Differentiation Between One-Up vs One-Down Resentment

In order to understand how many men (who are trained in the one-up masculine in this culture and are generally trained to be entitled) become deeply resentful in their intimate relationships, it is necessary to differentiate between one-up resentment and one-down resentment.

Women, who are trained to be one-down in their feminine cultural roles, usually become resentful to the mostly unconscious entitlements that many men take for granted as a matter of course. As long as women go along with the unconscious entitlements and not challenge them, they don’t upset the apple cart.

resentments between a coupleOne-down resentment, as it gets going, often takes the form of ineffectual complaining or criticizing of their partner, at which point one-up resentment on the part of the person in the masculine, usually the man, begins to set in.

Masculine, or one-up resentment, is generally about having men’s entitlements challenged, while one-down resentment on the part of women is usually about men’s entitlements! Since men are trained in guy school not to see their entitlements and women are trained in girl school not to say anything about masculine entitlements, the s— hits the fan when women become empowered enough to start complaining. Then it becomes important for men to realize that women will generally see their entitled positions before they do themselves and believe them even when women come on angry, critical and complaining.

Complaining to a man about his entitlements is neither pleasant to the man
nor effective for the woman, but this is not the basic problem.

What is the problem? The unseen and unacknowledged entitlements.

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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