Bros, are you always shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to women? Can you never seem to say or do the right thing? Ladies, do guys just come off as asinine douchers? Does it seem like most men just don’t care about your needs?
Well, I’m here to tell you why.
It isn’t a new story that men and women are rarely on the same page. A lot of that has to do with the different expectations we put on the different sexes. However, a lot of it comes from the differences in how we communicate.
From a young age, men are conditioned to communicate in a more competitive manner than women. In a typical male conversation, we spend our time building ourselves up, while verbally throwing our friends under the bus. It isn’t catty or mean, it’s all about acknowledging another persons’ accomplishments by saying something playfully insulting about it.
For example, if my buddy “Joe” drops 30 points in our pick-up basketball game (clearly a respectable baller), I’ll most likely say something like “My legless mother has a better jump shot than you”, or anything to throw him off his rhythm.
By insulting him, Joe and I have become closer. It says, “Hey, I am comfortable enough with you to insult you to your face, and still be friends with you after.” This is how men have bonded and communicated for eons, and at the end of the game Joe and I will dap each other up and say good game.
Women, however, are a completely different scenario. Women spend most of their time communicating to express their similarities, not what sets them apart.
If, for example, one woman insults another woman’s shoes…well shit, bitch. IT’S ON. I mean full Cold War action. Becky will feel like the squirrel from Ice Age, alone, in the cold, always searching for her nut.
But! If she tells Sarah how cute her shoes are instead, then they might decide to grab Starbucks and talk about all the “like, omg AMAZING” sales going on at the mall. The importance here is that both Becky and Sarah become closer when they think in a similar way.
These are just two very specific examples of the differences I am trying to get at here. The point is, rarely are men and women on the same page. In reality we’re not even reading the same book…but let me get back to my initial question.
Guys, one of the reasons you’re probably not getting “lift off” in the lady department is because you’re trying to talk to them like you would talk to your buddies, not like the woman she is. Try to refrain from the playful insults until you really get to know the girl. Otherwise, she’ll just think you’re being an ass.
Ladies, one of the things I have to say is to be patient. I know you’ve been patient your whole life, but don’t give up on that the minute a guy doesn’t do or say the right thing. Give him a couple minutes to adjust his mind from where he was (trash talking Bro’s on the basketball court) to where is now (out with a presumably classy lady like yourself).
It might take longer than you’d expect, but if he’s a good guy he’ll eventually come around and ask you all of the right things about your day, your friends, and what crappy things Sarah was saying about you behind your back.
And as for conflict resolution? As a general rule, men and women approach conflicts differently.
Men, again, tend to be more conflict oriented. Whether this is the natural order of things or just an expectation of us isn’t all that clear. What is clear is that men tend to take conflicts to a physical level much faster than our female counterparts. As a consequence, the results are usually much more visible.
Women, however, are more likely to resort to more subtle tactics. These tactics are much more effective when it comes to winning an argument, but also have some more extreme results.
I’ve been in some fights with my guy friends before. Normally it tends to start with a disagreement and end with some sort of physical clash. After a few days of “the cool-down period”, one of us can approach the other with an apology (which is rarely a full apology because we still believe that we were right), and we will move on with our friendship. For example, if I said that Joe’s family doesn’t need a lawn mower because his fat cow of a Mother sits out in their yard grazing all day, it might end up in a fight. Still, after the fight happens Joe and I may be angry with each other for a while, but in a few days we won’t even remember why we were fighting in the first place.
Women seem to hold on to their grudges much longer than men. Personally, I think that this has to do with the severity of breaking the “girl code”. A breach of trust in a female relationship is much more difficult to mend because it will affect how each person treats the other afterword. Sarah might be more reluctant to take Becky shopping for shoes after the ill-considered comment about Sarah’s sandals, and she’ll decide to take Jill shopping instead. All of the sudden, the fundamental relationship between Becky and Sarah has changed, and it is very difficult to come back from that.
Still don’t get it? Here’s Dane Cook with another take on it:
Finally, men and women have two different end games when it comes to our relationships. When a man is confronted with an issue, especially by a woman, his initial reaction is to solve the problem as quickly and easily as possible. Although this may seem like the chivalrous thing to do, it usually isn’t what a woman is looking for.
A woman wants to talk about her problems with you because that is her way of letting you into her world. She wants to bond with you over her trials and tribulations. What she DOES NOT want is for you to list all of the ways she could have avoided the problem, or fix it in the future.
With that said, ladies, all a guy really wants is for you to be happy. Occasionally, you should let a guy fix a problem for you (even if you can fix it yourself) because it will make him feel useful and important.
Like I said, it isn’t likely that men and women will ever be on the same page all of the time. But, if we know where the other is coming from, we might have a better chance at understanding one another.
[Image via Shutterstock]