What up, y’all? Today I have the great delight of introducing you to one of my best friends, ‘Tage, who has written this very humorous yet — I have to admit — accurate portrayal of men and women in relationships.
Show him some love and let him know what you think — ’cause I know you all HAVE to have an opinion on this one ;)
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It is the oldest adage in the world….men and women communicate differently. The thing is, one of the reasons for this phenomenon is that…well….men don’t seem to ever talk about this at all! (Funny, eh?) Therefore, differences widen, myths develop, and the dog house has frequent visitors (usually men, why is that?)
Well, women, I’m here to offer a glimpse into the rarely seen abyss of the male psyche (now I say abyss since it is yet unproven whether or not intelligent life lives within).
Nonetheless, here goes…but be warned….it will be… *gasp*….honest.
First and foremost…and this is most important I think…communication is and should always be about the listener. I consider myself a decent talker but if the person I am speaking to leaves the conversation in a daze then, simply put, I have failed, no matter how many impressive metaphors or jedi-mind tricks I pulled. With this in mind, I am constantly aware of my listener and trying to adjust what I say and how I say it, ensuring that I am understood. This does not mean I always succeed (I’ve slept in the dog house once or twice when I couldn’t talk my way out of something) but at least I gradually learned the important lesson of listener-focused communication.
Now along this communication “journey” I found myself frequently noticing how incredibly hard it is when talking to women (and vise versa I imagine). I was always shocked at how hard it was to speak in a way that didn’t lead to intense misunderstandings with women. Now since I’ve been surrounded by women most of my life by virtue of my family, types of schools, profession and well…shall we say…social life, I have had ample opportunity to practice and this sums up the most important lesson I’ve learned:
Women = Tip of the Iceberg
Men = The Entire Iceberg
Let me explain…
As a man, my experience talking to a woman is that she only reveals a very small bit of what she is thinking (kind of like the tip of the iceberg) and from this she is secretly hoping we men will realize what is behind what she is saying. You see, this shows we “understand” her, we “empathize” with her, we are good “listeners” and other mushy stuff. Women, I don’t think you realize how exhausting this is for us. Like a guessing game — guess any part of it wrong and we are in for a scolding or worse, the dreaded silent treatment.
BUT – there is another far worse problem with this type of communication: It subconsciously convinces you that we too communicate in this way. WE DO NOT. Men are “The Entire Iceberg” – typically (when we get up the nerve to speak our minds) we actually say what we are thinking. There aren’t 47 other layers of meaning behind what we say.
For example, if a couple had planned to go out but then a man was to say to the woman: “Do you want to stay in tonight and relax?” what he is saying is: “Do you want to stay in tonight and relax?” What he is NOT saying is one or more of the following:
“I don’t want to go out with you.”
“I think you don’t look good in that new shirt, let’s stay in.”
“I expect you to cook and clean for me if we stay in.”
“I need to relax, you stress me out.”
“I need to control you and am just asking this question to humour you, it is decided already muahahahahahahah!”
In other words – He spoke “entire iceberg” but she heard: “tip of the iceberg.”
Now if, in the same situation, a woman was to say to a man: “Do you want to stay in tonight and relax?” she is likely hoping a man will understand that she also means:
“By relax, I mean together…quality time….”
“By asking you I’m hoping you’ll see what I really want and smile and agree.”
“Do you have any secret surprises for me that you saved up for a night in like this?”
“When no one else is around you act so sweet and cuddly, I love it.”
“Rub my feet, man bitch.”
Or maybe she means the total opposite!!
“I really really want to go out but I want you to want to go out too, please say no let’s go out!!”
“Maybe if I offer to stay in he’ll notice I just got all dressed up and I’m wearing smudge-proof lipstick to go out.”
“Don’t you recognize this idea of staying in? It’s all we’ve done this whole week!!”
In other words she spoke “tip of the iceberg” but when he said “Sure, cool” he had assumed “entire iceberg.”
Men, as I said in my opening point, we need to communicate this in a way SHE will understand. If staying in is a surprise, say instead: “I know we planned to go out and I would still love to do that another time soon, but tonight I’d just love to stay in and enjoy some quality time together, just the two of us. P.S. I’ll rub your feet.” Haha, okay, I exaggerate, but only slightly. I know it sounds like way too many words but women need to hear this to understand that we have considered their feelings in our decision (or request) to stay in. By being tip-of-the-iceberg communicators, they expect us to be to. So unless you cover all the angles, they WILL fill in the blanks anyway (so why not give them some sweet things to fill those blanks in with – can you say brownie points? Boys, we know where those lead!!)
Women, you need to do the same for us. Tell us the hidden meanings behind what you say (if there are any…I know there is always that 1% of the time when there aren’t any =P). This way, our “entire iceberg” type mind won’t have to guess and ladies, you can take pleasure in knowing that we need some teaching. Seriously, why hold it over our heads when you can get so much more of what you want simply by asking for it? Doesn’t take much to persuade us men *winks*.
Ok the iceberg got a bit overused but what do you think? Could it catch on? Oh, and ladies if you are reading this….I promise this is it…I just said EXACTLY what I was thinking…there’s nothing more ;)