Friday, February 22, 2008

What's Your Man Saying?

On Aol today they had an article on Why Men Don't Communicate. This part of the article stuck out to me.

Guys Are More Comfortable With Actions Than Feelings
Rather than talking about how he "feels," often a man would rather express his love by changing her oil, or bringing home a flower, or relinquishing control of the remote.
And when men do talk, they'd prefer to talk about actions rather than emotions. For instance, a lot of guys would choose to express their long-range faith in a relationship by talking about next summer's vacation plans, not by launching into a soliloquy about undying love.
Both conversations can mean the same thing (that he plans on sticking around); he just prefers to say it with plane tickets, rather than poetry. It's one of the reasons men are more comfortable talking at work (the practical universe) than they are at home (the castle that emotion built). But you can bring out his great communicator by making him feel more like he's operating in work mode, even when the topic at hand is your love life. Here's an incredible article,
"The Home Office," that shows how he can use his best office skills for great success at home.

I thought this section of the article was pretty good. Sometimes in person the words just don't come to me because of my day at work or I'm in that mode of just trying to forget all that happened at work and unwind. I think living alone has caused that period to last longer than it probably should. I know sometimes that I can write down how I feel a lot better than I can verbally express it. So I think for men in relationships with men we probably need to pay attention to the things he does a little more than what he says.

As the old saying goes...I can show you better than I can tell you. I guess that fits me to the T. Unless you piss me off then I can find all kinds of words. Even then I still need to take a min to determine how the situation has affected me.

The article ended with this: It's clear that some men are just plain tired of feeling like they're on the witness stand. They're not necessarily hiding anything; many guys simply prefer not to have to relate confusing feelings that they may not even understand themselves.
An age-old tactic can make things better: Back off a little, give him room to operate in a conversation, and he's more likely to open up.

Am I the only one that is like this?


BronzeBuckaroo said...

Honestly, I never thought about it this way. I mean, in guy to guy relationships it is good to hear the words "I love you" every once in awhile, AND THESE WORDS SHOULD BE SAID, but there are all kinds of ways to communicate such depth of feeling without being entirely sentimental all the time.

Curious said...

I don't think men have been socialized in our society to speak about what they really feel. We are supposed to be in control of things all the time, show that we are top dog and king of the castle.

It's difficult to say certain things when we are not sure what the out come will be. To lay yourself out there exposing what maybe a vulnerability and for many of us, at least for me, that is sometimes scary.

Yeah, for me it's a lot easier to do something, have sex or give a gift to show that I love someone than to actually state my feelings on the spur of the moment. But it's something that try to work on.

fuzzy said...

Gee, I don't know I fit the mold concerning this. I would not consider myself emotional or expressive with my emotions. I will express upon request, not voluntarily. Just me!

I, on the other hand, don't show the emotions through action either. wonder what's up with me!

Afriboy said...

her oil, or bringing home a flower, or relinquishing control of the remote

I feel that "her" matters. This is a heterosexual article talking within that frame. The challenge for gay men and gay Black men is to be different to this. To talk about love and the spiritual is the challenge. It is not about words or actions or actions or words, but making the two into one.

Gerard said...

The last thing I want to do when I come home is operate in office mode. I think this article provides a cop out, an excuse for men to continue their nontalking ways. As it is, we're socialized not to reveal our feelings. With all the talk of healing, how can we possibly do that if we keep everything to ourselves? I was raised in a family that was brutally honest and where talking was encouraged. It gave me a very warped sense of reality because the older I became, the more I realized that most people don't want to hear certain things, and men didn't talk like the men in my family did. Once one of my aunts told me, "If you don't want the truth, don't ask the question."

I don't mind a flower, but I'd rather hear the words. I want you to tell me how you feel, and tell me the truth. A man can do a lot of things, and do them grudgingly or with anger or resentment, but hide it. Work requires that I read between the lines with the people I interact with. I don't want to have to do that at home. I understand that one may not know all of what one feels at the time...may need time to sort it out. But can't the man just say that, and then you can come back to the matter later? Maybe my expectations are too high when it comes to talking. I don't worry about exposing vulnerability because I know that I'm not invincible or always strong or always have the answer. I'm just human and have weaknesses.

Curious said...

You see, Gerard just proves my point. Everything he said except for the aunt, was what I meant to say but couuldn't. It was just too difficult for me to think so clearly.

I need to hire Gerard for those sticky situations I get into now and again where I can't think of what to say.

kennyking78 said...

I am with Gerard on this one. The office is just that! I let it go before I even get to my car in the parking lot!

I believe my past allows me to communicate my feelings but I am very aware of the fact that others may not have had that past and are inclined to express the heterosexual way of male communication. Being that I am homosexual and engage in homosexual relationships, I think it wise to understand possible pitfalls (if both of us operate in a hetero-normative way of being--- a.k.a. not communicating, we will be living in a house where absolutely no dialogue will be present).

Very interesting post. I think we have all seen this happen.