Here to share from a man’s perspective on why your boyfriend/husband never listens, meet my friend Millar Montgomery. He is a single Aussie dad from The Boss Dad Movement. He’s here to give us the real deal about our men. So listen up ladies!
Hello Boss Women!
I’m sure you have all, at one point, just thought….
‘Why does he always do that?’
‘He never listens!’
‘What the f&%k is wrong with him’
‘He never talks’
And maybe even second guess why you got into a relationship with him in the first place.
And I’m sure that you have all had times when you’ve received texts or had conversations with him and then had to go away with your girlfriends and ‘decode’ everything.
Well, here are my top 5 topics and pointers when it comes to communicating and understanding men.
Sometimes, your boyfriend struggles to communicate his true feelings
As a general rule we are not as in touch with our emotions as women. So, we may react in one or two ways (i.e. lashing out or shutting down) when we’re frustrated, sad, lonely, feel like we haven’t been heard, emasculated or any other variety of emotion/feeling.
And we do this because we don’t know how to process what we are truly feeling…all we know is we don’t like something, so we react in a ‘knee jerk’ way.
If you don’t know how we are feeling, we probably aren’t sure ourselves.
So, if you find that your just not getting through to him or not making progress, just try to guide him into discussing what he’s thinking and feeling. Try to work out his emotions together.
For example, use prompting statements or questions:
‘Tell me more about…’
‘I can see you’re frustrated…can you elaborate?’
‘How can I help you right now?’
He usually says what he thinks
Men are logical and communicate on the level of the words where as women are emotional and communicate on the level of the feelings.
Don’t try to look too deeply into our words…we usually mean what we say at face value. Of course there are exceptions to every rule (lying or being deceitful) but this is generally the case.
For example when we say:
‘I’ll call you back’
‘You look great in the red dress’ (when we are given options between the red and black)
‘Can we not talk about this now?’
So, if you feel you’re not getting through to him, say exactly what you mean.
Giving us the cold shoulder and saying “I’m fine” or “you should know what’s wrong” doesn’t help us at all, ever.
Men are goal/task orientated
We like to have a task that needs doing and we like to do it. That is all. This is why we don’t like to just go shopping and ‘just have a look around’.
We like to go in, buy our screwdriver for the new cabinet that needs putting together from IKEA and leave.
Sometimes if we don’t see the purpose behind something we will be reluctant to do it.
If you want him to do something, then explain what it means to you. Then his purpose is to work with you as a team to achieve that goal. Remember, if he is serious about the relationship between you, then your goals should be his goals as well.
‘I know you don’t want to travel an hour to see my parents, but keeping a close relationship with them is important to me, as is you being able to get along for the weekend.’
If its no big deal, then don’t push him to do something that will create a fight. Pick and choose your battles.
If you want him to change how he behaves, you need to flat out tell him
Please ladies, give us direction!
If you don’t like the way we do something then tell your boyfriend how to fix it.
Start with this:
‘Next time could you….?’
‘When you do …….. can you do ……instead?’
‘I hate it when you…’
‘Why do you always do ……’
When you start the conversation with the latter, all we hear is that your upset, not how to fix it.
And don’t be afraid to hurt your boyfriends’ feelings.
All too often this is the reason that both men and women aren’t honest with their partners and 40 years later, they are stale, old and have stayed together out of necessity.
If you don’t address problems when they occur then they will snow ball in severity and explode into much bigger fights down the track.
Women like to, and are good at talking. Men… not so much
We often keep details to a minimum and say what needs to be said.
And we can struggle to say things in a nicely executed ordinal way, which can come across blunt or even rude:
Girlfriend: What do you like about me?
Boyfriend: You have a great ass….and an awesome personality
Girlfriend: What do you like about me?
Boyfriend: You have an awesome personality…. and a great ass.
A slight difference with a big change in perception. The first probably resulting in the woman storming out of the room, the latter responded to with an endearing, cheeky grin.
To us, they mean the same thing.
Quite often we just don’t have the pre-thought to think about how the things we say come across even though our intention isn’t to hurt. If you find yourself still struggling to understand your man, a reference I would recommend is The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida.
So in summary, men and women are different.
Equal, but different.
The more we can learn and understand how this is so, the better chance we will have at building an empowering and supportive relationship.
So, here are 3 small tasks you could do today which should have huge benefits for your relationship:
- What are 5 things that annoy/frustrate me about my boyfriend?
- How can I be more honest to my boyfriend about these?
- How can I communicate these to them more productively?