Earlier this week, we discussed Man-Speak. All of us agreed that men have the astonishing ability to think about nothing at all. (Still boggles me, dudes…)
And it reminded me of the conversation I had with Clair, a few weeks after she laid the javadisiac on Married Maurice. (In case you don’t remember how her cup o’ joe made her man a HO, click here.) Anyway, she and I were on the phone and I asked if this married dude was still chasing her down like a dog.
I’m going to share the conversation with my More Cowbell Posse and see what y’all have to say about it.
So, when I asked the question above, I could practically hear Clair roll her eyes. “YES. I haven’t returned his calls or answered any of his notes—”
I interrupted her to remind her that she had called to thank him profusely for the first flower delivery he sent her, the day after the Coffee Debacle.
“Well, but since then I haven’t responded at all. He doesn’t seem to be taking the hint.”
I’ll admit it, I pounced. I told Clair what I’ll tell any of the rest of you ladies that read this blog – married, dating or single:
DON’T HINT TO MEN.
It doesn’t work. Mostly it just pisses them off because they don’t get it, so they sit around wishing you’d just say what you’re thinking instead of hinting around and then getting pissed off when they miss the hint.
Don’t believe me? Read the Man FAQ about hints at Big Ugly Man Doll.
Seriously. Let’s talk about the real difference between women-speak and man-speak (and I expect some of the males to weigh in on this…if you’re reading this and you’re not a guy, go get one and make him give an opinion).
Women bond over problems. Men bond over solutions.
As a woman, I’m aware that the reason why I feel so much better after speaking with my girlfriends is (a) they rock and (b) they help me sort through the debris to discover how I really feel about something.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have my own opinion, it just means I’m A GIRL. This sharing and caring is our bonding process.
Let’s put it another way for all of you that need more data…
I heard a psychologist give a speech about the amount of words people use in a given day and some interesting statistics were thrown around:
- Humans have a number of words that they need to utter each day to feel healthy psychologically. These totals hold pretty steady from day to day and are not cumulative. For example, you don’t save 3,000 words from the day before to use today; it’s a one-shot deal.
- Men start each day with about 9,000 words.
- Women start each day with about 15,000 words.
- Everyone uses about 6,000 words at work.
Are you doing the math here?? That means when a woman comes home from work, she still has NINE THOUSAND WORDS crowding her mind, while a man has only THREE THOUSAND. I think men and women would fight a whole lot less if all parties understood this.
The fact is, all that talking on the phone with the girlfriends is a positive thing. (No, Honey, I’m not trying to justify last month’s phone bill.)
These chats lower the leftover Word-O-Meter for the female half of the relationship team. Otherwise, you have a woman hounding her man to “talk to her” when he gets home from work when, really, he just wants 15 minutes to decompress in his man-cave and think about NOTHING.
My brother (the Bag Whore) asked me once why his wife “needed to tell every freaking girlfriend she has the same story.” He was annoyed because he thought it took too long and was inefficient. “Why can’t she just gather them all in the same room and tell them at the same time. Or I can get her a conference line…”
“Shut up.” I told him. “She needs to use her words and you need to let her. Trust me, you’ll have a happier marriage if you let her tell the same story six times.”
(Since then, he’s stopped fighting the fact that his wife has a LOT of words.)
So back to men and women and the disparity in their number of daily words. Any of you with children, especially if you have a mix of genders, already know what the researchers have discovered:
- When little girls play together in a room, 90% of the sounds that come out of that room are words.
Example: “Barbie, what would you like to do today? Oh? Uh-huh…yes…OK. Let’s put on the purple hat and the white boa and drive the pink car over to the market. We’re going to go to the store! When we get there, we’ll…” You get the picture.
- Conversely, when little boys play together in a room, 30% of the sounds recorded are words. If you aren’t raising boys, you might be thinking, “What do they do with all that dead air?” I said WORDS.
Boys make noise when they play, but it’s more like “Eeee-oooo….Ka-BOOM! Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. May-day, May-day. Eeee-ooooo-rat-tat-tat-vrooOOOOOM.”
I’m not saying these little boys don’t grow up to be men who talk to their partners, I’m just saying it’s a rare thing for a man to talk MORE than a female.
So, if the gals are bonding over problems, what are the guys doing?
As I mentioned earlier, men bond over solutions. If you’re staring at your screen blankly, wondering what that even MEANS, read on.
The majority of men you know would rather chop off their fingers than go to another man and say, “I’m having a problem with my (fill in the blank). What do you think I should do? Does that sound normal to you?”
Men are much more likely to say, “You know, I had a problem with my (fill in the blank) and I tried ‘X.’ I jury-rigged the thing but it’s still just limping along.”
Do you see the difference? Notice the past tense in that second paragraph? Unless, they’ve already tried to find a solution to their problem, most men aren’t going to ask for help. (Just look at them with directions.) [Sorry, that was sexist but I couldn't resist.]
Men bond with each other over the search for a great solution. The above snippet of conversation is usually followed by a trip out to the host’s Man Space to look over the problem.
Please understand I don’t intend this as a male-bashing post. None of these observations is a negative or a positive, really. Men and women are just wired a bit differently and it seems like that fact gets forgotten. A lot. Particularly by women.
Most men need to have their communications be direct and to the point. If that means you have to talk to your girlfriend for an hour to figure out what your point IS, then do that before you bring it to your guy. That way everyone walks away happy.
So, we’ve circled back around (at last) to where we started: Don’t hint.
I know it’s scarier to say, “I want this (fill in the blank)” but you must. If you’re dating someone younger, there is a chance that they’ve been trained in female-speak and might get your hint, but do you really want to chance it? Wouldn’t you rather get what you want?
Example: If you want to see more of someone, say it. Same thing for Clair, but she needed to do the opposite and tell him to GO AWAY instead of running hot and cold. It’s kinder in the long run to be more direct. Write a note if you can’t do it face to face.
OK, you have the floor. Am I completely off base? Or do you think there are differences in the way men and women communicate? Do you fall into the Hinting Camp or the “Say it like it is” Camp? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!
1. I get my second eye fixed today – perfect vision, here I come!! However, I’ll be off line in about 4 hours and you won’t hear a peep out of me until tomorrow. By then, I expect you to have the conversation WELL under way. Hubby will be approving comments, so please impress him.
2. Tomorrow is Life List Friday (that’s a Friday the 13th – Oooooh!) and the first one I have to miss since last August. No tv, computer, books, phone for me for 24 hours so no Life List Club! I hope you’ll still support the crew and blog hop with them…you can get started by going to my right sidebar and clicking on any name under Life List Club.
Have a great weekend!