Jan 20, 2010

Communications Barriers Part 1 - 'Understanding women, their need to talk and what they want'

Theres an issue/drama/miscommunication.... whatever. The first thing that happens? Women get upset, and the one thing they want to do is talk about it.

Why? Well it makes us feel better... And by talking about a problem and how we feel, we think that we'll eventually understand what went wrong in the first place. Its also about about having a safe space to open up, be understood and trust the other person not to punish us for being honest about our fears.

Men, as most of you know, deal with their emotions internally. Its not often a guy will call up his friends to 'talk' about how he feels. In fact most men find this type of analytical approach draining and if he's an emotionally stunted individual he'll call it 'drama' and avoid it all together.

Still even if he's a cool guy and willing to listen, its not fair to take him on the same rollercoaster ride of emotions as we experience it. 1. He wont be able to follow your breakneck speed of processing everything at once and will get confused. And 2. He'll either shut down completely or try an placate you with the phrase "i'll do what you want".

Killer that isnt it Girls?

So part 1 of this article is written for men on 'understanding women' and how not to get to the 'upset' part in the first place. Hopefully some of it will stick.

Rule 1. Simply to women... 'everything has a meaning'

Men let me explain. Why she feels the need to talk is because (stupidly) she has given a whole range of reasons to every action you do (or don't do) and a double meaning behind everything you say (or don't say). Women just do this... don't ask why.

If for any reason she is feeling low/emotional (say time of the month or bad day at work) then that reason may turn out to be negative one. After a while the negative reasons build up, proving to her in a way you'll never understand, that you don't love her or care for her, until she needs you to reassure her with a 'talk' to make her feel better...

An example of this negative association:

Her: hey so do you need me to pick you up from the airport?
Him: what? oh no its ok now, John will drive up
Her: oh ok... are you sure
Him: yeah its fine. Don't trouble yourself.

*In her mind the reason is you either don't want to see her and spend time with her or don't think she can do the job as good as john.

Now all this anxiety on her part can be dispersed by simply adding the reason in yourself straight away:

Her: hey so do you need me to pick you up from the airport?
Him: what? oh no its ok now. John will drive up, but only because i know you have work in the morning and as much as i'd love to see you, i may be a bit grumpy after the flight and i'd hate for you to have to deal with me when i'm like that.

Her: oh of course, i understand. I just wanted to see you.
Him: I know. We'll do something when i get back ok.

So if you don't give her a meaning she will look for one or make one out of thin air or even worse... her girlfriends will tell what the meaning is and it'll be 100x worse that the real reason (and thats when you need to be digging your grave).

Rule 2. Never say "I'll do what you want"

I understand men want to make women happy. And that means finding out what they want and giving it to them right? So asking a girl "what do you want?" and then doing it seems like the best solution to the problem....

Wrong. It will never work because again she will assign a reason to that type of behaviour and if she is feeling low/emotional at the time (and usually when guys reach this point the girl is a mess of tears and stuff) then she will give it a negative reason. That reason is 'he doesn't care what he does because he doesn't really care about me'...

Ok thats a hard one. To a guy its logical. Its what you'd love to hear a girl say to you... but seriously you're putting what you'd want on her and expecting her to like it. Women need to feel that the guy cares and if you push all the responsibility of 'what to do'... whether it be a simple thing like what movie to see or something serious like staying friends after a breakup... she will see that as you don't. Because for women, taking responsibility requires effort, and effort to understand her and know her well means you care a hell of a lot.

So how do you find out what to do? And i know you don't because so many times a guy has said to me "I can't win!"... My advice is to tell her what you want (with reasons!) and then let her decide if she wants to go along with it or not.

Rule 3. Don't punish her or take it personally if she wants to tell you how she feels about the relationship

Some men have this habit of thinking they are 'easy-going' or 'laid-back'. To women this feels like they are cold and distant, cut off from their feelings. They'll punish a girl by saying comments like 'oh just chill out', 'stop nagging' or 'don't worry so much'.... and even worse just avoid her or refuse to engage, staring at her behind a mask of complete aloofness. This type of guy shifts the blame of the issue on to the girl by making her feel that she is 'wrong' to get so upset and that she is causing 'unnecessary drama'.

Sometimes that is the case... women can be drama queens i agree. But its all about balance. If she has shown to be understanding in the past, tolerated difficult behaviour from you on numerous occasions, then a drama queen she isn't. Talk in a relationship should be more than just about fun or sex and shouldn't be taken as a criticism by him when she is only expressing her fears.

Without going into detail on how to deal with her emotions on a mature level... I'll leave you with an article on the 3 signs of a healthy mature man. It should give you some tips on what women are looking for and its written by a guy of course so im hoping it will make more sense to the male brain than my girly chatter.

Right enough beating up the men ;) part 2 will attempt to understand why guys do what they do and will follow shortly... stay tuned.



Pretty Tini

I really like this article!

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