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.
I find this site so refreshing. The fact of the matter is that people are individuals, not genders. Men and woman are humans, we’re all humans, what makes us different is who we are, not our genders. It’s a high time we all opened our minds.
“what makes us different is who we are, not our genders…”
I couldn’t agree more.
Yangki, I think putting us in gender categories is mankind’s attempt at simplifying what he or she finds too complex to comprehend. It gives us a false sense of control because we think we know someone based on his or her gender.
Bam!!! I always thought that, but thought may be I’m being high-nosed with regard to those who insist on dividing us in terms of gender.
I came to that conclusion years back, after working with many singles and couples. Those who insisted on the gender divide had the hardest time approaching or relating to the opposite gender — and had the rockiest and most unfulfilling relationships. This was confirmed time and time again. Once some of them made the adjustment, they saw just how easy it is to approach the opposite gender, relate to them and have their own wants, needs and desires fulfilled while fulfilling the other person’s as well.
Everybody’s different in many ways, but at the same time men and women are deep down, very much alike to their own genders. You might deny it, but it’s human nature. And not everyone has a grasp on it. Take myself, for instance. While perfectly rational, I went against my better judgment and ran myself through with a Bowie knife out of spite. Crazy? Not really. Unorthodox? Indeed. Women are fickle, but men are ignorant. Some men find themselves to be the superior gender, while some women claim to want equality, but really just want rights beyond men. After years of cultural changes, moving from place to place, and watching society jump from trend to trend, people have to understand that Humanity will NEVER, as a whole, understand each other, because people are always changing like the times. The world sure is one hell of a place…
Women are fickle, but men are ignorant….
Wow! Someone must have hurt you so bad for you to come to this conclusion. But that’s your (one man’s) experience, I’m sure not all men share your view.
I agree that as a whole, we will never understand each other because people are always changing. But we can’t say for sure anything is “human nature” when human nature keeps changing depending on who is defining it. There are so many things I used to think were “human nature” (e.g. heterosexuality) until I met other human beings with a compleletly different “human nature”(e.g. homosexuality). I’m very fascinated by all the different types of “human natures!”
There is no denial here, just practical thinking. In my article I say there are some biological differences but the more obvious gender similarities is more of socialization than biological. For example I’m very much similar to most African men in thought process, emotional regulation/expression and how I approach and relate to the opposite gender than I am, say to an African-American, white or Asian woman. We all are women but socialized in completely different environments which determine how we perceive and engage the world around us.
But I’ve also met some white and Asian women who have had similar experiences as mine and are so much like me than say, an African woman with no similar experiences as mine. Then I’ve had males who have written me calling me a “fake” because they don’t believe my writings are by a woman. According to them, (I’m) too “rational” to be female. Go FIGURE!!!
I personally don’t think any gender or particular cultural/socialization is better than the other. I totally believe we are all who we are — and it’s all good! If tomorrow I woke up and I was a white woman or an Asian man, I’d still be happy and proud of who I am!
I agree with all the other comments above. This is probably the only website/blog in the entire internet that does not make judgmental generalizations about relationships and what men and women want.
One size does not fit all and there is no perfect and designed form of coupling. The only answer is your own, based on who you really are and what really is best for you.
Keep up the good work, Doc.
I couldn’t have said it better.
THANK YOU! for the kind words about my site/blog. I’ll keep keeping it as REAL as possible… (:
It’s nice to see someone with this level of intelligence and objectivity write about these things.
Communication style is more about socialization than it is about inherent gender-based differences. The gender generalizations are absurd and destructive.
This is a great post. I was married for 17 miserable years because what I thought women wanted from a man wasn’t what my wife really wanted. And what she thought men wanted from a man wasn’t what I wanted. This created resentment and anger toward each other and a sense of hopeless about ever developing a wonderful, warm, romantic partnership.
I’ve been single for 2 years and met many wonderful women. In the process I have also discovered that both men and women are human beings first and pretty much want the same thing.
It makes me sad that I didn’t get this in 17 years and as a result lost the love of my life.
As collective intellect evolves the roles of both men and women naturally blend together. And it’s about time. Humankind has been, for eons, missing the much needed qualities of both.
It’s so refreshing to find articles like this. I have had it up to here with men and women are as different as cats and dogs. I sometimes wonder about the motives of those who’ll say anything to drive a wedge between the two sexes.
We are different in some ways. The circumstances that have shaped our lives are as unique and individual as our personalities – no two are the same. But as human beings we have a lot in common, and if we understand each other, we’ll get along much better.