Before you start getting all riled up and start typing your angry tweets … holster your thumbs and just hear me out! I don’t want to get assaulted by every feminist in a 5o mile radius, so … let me state loud and clear … that I don’t think women’s problems are any less important than men’s problems. They are
usually (oops! Sorry, Freudian slip … I’m JUST KIDDING, relax) just as valid and deserve our full attention.
The issue I have … is talking about them! Women handle their problems much differently than men do. Giving her the support she’s seeking is a struggle for most men because when she has a problem, she just wants to talk about it … that’s all.
“He never listens. All he wants to do is solve my problem.”
Uh …. yeah! Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you have a problem!? When men have a problem they define the problem, brainstorm solutions, decide the best solution and then implement the solution to solve the problem. Every man reading this currently is saying “Exactly!” … and every woman reading this is sighing with disappointment.
Ladies … we’re sorry. We just don’t understand your way of dealing with problems! Women define problems in broader terms and examine a wider array of potential factors before going into solution mode … if solution mode is ever even a destination. Men, by nature, are problem solvers. It’s in our DNA. Our natural inclination is to solve a problem that we are presented. Granted, we don’t always implement the best solution … but we decide on a solution and do it. Women on the other hand just want to talk about a problem and aren’t really looking for a solution. Huh!? This makes absolutely NO sense to a man! When women have problems and they want to discuss them with a man … this can often lead to … let’s say … misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
In a man’s mind, if she is coming to me with her problem … she needs help solving it. I love this woman … so we are going to figure out a solution so she can move past it. In a woman’s mind, she is thinking that he loves me so I can talk to him about my problem and how I’m feeling.
Men … a piece of advice. The last word in the previous paragraph is what it’s really about. It’s not about the problem … it’s about her feelings.
Women … a piece of advice. Feelings are the lowest rung on the ladder of problem solving for a man. If you come to us with a problem, our natural inclination is to solve it … not talk about feelings.
I’ve been told that when a woman wants to talk to you about her problem that she is not always looking for an answer. What!? As much as I understand these words … the sentiment goes against every fiber of a man’s being. Believe me, for the sake of tranquility, I have tried to just listen and not give solutions … but it doesn’t feel natural! When men discuss problems with other men, if the other guy does not offer up a solution … it means he doesn’t give a shit. So, if I have a solution to your problem and don’t voice it … in my brain … I feel as if I’m humoring you and giving the appearance that I don’t care about your problem. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If I’m actively giving you solutions to your problem, it means I care. If I’m just listening and not giving any suggestions … it means I don’t give a shit.
It all just comes down to the differences between men and women.
As hard as I try to just listen when my wife talks to me about something that’s bothering her, I cannot stop from telling her what I think she should do. It gives me anxiety to just sit and listen without offering up solutions. Problems are meant to be solved … not discussed. This annoys the shit out of her (I know because she’s told me so!) and you would think that I would have learned by now … but it’s not a matter of learning. It’s just how men’s brains work.
Truth be told, I’ve succeeded in listening and not giving solutions a few times. My wife would argue this has never happened … but it did. I remember … because it took every ounce of my being to keep my mouth shut! Even though I had what I thought to be a perfect solution, I bit my tongue … hard! The few times I did this, I felt I came across apathetic … and not to mention anxious for sitting there with the answer and not giving it. Do you know how hard that is for a know-it-all, like myself!?
So, let’s recap. You present me with a problem that you have. I have (what I think) is a perfect solution. You don’t want to hear the solution. You just want to talk more about the problem. On what planet does this make any sense? Oh that’s right … Venus.
… one of the funniest things I’ve seen regarding the difference between men and women’s brains is by Mark Gungor. You can watch it here. It’s G rated … but it is hilarious!