Titanic Communication — Men vs Women

Janice gravatarWhat 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 ;)

– Cafe

* * *

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.

“And don’t come out until you’re listener-focused, bitch.”

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

There’s only some good things about women being on top.

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.

Not the silent treatment again!!!

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.”

“You missed a spot, dumplin’ buns.”

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.”

My fellow men, do y’all really wanna see this face? Two words: Listener-focused.

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*.

Class is in session, bitch.

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 ;)

– ‘Tage

Photo Credits: Dog houseIceberg, Mad man, Feet rub, Teacher


39 thoughts on “Titanic Communication — Men vs Women

  1. Pingback: What This Blog Has Accomplished in 8 Months | Your Daily Dose

  2. Hahaha, rub my feet man bitch! Good one! Though I couldn’t agree more. Communication techniques between the sexes are worlds apart. You guys should join forces and write guide “communication for dummies”! It might help me cut down my visits to the dog house.

      • I’m eagerly awaiting that post. Though how exactly will you find out what happens in the male mind? You know, with you being a woman and all:^) (You are a woman, right?lol)

        • Hahahaha, yes I am a woman!
          Well, good question. Although ‘Tage is a man and he has managed to dissect the female brain :)
          Great thing about blog posts is that you can share your opinions and then get men and women to tell you how on or off the ball you are =P

          • lol, touche! I must say Tage has done a very in-depth investigation, but me thinks females let on much less than there is to it. See the ‘tip of iceberg’ analogy. Soon, we’re gonna find out what really goes on in your ol’ tickers:-p

  3. You have my vote for even approaching this subject. I feel there are too many variables on the subject even within a specific culture to answer. When we talk about this in relation to places like Canada, USA, that are not homogeneous it’s mind-boggling.

    • Lol it’s a tough one, huh? It would be very interesting to look at other cultures who actually have very different communication styles between the sexes!

      • Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist is a good read. By the way I thought about what you said, your analogy. I think it’s very good, well thought out. I was thinking the whole iceberg.

  4. After being married for 8 years, I could definitely say, men and women think and talk differently. Until now I’m still trying to decipher the codes and yes, I’m trying to listen more because a lot of times I miss the main point or thought I did. But the good news is, opposites attract. It’s what makes life interesting. When we care about people, we try our best to understand them and vice versa. Such an enjoyable post…Thank you. Take care…

    • It’s definitely a work in progress. Almost like perfecting an art! Yes, that’s exactly what I just thought/said — it does make life more interesting! Thanks for your great insights, as always :)

  5. Fantastic article – truthful and straight to the point (which makes sense since a man wrote it – LOL)!

    Something I have to say is, if women always said what they meant, then there wouldn’t be arguments, ergo, no make-up sex! And where would our civilization be without that! ;)

  6. You know I’ve found the worst problem… besides having to GUESS, which is really frustrating… is that when women DON’T say what they really, fully mean, when they FINALLY do it’s a huge deal – and usually a bad deal. I’m always attempting to do the right thing, but because I’ve gotta guess at the real feelings or meanings, I can easily end up just angering the significant other. I PROMISE, ladies, I listen to my girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean she’s easy to understand – and it gets me in trouble. Too hard, women, help us out – and we’ll do our best!

    • Steve, we speak the same language! Maybe….VERY carefully….ask her to read this blog. You could tell her your reply is like proof of your good intentions…and that by posting you let the whole world know you are trying.

      This way she’ll feel important. And she just might like that!

      Of course she might “tip of the iceberg” you and say “Excuse me!! (snap snap) What are you trying to say? Are you saying i’m hard to understand? Easily annoyed?? Damn you Steve! Dog house, right this way…you know the way by now!”

    • Haha I feel your pain, Steve, even as a woman. I honestly don’t know how bad I am at this. It’s hard to have a really accurate picture of one’s self, right? But I do think a lot of girls do this and need to realize that it just causes them more grief than anything else!

  7. This comes back to a theory I heard once as to why women usually aren’t as funny as men. It’s because women aren’t as honest as men are. You could come up with reasons as to why that is forever, but it’s true. A guy won’t hangout with someone he doesn’t like but a girl will and she’ll talk bad about that girl when she’s not around. Off-topic slightly, thought it might have some relevance though.

    Whenever a girl is passive with me about something I call them out on it. Girls say things like “I think you should (insert whatever it is she wants you to do that you really would rather not do)” It’d be less annoying if you said that you would like me to do it because it would make you happy. Have some confidence. Get used to having people say “no” to you.

    It’s amazing though how different people can be yet I’ve never met a girl who wasn’t like the one described here or a guy who didn’t match your description. Good job Tage!

    • Thanks! I hate to state the obvious but the more we “know” about the opposite sex the more we can “relate.” I’m all for the exception to the rule, let’s kill stereotypes one laugh at a time :)

    • Interesting comment, Tim. I do agree and I think that’s why I way prefer chilling with guys over girls, because I love that they’re so straight-forward and there’s no offense taken about it either. The girls I do chill with are more like that too, I think.

      I like what you said about having more confidence. Maybe that’s what the real issue is. As ‘Tage and I were discussing today, girls often feel the need to please — we’re socialized that way — and so sometimes we’re afraid of being blunt because we think it’ll reflect poorly on us.

  8. Alright, ‘Tage. I almost don’t want to say it, but I do have to agree with you SOMEWHAT. Of course, not ALL women are like this. But … you know … a lot are. So my question is why? Why do women GENERALLY feel that they can’t come straight out and say what they want to say? Why is it so difficult for us and so easy for men?

  9. Ehem.. Nice topic Tage… Well, I have to admit too, what you written is really true, fact.
    Tho, why only reveals a very small bit of what one’s thinking? That’s the time we loss communication.hhmmm…should I answer that? :P

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