Friday, February 03, 2006

Men Vs Women

Sunny and I were talking last night, and through that conversation, I think I’ve finally figured out why men and women fight so much. That’s right; I have stumbled upon the Holy Grail.

I am one step closer to understanding women.

(Shame that there’s still a few million steps to go.)

Ok, it all starts with what every person on the planet knows:

Men are Simple. Women are Complicated.

When a man says something, he says what he means. There’s no ‘in between the lines’ stuff there. Basically, what man says, man means.

Women on the other hand, tend to not say what they mean. They want us to read between the lines, and here’s the kicker…they think that we already KNOW this.

Women are diplomatic. Your speech is a lot more sophisticated than ours. Women say yes, mean no, and vice versa.

Let’s give an example:

John calls Jane from work:

“Hey, sweetie, some of the boys are going out for a drink after work, do you mind if I go along?” John asks.

“Well, if you want to.” Says Jane.

“Are you sure?” Asks John. “I don’t have to go out tonight if you don’t want me to.”

“No, it’s fine. You go out and have a good time.”

“Ok sweetie, see you later.”

It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Now let’s look at it from both perspectives.

John’s Perspective

John has called home to ask permission to go out. Jane agrees. John tries to be nice, and to make absolutely sure that she doesn’t mind, he asks again and says he’s more than happy to just come home if she wants him to. Again, Jane says it’s fine.

John thinks: “I’ve asked her if it’s ok and made doubly sure she doesn’t mind. Therefore, I can go out, and not have to worry about being in trouble.”

Male = Face value.

Jane’s Perspective

John called and asked permission to go out. Jane didn’t EXPRESSLY agree, but said “Well, if you want to.” which John should have seen as a reluctant agreement and therefore understood that she didn’t want him to go.

Jane doesn’t want to be the ‘bad guy’, so has agreed, but with an obvious hint to the contrary.  In this case ‘If you want to’ actually means, ‘You can go out if you want to, but I don’t want you to.’

In Jane’s eyes, there is no possible way that John did not understand this, but John pressed the issue anyway, and selfishly ignored the obvious indication that she wants him to come home.

Next, John employs a trick of his own, where he pretends, rather craftily, to completely miss what she really meant. He asks her if she’s sure. To Jane, what John is really saying is: “I know you don’t want me to go, but if you want me to come home, you’re going to have to explicitly forbid me to go out…which makes you the controlling and selfish one, meaning I won’t be the bad guy for wanting to go out, but you’ll be the bad guy for stopping me.”

Jane is buggered if she’s going to give him the satisfaction of telling him no, so she says that it’s fine and leaves it to his own conscience…meaning he’s going to be in a world of shit when he finally gets home.

Basically, men say what they mean, so we assume that women say what they mean as well. Women are a lot more sophisticated, and assume that men talk in the same way that they do.

To men, conversation is a straight road. To women, it’s an intricate dance.

In short, men take everything we hear at face value, because everything we say is exactly what they means. Women take almost nothing we say at face value, because a woman’s first instinct is to think: “Ok, he SAID he was doing this…but what does that really MEAN?”

The problem comes along because both sexes judge every conversation on their own terms, most of the time not knowing that there’s any other way to take it. Basically, we both think we’re right.

This also applies to the way we deal with problems.

For example, a woman comes home and complains about the way her boss treats her, or how stressful her job is.

Now, what women tend to want in this situation is sympathy and support. They want us to listen and give comments such as: “God, that boss of yours is a bastard!”, “What a prick!” and “I don’t know how you put up with it!”

This is exactly the kind of thing a woman would say, but our minds just don’t work like that.

We see it as this: You have a problem, you’re telling us about this problem, therefore you want us to help you solve it. So instead of “What a prick!”, which is what you want to hear, you get: “If I were you, I would go see your Union rep and lodge a formal complaint about the way he’s treating you. My mate Bill had a similar problem and what he did was…”

Basically, our minds work differently, and 99% of the time, it puts us men in a big fat no-win situation. For example:

Your wife goes to work, and notices that one of her co-workers has received a huge bunch of flowers. She gets pissed because you NEVER do anything like that for her any more.

Eventually, this leads to an argument.

Here comes the no-win situation. Basic male thinking says: “She’s mad because I don’t buy her flowers. I’ll buy her some flowers, and it’ll solve the problem.”

Unfortunately, female brains don’t work like that. Buying her flowers because she mentioned them, and you argued about it, doesn’t count. The whole point of flowers is that you are doing something nice for her just for the sake of it. If she has to ask, what’s the point?

So, not buying flowers gets you in trouble, because she mentioned it, and you completely ignored her. Buying flowers also gets you in trouble, because she had to ask, and giving her flowers just gets another argument started, because you just don’t understand.

In closing, ladies, just understand that your man is, by your standards, an incredibly simple creature. We’re not good at reading between the lines. If he calls asking if he can go to the bar with his buddies, and you don’t want him to, just tell him no.

“No, I want you to come home and spend sometime with me.” We can understand. Saying “Go right ahead.” While meaning “No.” won’t work.  


MC Etcher said...

True dat. The best way to go out with the boys is to schedule it: "Honey, I was thinking about going out with th boys next Tuesday." which gives her a chance to make plans of her own, instead of sitting home alone.

W & W said...

There are exceptions to the man talks like a girl and I talk like the man...
but for us it works.

I also just go out with friends to drink and say I am shopping.... it is amazing what a girl can get away with!

: )