But, research shows that compared with men, women don’t ask for what they need, often settle for what is offered and tend not to think about negotiating on their own behalf.
A brief glimpse underscores the differences:
- In a study of starting salaries for masters level students, the salaries were $4,000 higher on average for males than females. Only 7% of the females compared with 57% of the males had asked for more money.
- In a study of young adults asked to play four rounds of Boggle TM for compensation, both men and women were matched for how well they played and then offered $3.00. Despite complaints by both men and women, nine times as many men as women asked for more money.
- In interviews conducted with over 100 male and females of varying ages either working or full time mothers, respondents were asked to identify their last negotiation. Women reported major events from several months past like buying a car, while the majority of men described a number of informal events within the prior week like driving the kids, teaming plans at work etc. Overall, women did not think about or utilize negotiation as part of the fabric of their life as much as men.
However, women do ask for others. The best of what women do as mothers, partners and nest builders is ask for others. A close look even at the arguments between partners often reveals the woman asking in behalf of a child, a parent, a friend or family member.
- “I just can’t have a party and not invite everyone in his class – how can you do that?”
- “We have to let them stay here – They’re your parents.”
Women often work very hard at “collecting stars ” i.e being deserving of what they want so that somehow others will give them what they need without ever having to ask. One woman who worked non-stop at home and at school was bewildered that she never seemed to get her turn – it never occurred to her to ask.
Connections vs. Needs
Women will adjust their behavior and needs to protect personal connections. The upside to being empathic to the needs of others is the power that it brings to connections- both in the work situation and in the home relationships. The downside of women not expressing their needs at the risk of disrupting connections is that some women never find out they are entitled to have both needs and connections. Some never find out that they won’t stop being loved if they ask for themselves. Some are left feeling quite deprived.
Women have to understand that complaining is Not asking. Women are always telling men to just listen without trying to solve the problem. How about we just say what we need without expressing all the feeling?
As much as partners feel like they really know each other, can answer for each other and can communicate with a smile or a mere glance- mind reading is not recommended as a great couple skill. In fact, the safer it is for partners to ask for what they need, the more they can trust a “yes,” live with a “no” and make sense of either – the more fulfilled both will be.
The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.