When a man becomes interested in a woman, personally or professionally, he does not always profess to understand her. Gender differences in communication can cause trouble at work and in any professional environment, so if you work with her, you have an even larger reason to be careful when communicating with her. Men and women simply have different needs when it comes to talking, and when two members of the opposite sex interact, sometimes it can feel like you need to speak an entirely different language.
There is an underlying reason men brag, and it is entirely primordial. Men, dating from as early as preschool, tend to use a “one-up” approach with each other; that is, they are forever in constant competition with each other to be the man on top. This type of behavior is observed in scientific studies of how young preschool boys communicate with each other in their groups of friends. One boy typically dominates, and is on top of the hierarchy, while the other boys spend time trying to knock each other out of their pecking order or the leader off his pedestal.
This is one of the reasons why women sometimes feel men might be braggarts or talk about themselves too much as a relationship develops—this type of behavior is not understood by women, and can be a complete and utter turn-off. Unless she asks you about your accomplishments, do not boast or brag. You will most certainly put her off.
Women Don’t “One Up”
Women are usually not in competition with each other when they group up with their friends. In a group of female friends, the flavor of the friendship is equalitarian, not competitive. Like young preschool boys, young preschool girls tend to start this behavior very early on. When girls play in their friend groups, they typically formulate ideas in a way that everyone feels on an equal level. However, one might emerge as a leader, but typically the head is determined because of personality, and she continues to keep games or other activities equal in the group.
There are exceptions to these rules, of course, but women are much more likely to see simply things on an equal level, and not attempt to “one up” a man. Interrupting her, boasting about something, and talking mostly about yourself without asking her anything about herself will not bode well for future relations.
Women Talk without Needing a Solution
Another thing that baffles many men about women is that sometimes they just want to talk… to talk. In fact, a woman talking is her way of venting, or blowing off steam, she simply needs to talk about her day or even complain about something. The biggest mistake men make here is that they try to solve the problem—if they see one. Do not address the problem for her. Many times when men do this, they interrupt. They are seen to be trying to “shut her up,” as if they do not want to hear the rest of the story, and do not realize that by gabbing away, the woman is solving her own problem. It is her way to de-stress.
Men, on the other hand, have a different way of de-stressing—typically they have to remove themselves to what John Grey coined “the cave” to recuperate, or just veg out after work or a stressful situation. The problem arrives when the woman wants to talk, and the man wants to veg. Now, as a man, you may need to figure out a way to explain this need and compare it to her need to talk to blow off steam. Otherwise, you may appear rude and not interested.
The best thing a man can do when a woman needs to talk is just to listen and only respond when asked for advice. Do not interrupt, do not solve any problems, do not cut her off. And if you need to veg, veg after she completes her discussion. Explain it to her; now you need to de-stress. One woman may understand men’s quirks more than the next, but there is, in fact, no reason you as the man cannot explain your needs to a woman.
Men Avoid the Problems that Arise.
Another mistake men sometimes make is not talking or opening up when they feel there is a problem or they are not happy with something. They will beat around the bush, or, even worse, go to other people and not to the woman to discuss the issue. Women hate this. They want to talk out problems. Do not underestimate the fact that as long as you talk to her about the problem, as she is a woman and not a man, you will be able to talk it out.
The idea is to be respectful and kind when you do this, and you will most likely get an immediate apology or compromise. However, this rule goes both ways, and when she needs to talk to you about a problem, you need to allow her to do so. Men are often extremely uncomfortable in this situation, and it is unavoidable. You need to be able to talk about problems, or they will linger and ultimately destroy any goodwill in a relationship.
So men, if you’re interested in a woman at work or at the bar, remember these tips. Communicating well with the other gender should open the door to success, both personally and professionally.