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Why Men Don’t Like Listening To Women

men don't like listening to women

Communication

Why Men Don’t Like Listening To Women

Many (if not all) men don’t like listening to women – why?

Women often complain that men, especially in a long-term relationship, don’t listen to them.

Many of these women claim that men can’t communicate. A woman said to me, “All men want is a blow job.”

Women may be wise to recognize that many men decide it’s unwise to engage in certain conversations.

For example, a man may predict that listening to his wife or girlfriend “process her feelings” will not make things better. Rather, it will exacerbate her illegitimate feelings of victimization, often at the man’s expense.

For instance, if a man forgot his wife’s birthday, he might fear she’ll go into a tirade about how it makes her feel unloved. He may worry she’ll exaggerate how bad it makes her feel so she can extract maximum guilt and recompense from him. He may be afraid that, to gain still more brownie points, she’ll bring up some past faux pas he committed–for example, she caught him watching porn or, “John, you insisted on watching that stupid football game when you knew it was important to me and the family that we visited grandma. I feel totally not loved. I don’t count at all!.” (another exaggeration to extract maximum recompense from him.)

In such a conversation, he may be aware she’s overreacting, and to allow her to vent uninterrupted would give undue legitimacy to her grievance. Yet if he defends himself, for example, pointing out examples of her selfishness, she’d accuse him of expanding the argument. Nor is she likely to be assuaged if he offers examples of the many ways he has shown his love. She’ll likely feel or assert that she’s unheard, invalidated: “Does that really justify your watching porn or forgetting my birthday?! Just listen. Stop defending yourself! I just want to be heard. Can’t you just listen for once?!” He’s in a Catch 22; he loses either way.

So understandably, he wants to avoid the conversation, whereupon the women might incorrectly believe that men can’t communicate, that “all men want is a blow job.”

Indeed, many women demand being listened to and that the man dare not offer a solution to her problem lest he be restricting her agency. “I just want to vent. I want to share my feelings. When I’m ready to solve the problem, I will.”

Many men get frustrated when the woman he loves has a problem he could solve but he’s forced to sit there with duct tape over his mouth. Rather than being frustrated, he preempts or short-cuts the conversation, or simply spaces out, whereupon the woman may say or think, “Men can’t communicate. All they want is a blow job.”

A study (link is external)by Georgetown gender communication specialist Deborah Tannen debunks the conventional wisdom that women talk more than men. Fact is, men talk approximately the same amount–16,000 words a day.

The difference may be that many men resist talking unless a constructive outcome is likely–Men just may not be as dumb as some women proclaim. Nor is a blow job sufficient to manipulate a man…although it couldn’t hurt. 😉

Marty Nemko’s bio is in Wikipedia.

[Marty Nemko]

Named the San Francisco Bay Area's "Best Career Coach," Marty Nemko has been career and personal coach to 4,500 clients and enjoys a 96% client-satisfaction rate. The author of seven books (250,000 copies sold) including How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School plus over 2,000(!) published articles, including on Time.com where he also writes, Marty Nemko is in his 26th year as host of Work with Marty Nemko on KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco.) He was the one man in a one-man PBS-TV Pledge Drive Special. Marty Nemko holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently taught there. He is married to Barbara Nemko, the Napa County Superintendent of Schools. They have one daughter and one doggie: Einstein, whose name is false advertising: He's dumb as dirt but sweet as they come. The archive of Marty Nemko's writings and radio show plus an active blog and Twitter stream are at www.martynemko.com.

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