spontaneous here and have some combustion without a lot of fussing around with how we look."
It may also be that when you are all dolled up is when you are about to leave the house for a business meeting or night out with the girls – no chance for intimacy because you have a schedule to meet and are headed out the door. When you are grungy you aren't going anywhere "looking like that" so there is a chance because you are staying home. Just go with the flow and see what happens! Sounds like fun doesn't it?
The "Intimidation Theory"
It also may be that when you are looking your best you are so darn hot that it intimidates your merman. If that is the case I will bet that when he was in high school he had a hard time talking to the really pretty girls but found the not so pretty ones (grungy in your case) easy to be around. That does not necessarily mean he has low self esteem. Lots of mermen are intimidated by the best looking women. We have all heard stories of the best looking girl in school that sits home for prom because none of the boys had the guts to ask her to go! She is just too good looking!
Either way, it is great that 1) he compliments you at all and 2) you care what he thinks. Are you newly weds or something? You sound like it. It is great that you notice each other and that you care what the other one thinks about your appearance. I will close this with a question for you to ponder my little mermaid.
When do you compliment him the most?