In this week’s Success Newsletter, in response to controversial emails about the toilet seat, I would like to pose the question: “Do you want to be right or happy?”
First a quick update:
“What his bad habit says about him”
Read the highly controversial MSN article by Natasha Burton that outlines 10 bad habits men have and my response and insights into the motivation and meaning behind each habit.
Now, let’s talk about the principle of choosing to be right or choosing to be happy and how that relates to the toilet seat – up or down?
This week MSN,com came to me with a list of ten common male habits and asked me for my opinion on the meaning of each behavior. “What his bad habit says about him.” I did not create the list but only responded to it. Nonetheless, if you are in a relationship, then you can guess without even knowing the contents of the entire top ten list that the most controversial and the most discussed habit was about the toilet seat; why guys leave the seat up and what that might indicate about them.
You can read the MSN article here.
There was an extraordinarily high response of angry men to the piece about the toilet seat:
“Leaving the Seat Up
When men do this, Wanis says, “they’re too interested in being right rather than being happy.” Wanis maintains that guys shouldn’t look at the act of putting the seat down as a loss of manhood because sometimes the toilet seat can be the sign of a power struggle. “Little things like this can reflect larger, deeper problems in the relationship,” he says.”
Of course, the highly emotional, heated and personal attacks came from men – one man called me a closet gay, while another called me a man-hater; one called me right-wing bigot while another called me a typical liberal; one accused me of losing my manhood while another said I was writing this simply to win women over.
“I recently read your article via MSN, on 10 habits of men, and what they mean.
To me, you’re seeking meaning in things that are just common to the animal. There aren’t really any deep rooted issues with most of the things you mention.
A man not putting down a toilet seat is more of an overblown cliche, than anything else. Men who don’t put the toilet seat down usually just forget b/c it is not part of the process of going no. 1. Also, the idea that a woman will fall in, lacks logic. Do women sit on filthy toilet seats without looking? NO!
I’m not sure if you squat, hover, or sit when you urinate, or what brand name purse your wife carries your balls in, but you seem like nothing more than an LA weirdo who has too many degrees.”
All of these ten behaviors are referenced in the article as habits – not occasional behaviors.
My first key point is that in every moment we can choose to be right or choose to be happy. Sometimes you are right but it doesn’t result in being happy. You can win an argument and lose a friend; you can be vindicated but turn someone off. In other words, my point is to encourage people to simply ask “How much does this issue matter in the grand scheme of things? How much does putting the toilet seat up or down matter in the relationship?” And yes, that principle applies to both men and women.
When we are adamant that we must be right, we then create a power struggle – the struggle for who will be right and who makes the decisions.
Interestingly and ironically, as Trev proceeds to attack me personally, he doesn’t realize that he is actually supporting my contention (that sometimes the argument about the toilet seat being up or down can be motivated by a power struggle) when Trev concludes that he thinks that if I put the seat down, my “wife carries” my balls in a purse.” In other words, he is saying that if I choose to put the seat down, then the woman has all the power. Therefore, if Trev leaves the seat up, he is saying he has the power and feels that he is expressing his manhood.
When two people are fighting over the toilet seat or toothpaste or some other truly meaningless thing then these arguments are indications that there is a deeper problem in the relationship – that partners do not respect each other, are struggling to see who should have the last say, and who should be right or in control. Couples who have been happily married for 40 and 50 years will always tell you that one of the keys to their success is that they choose their battles wisely. (Also read my newsletter about people who have successful marriages and thus know what to say “The twelve most important words you will speak”.
I personally do not feel that my manhood is being sacrificed if I choose to be considerate of a woman by putting the seat down or opening a door for her – and doing so for every woman. I also believe that being thoughtful and considerate towards a woman does not make you less of man but rather more of a man. Manhood, to me, is determined by greater things such as accountability, responsibility, achievements, legacy, personal growth, contribution, integrity, self-respect, leadership, mentoring and so forth.
“If you consider some of the things you wrote about as actual ‘Bad Habits,’ perhaps you need to re-prioritize your views on what’s going wrong in this mess of a world we live in today.”
Of course, there are greater issues at hand – and thus I wonder why so many men chose to make the toilet seat so vastly significant by responding so emotionally and critically. And yet, most likely these same men will attack women accusing them of being emotional and irrational. Yes, the bigger issues in any relationship relate to your morals and values – what you will teach your children, the amount of love, respect and patience you will choose to demonstrate to your partner regardless of your gender.
“Man bashing is far too prevalent in society, how about we work on fixing people instead of “men”!”
These are observations and are not intended to be “man bashing.” Generally speaking, men don’t like to be told what to do, they don’t like to be criticized and most of all, they don’t want to hear that they need to change or should change in any way.
For the people who believe that my intention is to bash men, please read “Cheating – are women innocent?” where I reveal that women cheat on men as much as men do or my newsletter “Women are taking over” where I point out that in the media “men are being portrayed as buffoons, simpletons and weak, helpless idiots who cannot survive without the wife who now is smarter, more grounded and the boss.”
It’s interesting that some insecure men will become so riled up about bad habits and toilet seats but are happy to watch and support the TV shows that portray them as idiots and bozos, not realizing the impact of such a message to women who, in turn, treat men like idiots or less than. I did not hear much of an outcry from the men about movies such as Sex and The City 2 which encourages women to become obsessed with materialism and narcissistic pleasures while also concluding that the man simply does not know how or is not good enough to satisfy the woman. These to me are the real issues at hand.
Finally, Guy wrote:
“I have to completely disagree with this Mr. Wanis. In short he’s retarded. I’d say most guys have no underlying motive to not doing dishes, procrastinating or not opening doors (which i do by the way) I think a person is a person and this is just another one of those stupid company paid “Doctors” who tell the whole world their “amazing and deep” findings. My findings indicate this guy is full of himself…”
Many readers confused procrastination and prioritizing tasks. I believe that procrastination can often stem from either laziness or a fear of failure. But when you leave the dishes in the sink because you have other priorities, this is not procrastination, unless you always avoid doing them.
Are truly successful people (male or female) procrastinators with no underlying motives for what they do? Was Mark Zuckerberg, who cofounded Facebook at age 20, a procrastinator? Do Steve Jobs, Donald Trump or Michael Jordan or Mohammad Ali fall into the category of “a person is a person” and thus had no underlying motives to their behavior or drive?
Finally, yes, many of the bad habits listed in the article are not purely the domain of men; women can equally engage in those same bad habits. And yes, of course, women have bad habits of their own, but there are times to stand up for what you believe in and for what is right; I humbly suggest that what you are standing up for is something truly valuable, a principle that is worth fighting for. Do you believe that the toilet set fits into that category? Do you choose being right or do you choose happiness?
You can read the angry comments about the MSN article here on my website.
You can post your comment on this newsletter below.
If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page at PatrickWanis.com.
I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.