I’ve stated here on my blog and in many of my articles that I do not buy into Men Vs. Women thinking, mainly because I do not believe it helps us understand each other better. Yes, there may be some psychological and psycho-social gender-biased differences, but I do not believe they are big enough to separate us into two opposite species… Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus… if you get my drift.
I’m convinced that the separating of men and women into two opposite species from two separate planets has increased the men-women understanding gap and made relationships and getting along even more difficult. Instead of seeing each other as unique individuals who’ll act in their own unique individual ways, we see men as one homogeneous species who all say the same things and act in the same, and women the exact opposite species.
If you don’t believe me, look at cultures where the men-woman divide isn’t an issue (at least in the way they interact with each other), and you’ll see I’m onto something here. Men aren’t as scared of women, and women aren’t as confused about men as in “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” culture. This may also explain why tom-boys get along better with most men, and gay men get along better with most women. They don’t see each other as opposites because what unites them is greater than what separates them.
Last night, a few of us had an argument about whether or not men are really that simple.
The argument was that men say what they mean in direct and simple sentences, no meaning behind anything. And once they’ve stated their position, it’s said and done. Also when they are told something, they take it at face value. “You said it, so be it”. They do not try and “read” into the meaning behind what you say and do not later on come back with “you said this or that… let’s talk about that”.
Women on the other hand, go in the round-about way to say what they mean and then expect you to “read their minds”. And when you say something, they go into “Did you mean…?” and “I think what you wanted to say is….” And of course there is that proverbial elephant brain, “Women Never Forget Anything!”
Is this all true? Yes and no.
Some men are really “simple creatures”, and so are some women (I’m one of those simple creatures). But some men aren’t that simple either. They are just as complicated and hard to understand or talk to as are some women.
Which interaction style is better? The so called- men’s direct and simple sentences or the so-called women’s round-about-and-back-again style?
I believe both have their advantages and advantages. I stated before that my style is direct and simple, and I’m a woman. It’s the style I was raised with and one I find easier to operate in, so I may be a little biased.
I find there to be less “misunderstanding” when people speak in direct and simple sentences. But more importantly, less drama: things are said and things are forgotten – good ones and not so good ones. Life moves on. If you don’t remember in exact words what you said last year, that’s fine. Who wants to know and who cares? Relationships in general have more flow and less struggle and drama.
The downside of the direct and simple interaction style is that there is chance that you’ll come across as insensitive, if not rude. Some people looking for “mental cocaine” (a.k.a. stress) may even mistake you for a simpleton, child-like.
The round-about-and-back-again style (in my biased opinion) is useful only if used in selected environments and settings like in investigations, interviews, counselling, coaching etc. You listen very attentively, take what is said and then use that information to uncover more information. And if you are really good at it (most of us aren’t good at the listening part), you can uncover a lot of useful information, put pieces of information together and solve many answered questions. Amazing, really amazing!
It isn’t a puzzle that men (who claim to own the “direct and simple” style) complain that they feel like women are interviewing, interrogating or counselling/coaching them all the time. They probably are!
In one-on-one personal interactions however, the round-about-and-back-again style can be really, really frustrating. You say something direct and simple (no hidden meanings) and someone comes back with a completely different interpretation and you’re left there thinking, what!… (I don’t swear). Then they expect you to remember in exact words what you said two hours ago. Two hours? A lot can happen in two hours, which part of “life goes on” is hard to understand?
I said I’m a bit biased. It’s that direct and simple. Please don’t read other meanings into this. It’s frustrating and a complete waste of time … ):
Constructive differing opinions are however very welcome. If we’re really good at it, we can uncover a lot of useful information, solve many answered questions, and help both sides understand each other — and get along better.