As a writer or a person who perceives the world through the eyes of others, I ask questions, study the behavior of individuals to learn―and most importantly try to “Understand” them.
A few nights ago, I went out with a few of my girlfriends. We laughed, drank and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It wasn’t until the men showed up that the dynamics changed. The tension between some couples was blatantly apparent, whereas others seemed at ease and were thrilled to have their significant others join the festivities.
During bathroom breaks, private side conversations and other distractions presented themselves, my over stimulated curiosity began running wild. I had to know why some couples looked happy while others appeared as if they were sitting in a dentist chair awaiting a root canal. Fascinating!
More drinks, more laughter―and as the night progressed, I found opportunities to engage the men in small-talk. I began to add a few things into our conversations to see who would take the bait. … “Jeez, my husband shut down sometimes, and I wonder why?” Sorry honey, I owe you one, but my plan worked perfectly.
Some of the men were quite willing to spill their guts about everything they loved and hated about their woman, however, what I discovered was well worth the trouble. That night, three complaints stood out.
Here’s what I learned….
What are the three things that drive men crazy?
Men tend to be repulsed by women who cannot enjoy a moment of silence and who insist on nagging their partner to open up and spill whatever is on their minds before they are ready. Men often need some time to process what has happened in their day before sharing all the details. Men are attracted to a confident woman. When we become needy it puts more stress on them to entertain us, fill in the blanks of our low self-esteem. Ladies… we are tough. We don’t need others to entertain us or fill in our blanks.
All of our men have “The Look,” the look that tells us that something is bothering them, we all need to read those signs and act accordingly. If we ask them what’s wrong, and they stiffen up, it’s time to back off and play the game. If you want him to open up, then ask the question differently. “Hey, I know something’s bothering you, when you feel like talking about it, I’m here. Nine times out of ten they’ll wait a while, then open up.
All men have hurdles to jump through at work, and when they come home, it supposed to be their safe-haven or peaceful place. When your man walks through the door, don’t ruin that peace by piling on negative comments or depressing stories that will only weigh him down. If you can’t be upbuilding, then maybe you need to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
If your man is quiet, there could be a very good reason, and the last thing he wants to hear is negative problems when he’s still trying to sort out his own complexity quietly. Like… “You won’t believe it, but SO-AND-SO came up to me at the grocery store and said our yard is looking shabby, or I was overcharged on our cell phone bill and spend half the day having to fix it with tech support.” If your man has had a bad day, don’t add to the mess by sharing negativity, it benefits no one. Wait until the timing is right. He’ll want to know sooner or later how your day went, but timing is everything and the wisdom to explain your day without bringing a blue mood with it. Lesson to learn . . . BE PATIENT and choose your words wisely.
Men hate gossip, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S ON FACEBOOK. No man wants to hear or see what Sally fixed her kids for breakfast. All five men had shared similar stories on how much they hated BFD tidbits their wives would yammer on about . . . like, “My wife told me SO AND SO… whose random uncle just had back surgery and was now forced to walk with a cane, or David is now dating Rhonda―can you believe that?―She’s only been single for three weeks and now she’s on the market. Did you see the new car Fred posted?―that’s the third one this year―I think that’s ridiculous… what’s your opinion?” Trust me… they DO NOT want to hear that. Men focus on what immediately affects them, not the neighbors or others who get nothing more than a small wave as they drive to work in the morning―and most importantly PEOPLE THEY HAVE NEVER MET…