Consider your boyfriend/husband skills as diamonds in the rough. I'm here to help you polish your ahem... skills. I have a husband who is very wise in the way of women, one of the reasons we've been together for over half our lives already. So first lesson is on listening. I know it's confusing. It's tough and it certainly doesn't make any sense to you when we say "I don't want you to solve it! I just want you to listen!"
There is a good reason that "It's Not About the Nail" got over 6 milliion views in 4 months. It's funny because it's true. Jason Headley captured the absurdity of it all.
We don't want your advice because we are also capable of higher level thinking. You know how when you have a problem, you like to go off and think about it and make a decision? We like to talk it out with someone who loves us. We hear the solution as we are talking. Getting advice from you feels bad for two reasons:
- It makes us feel stupid and we don't like to feel stupid. We women grew up as little girls. Often little girls are treated as though they are not as smart as their male counterparts.
- It makes us feel shut down. When you're quick on the draw with the old suggestion it makes it pretty clear that you've got better things to do. Do you really? Is finding out the score to today's baseball game at this exact moment worth sacrificing sex for? I didn't think so.
Why do we want you to listen anyway? It feels good. It's one way that we feel loved and supported. Feeling loved and supported leads to feelings of intimacy. (Oh, now it's becoming clear, isn't it?)
- Listening consists of Hearing AND comprehending what the person speaking is actually saying. So if you are watching sports, reading your twitter feed, or checking out the waitress's legs while your girl's lips are moving, consider it a fail. Stop whatever else you are doing and pay attention. Remember this will payoff later, so it's worth it.
- You Can't Listen and Talk at the Same Time. Only women can do this. And not all of us either. So you're best bet is to keep your lips locked shut and throw away the key. Zip it. Shut it. That's right. Much better.
- You also can't listen while you are thinking of the great advice that you have to give her so that she'll just shut the hell up and you can get back to watching sports highlights. Oh I know. It's almost impossible not to think of any number of easy, smart and/or obvious ways that she could get out of whatever is making her life (and now yours) miserable. But don't. She's smart. She'll figure out the best solution. The WAY she'll figure it out is by talking about it. She's problem solving and you are the lucky sounding board. So dig your fork into your leg, bite your cheek, do anything you have to in order to remind yourself that your ideas and suggestions are not welcome here.
- The Only Acceptable Statements from You are As Follows:
- Are you serious? He/She/They said/did/ that?
- That sucks, babe/honey/sweetheart
- Then what happened?
- Tsking sounds, shaking your head and/or saying "NO!" in disbelief are all good
- She's a serious bitch! (unless the she that your woman is complaining about is her sister/best friend/mom - then leave this one out and go back to #1)
- What a dick! (again, not to be used for her dad/brother)
- That must have been awful. I'm so sorry you had such a bad day/week/semester/class.
- What are you going to do?
- Oh sugar lips, I know you can figure it out. You always make the right choice. (except probably don't call her sugar lips).
- Let me make you a drink/give you a foot rub/rub your shoulders (Note: DO NOT EXPECT SEX AT THIS POINT! Don't even try it. Not even a little bit. That will come later)
Okay? So that's it. Really women are pretty simple to understand. You just have to stop thinking like a man once in a while.
You're welcome, boys!
Next Post: Wednesday, October 16th
Grooming 101 (So You'll Get a Little Somethin' Somethin' Later)