Another installment in what should be a long list of helpful articles in service to the women who so desperately need them when it comes to understanding men. I can’t promise that I will author them all, but lets start with the topics that seem to be the most troubling to the women I know. Although I have had this discussion in person with every single woman in my sphere of influence, my communication skills must be lacking because I’ve yet to see a break-through in this area, so I’m resorting to the written word and perhaps this will be more durable and understandable.
This is the classic case of a woman meaning one thing and saying another and then blaming the man for his misunderstanding of the inaccuracy of her statement.
This is how it goes, you can use any variation on the theme you would like, but this is the gist of it. A guy asks a woman to go out with him on a date. The woman says she can’t because she’s busy, or makes up some other excuse. What the man hears is that the woman would love to go out with him except his timing is bad, she’s busy. This almost insures that he will ask her out again in the future. What the woman really meant was that she is not interested, not today and not tomorrow. When brought to her attention the reality of how her excuse of being busy actually invited a future request for a date, she says that she doesn’t want to be rude or hurt the guys feelings. Somehow, women have rationalized the lie that misleading the guy is better than being honest with him, all in the greater interest of not hurting his feelings. Hey, if you’re that worried about hurting a strangers feelings, SIMPLY GO OUT WITH HIM, that will certainly sooth his feelings.
So, getting back to the point of simply being honest with the guy, to that they say that level of honesty is hurtful and therefore they won’t do it. Again, it’s the all-or-nothing mentality that seems so pervasive in women when having this conversation. Telling him thanks but no-thanks can be done very daintily, it doesn’t have to be, “are you kidding me pal, get the hell away from me…”how about,” thanks very much, but I’m just not interested.”
Now, in deference to the lovely women in my life, their defense is that men should be better attuned to nuance, reading between the lines, getting the hints and non-verbal suggestions. One of my gal-pals described a situation where the same guy emailed her 7 times when she failed to respond. She told me this as an example of how dense some guys are, and I think, to her surprise, I agreed with her, without question I told her, 7 emails with not a single response is ridiculous, obviously this guy is clueless, but then I asked her, doesn’t this situation help and make my point? The words women use should be carefully chosen and leave no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding, especially when addressing the kind of moron that can’t understand why 7 emails is 5 too many. To a guy like this you have to say, “Thanks but no thanks, I’m not interested.” If you tell him, “thanks but I’m busy this weekend”, you’re inviting him to ask you out next weekend because what he heard you say was, “I would love to go out with you, but I’m busy on the weekend you have asked about.”
Perhaps I’m a slow learner when it comes to understanding the minds of women, matter of fact, I’ll stipulate to it, but it recently dawned on me that many of the women afflicted with the bad communications skills I have outlined above are not really lacking an understanding about what it is they are doing or what kind of signals they are leaving, but instead know exactly what they are doing and use the excuses as plausible deniability when called out on it.
Here is my theory about this sub-set of women. Even when the woman has no intention of ever agreeing to go out with a particular guy, she nevertheless uses the language I am critical of, purposefully leaving a tiny shadow of doubt about her willingness to eventually accept his offer. She does this for two distinct reasons. Number one, in a small town like ours, she wants all of her options open, even if that option is as small as the likelihood that when she runs into this guy, he won’t hold her in distain, and if he continues to pay attention to her, it just might increase her currency socially, as others observe her ability to attract guys.
Second, just knowing that she has the attention of this guy, even if she doesn’t want it to go any further, is still an ego boast and allowing it to remain unsure in his mind, encourages him to keep pursuing her and this conveniently fuels her ego, convincing herself that she still has what it takes.
What I initially mistook as a woman’s lack of understanding about how men’s minds work is really a rather complete understanding of exactly how it works, and the brilliance of manipulating it to serve their own purposes. That level of cunning is a little scary.