Can you show me how you feel now?
As a bloke that works in a predominantly female profession you get used to certain things. There is little that I don’t know about hair curlers for example (ironic if you’ve ever seen me) and I am pretty comfortable discussing anything relating to menstrual cycles, child-birth or general gynecological issues. Not that I seek out the conversations you understand……
And being an associate member of the female gender is that I am also often party to their (your) gripes and groans about their (your) male counterparts. One of the things I hear on a regular basis is “men cannot talk bout their feelings”. Well actually, more likely, “Gah! What is it with men…..do they not know I’m not fucking Mystic Meg!” or words to that effect.
Now you won’t be surprised to hear that I have a theory on this. Nor will you be surprised to know that I’m going to share it with you. Blokes can talk. They just can’t listen. Ok, so there are some gender stereotypes going on here and before people start telling me about their Uncle Bob who was the National Listening Champion of Uzbekistan , yes I am generalizing. I know that. But back to my point.
If you are a girl think about this. When you chat with your friends are you doing so because you want a solution? My guess is probably not in most cases. You just want them to listen. If you are a boy and someone talks to you, your first thought is “Why are you telling me this? What do you want me to do?” And that is the dynamic that is at play here. Blokes cannot listen properly for the sake of listening, they assume there needs to be an action.
This is why those rare blokes that do talk about their feelings tend to do so with a female friend. Not because they are incapable of talking but because they have probably learnt over time that men suck at listening. And if you flip this around, if you believe that talking requires an action, then why would you bother talking about feelings when only you can really do anything about them?
I’m not saying either way is right or better. Just different. And if we want to get along, whether it is at work or at play, then we need to understand and embrace our differences. So if you like talking, keep on talking. If you like keeping your counsel then do so. Just understand that either way, you may be frustrating the living hell out of someone else.