Author Topic: The difference between men and woman's communication?  (Read 3894 times)

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peach2play

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The difference between men and woman's communication?
« on: October 13, 2011, 02:34:11 PM »
I started dating Ian a little over a month ago.  We met literally by accident (very sweet story).  He treats me really well, and things are progressing well.  There is one little issue that I don't really know how to handle so I turn to all you wise ones.  When he asks me about my day and I've had a really stressful day, he always replies back with, "Well, you're a really strong, intelligent woman, and I know you can handle it."  Every, single time.  I'm not really sure why it bothers me even a little bit, it is a really sweet thing to say, but I guess I've run out of polite replies except thank you.  Any insights would be appreciated!

Ruelz

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 02:36:14 PM »
Maybe it's his 'safe' supportive standby?  Maybe he's scared to offer other advice in case you don't want advice?  Men tend to want to fix things vs. just listen about them and be supportive in that capacity.
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Judah

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 02:42:51 PM »
I started dating Ian a little over a month ago.  We met literally by accident (very sweet story).  He treats me really well, and things are progressing well.  There is one little issue that I don't really know how to handle so I turn to all you wise ones.  When he asks me about my day and I've had a really stressful day, he always replies back with, "Well, you're a really strong, intelligent woman, and I know you can handle it."  Every, single time.  I'm not really sure why it bothers me even a little bit, it is a really sweet thing to say, but I guess I've run out of polite replies except thank you.  Any insights would be appreciated!

I'm not sure why it would bother you either and I don't think it's a male/female thing. It sounds like he respects you and has confidence in your abilities, that's a great thing.  Appropriate responses could be anything like,

Thank you
I usually do
I can, but I appreciate being able to talk to you about it
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Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
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Yvaine

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 02:57:32 PM »
To me, it could sound dismissive if he says the same thing every time--I suspect that's why it's bothersome.

I wonder if he had a previous relationship where he did the "always trying to fix everything" thing and was told "Don't try to fix my problems, I'm a strong intelligent woman!"

I think you can just tell him that sometimes you just want to vent. In one relationship I even had a "vent sign" that I'd make if I didn't want advice.

Auntie Mame

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 02:58:19 PM »
he sounds great, I have a feeling it's very important to him that you know he respects you.

I would try this tactic "I love that you recognize and respect that in me, but I could really use some advice right now."

Also look at his habit this way, if that's the most annoying he does, you two are golden!  *This is the tactic I used when I first started dating my ah-MAZING BF and he left the toilet seat up.  I realized that if was the most annoying thing I had to deal with, I could totally live with that.
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NostalGhia

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 03:00:58 PM »
peach2play,
What kind of response are you seeking from him? Do you want his advice/insight about things? Do you want him to express more interest by asking you about the details of your stress or by inviting you to vent? Do you feel like he's brushing you off when he says that line?

PeasNCues

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 03:10:06 PM »
I think the fact that it was the same response every time would bother me - it's like no matter what I said, it would get the same route response. There's no comfort, no offer of support, no advice. In fact, it almost sounds like it's a "suck it up, buttercup" response.
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rashea

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 03:16:24 PM »
What would you like him to say? I'm asking because it would change the advice I would give. Sometimes I think when something someone says bothers us, it's important to think about what we want to hear. And then be able to communicate that.
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ilrag

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 03:16:38 PM »
It sounds like he's not trying to get in trouble from offering advice when it's not wanted.

Just tell him what you want at that point. If you want advice say "What would you do here"  If you want to know if you're blowing it out of proportion, say "Am I over reacting?  How would you feel about this?"


TeamBhakta

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 03:20:05 PM »
I've heard a similar suggestion in men's magazines, for when your SO wants to unload about her day but doesn't actually want advice, just to know "I'm listening, I'm fully paying attention and I'm behind whatever it is you need."

Yvaine

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 03:23:58 PM »
I think the fact that it was the same response every time would bother me - it's like no matter what I said, it would get the same route response. There's no comfort, no offer of support, no advice. In fact, it almost sounds like it's a "suck it up, buttercup" response.

I can see that too. I'm imagining it delivered with kind of a smug smirk, though, and that may not be actually the case!

Layla Miller

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2011, 03:25:54 PM »
That would bug me, too--responding with the exact same phrase every time.  It reminds me of the Toots Special, where you keep using the same canned statement in order to respond to someone without actually engaging with them.  It would make me feel like I'm being brushed off.
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Judah

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2011, 03:26:54 PM »
I think the fact that it was the same response every time would bother me - it's like no matter what I said, it would get the same route response. There's no comfort, no offer of support, no advice. In fact, it almost sounds like it's a "suck it up, buttercup" response.

I can see that, but the tone the OP describes doesn't seem to indicate this meaning. 
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Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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PeasNCues

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2011, 03:28:28 PM »
I think the fact that it was the same response every time would bother me - it's like no matter what I said, it would get the same route response. There's no comfort, no offer of support, no advice. In fact, it almost sounds like it's a "suck it up, buttercup" response.

I can see that, but the tone the OP describes doesn't seem to indicate this meaning.

Yeah, I know he's trying to be supportive, but the words he is saying are not conveying that - in fact, he is saying the opposite. He's saying, "You can deal with this without me" - and he means that in the best possible way (that's she's strong, etc) but sometimes that's not what you need, KWIM?

I didn't mean to say that he was being a jerk or anything. :)
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

Judah

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Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2011, 03:36:14 PM »
I think the fact that it was the same response every time would bother me - it's like no matter what I said, it would get the same route response. There's no comfort, no offer of support, no advice. In fact, it almost sounds like it's a "suck it up, buttercup" response.

I can see that, but the tone the OP describes doesn't seem to indicate this meaning.

Yeah, I know he's trying to be supportive, but the words he is saying are not conveying that - in fact, he is saying the opposite. He's saying, "You can deal with this without me" - and he means that in the best possible way (that's she's strong, etc) but sometimes that's not what you need, KWIM?

I didn't mean to say that he was being a jerk or anything. :)

It's funny how we all hear things through our own filter.  Hearing this from my husband is usually exactly what I need.  I don't want sympathy, or solutions, or caring platitudes.  Somehow, hearing that he thinks I can handle it without his help  is reassuring and gives me confidence to handle it.  But I can see how, if you're looking for help and understanding, that hearing this phrase would feel dismissive.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys