Have you ever noticed, after a long and an intensive speech you perform to your partner – he suddenly turns around and goes – “sorry, what did you say?” You being stunned for a moment and think – “Hm, what part am I supposed to repeat, where my girlfriend is getting married or where my annoying colleague at work drives me mad or that my mum is coming this weekend? I bet many women have experienced this situation at least once or better say, a million times! This is when small worrying thoughts start occupying our minds – “he isn’t listening to me, why do I even bother sharing my troubles”. Then our minds tend to make it worse – “he never listens to me actually, and even if he pretends to, he still doesn’t understand how I feel”.
Here common perception comes into play that men think women talk too much and into detail, while women are of an opinion that men are never ready to listen to the end and always try to fix the problems they are not asked to.
The point being, men and women indeed have different perspectives of what is happening to them. Women like describing their worries as wide as possible, precisely going through every little detail. The actual fact of sharing a problem with a close person makes them feel needed and cared for. While men would be impatiently waiting for the final point, to proclaim a solution, that, they think, women are seeking. Their mission, as a stronger partner, is accomplished here. Men’s style of communication is completely the opposite. If they don’t want to hear anyone’s opinion about their issue, they simply don’t share it and often keep it for themselves until a few options for solution are thought through. Whereupon they might briefly discuss it with a partner or a friend making sure their decision is correct and easily carry on. That’s why it is not clear to them why their spouses are offended by them trying to fix their problems.
This popular scenario is repeated far too often: “Honey, I think I don’t quite like my job”. “Well, then you have to change it!” – replies your Mr. IknowItAll.
But what women are really expecting from their partners is a connection with the feelings and emotions they are experiencing around the matter, rather than discussing the solution itself. Therefore it is important male partner allows some space for understanding what the situation means to her in particular and what exactly her worries are about this. It is such a relief to every person to be heard, and more so for women.
Being so different, there is no expectation one should always gratify the other’s style. But to be aware of the differences and appreciate them is already is big step to harmony and respect in the relationship.
I would encourage all men to follow the advice from this video: “Don’t try to fix it, I just need you to listen”.