I love this blog series because I get to vent my life-long frustrations with the opposite sex, have fun, and be irrevocably politically incorrect. The irony is that since I know men better, I’m often more critical of my own gender than of those confounding women. And, in the case of this topic, it’s a further irony that I’m by far the bigger talker in my marriage.
Simply asking “Who talks more” is really only touching the surface of this topic since the bigger amount of talking may or may not rest with women, as I suspect. It’s the content of what we talk about is equally interesting and relevant. Yes, I will assert that women talk more than men. And, as I do in every one of the columns in this series, I will clarify that my assertions – aka generalities – always have exceptions as all stereotypes and generalities do. That doesn’t make them less true, regardless of your college education and politically correct brainwashing.
In my own marriage I am clearly the more outgoing and more talkative of the two of us. My Jewish background and her Chinese background are easy explanations along with my unmistakable A-type personality. I also drink more coffee than my wife. That said, my wife communicates very effectively with a blistering look that withers any words I might come up with. Yeah, she “wins” most of the time, as most women usually do.
Let’s now do my usual back and forth between men and women on this topic, starting with the re-assertion of the simple answer to who talks more.
~~ Women talk more than men. Why? Because they are built to nurture and men are built to build. Of course this is a broad and simplistic statement but I do believe the main reason women generally talk more is their genetic make-up.
~~ Men are happy with physical gestures and grunts as a regular form of communication – when it’s not business-oriented. Putting work aside, and different jobs require different communication skills, men tend to communicate more with physical gestures – punching each other on the arm – or monosyllabic responses that often are not even recognizable words. Again, I base this claim on our genetic make-up. Think: Cave Man.
~~ Women enjoy gossip – both good and bad – and enjoy and maintain female friendships that are largely based on talk. When “the girls” get together, it’s not usually to watch a game or simply get wasted. “Sex and the City” personifies girls getting together.
~~ Men can spend hours together and not exchange a single meaningful piece of information. We can go golfing and just talk golf, watch a game and just shout and root for our team, or get together simply for the joy of getting drunk. Think: Cave Men.
~~ Women will obsess on minutiae and need to talk it to death. This can include truly monumental decisions such as which dress or shoes to buy or agony over a child’s minor “trouble” in kindergarten. Of course, it also will include any serious life issue and especially any relationship stuff.
~~ Men just want to fix the problem and get back to the important stuff like another beer or continue to watch the game. If “talk” means any sort of confrontation – especially with our female partner – we’re scared little rabbits and we’d rather walk on hot coals with our bare hands.
~~ Women love to talk with their moms ad nauseum unless, sadly, there’s a fracture in that relationship. Women will confide in their moms in great depth and their moms love it. This is win-win for mom and daughter.
~~ Men prefer not to deal with serious stuff with their dads and can allow issues to lay dormant for decades. Not good. But, if there’s no big issue at stake, men and their dads can enjoy lots of silence with the quintessential example being dad and son on a fishing trip. Two and three-word exchanges are quite typical and just fine for them.
I think the other big thing that men fail to understand in most relationships is a woman’s need to be heard – - not fixed. Most women will ask for a solution to a problem if that is what they want. If they don’t ask, they just want the man to be a rock, a shoulder to lean on, and nod once in a while. Guys – listen to me – just do that. Feel free to let your mind drift, but look really concerned and interested. Ask her to repeat things now and then to continue the illusion that you’re actually paying attention. When she’s done, offer a hug and find your inner Bill Clinton and express that you “feel her pain.”
On that note, I’ll turn it over to you – my readers – to elaborate on this topic or take me to task if you must…
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