Ten Things Men Should Never, Ever SayTo Women
“Guys say the stupidest things.” That’s a near universal female observation. And let’s face it: there’s more than a grain of truth in it. We guys do say some pretty idiotic stuff. Thing is, we rarely mean to. In fact, we often don’t even know that we did! What to do? Channel your fifth grade teacher and remember to think before you speak. Behind otherwise benign statements lurk some rather, well, stupid stuff. Here are ten statements that are likely to get you into trouble, and how to avoid them.
“You’re over-reacting.”While this may be true from an objective standpoint, she will never agree, at least not on the spot. No matter what she may be throwing at you, be that insults or ceramic knick-knacks, she believes she’s acting appropriately. So duck if you have to and then say something like this: “I don’t blame you for being upset, but I’d rather focus our energy on fixing the problem.”
“You’re not being logical.”Once again, you may be right, but that’s beside the point. (Note that we said “may.”) When in the midst of a debate, one plus one can equal three. Put logic aside, and listen for the core matter as she sees it. Hopefully she’ll return the favor when you suggest, for instance, that because it’s the third Sunday of the month, it would be a crime against humanity if you didn’t go fishing.
“Who put that idea in your head, your mother?” On a calm day, your wife or main squeeze may concur that her mother is a bit “out there.” However, when you suggest that some beef or ideas of hers isn’t genuine and, instead, has been “planted” by her mother (or sister, or girlfriend), it suggests that she can’t think for herself. Treat her thoughts and ideas as her own, regardless of their origin.
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”Well, maybe you need to read more, because whenever you feel you’ve heard the worst of ideas, just sample a few pages of the Darwin Awards. Don’t dismiss ideas outright. Instead, express what about the idea you don’t like. Even better, start by saying what you do like about the idea. Remember, someone once called the internal combustion engine a waste of gray matter.
“The other guys’ wives are cool with it.”Even if true, such statements really shouldn’t matter. Think about it this way: If your kid wanted to do something that you didn’t want him to, would the fact that another parent told his kid it was OK change your mind? We didn’t think so. What other wives or girlfriends are doing or saying should be of no concern. Make decisions for yourselves and leave others out of it. Or risk your wife telling you all about the “super-duper romantic” dinner some other husband put together for some other wife.
“After everything that I’ve done for you?!”This is playing the guilt card, which may work now and then, but at a steep cost. It suggests that, at the end of the day, your relationship is one based on points reflecting who’s done what for whom. And you might want to reflect long and hard before you suggest that such a score be tallied.
“You’ll feel differently tomorrow.”Maybe. Maybe not. Often, a good night’s rest provides a different perspective on life, right? And though this insight may be wise, none of us like to hear it. That’s because it suggests that something we’re upset, angry or passionate about now is just a passing fancy.
“You always (fill in the blank).” “You never (fill in the blank).”Definitive statements like these only poke the bear. In most of these cases¾“You never give me credit for what I do!”¾they’re not literally true and only come off as grandiose statements that hide the real concern or message. Talk, instead, in terms of “sometimes” and “only occasionally.” You’re more apt to be heard, even if you feel that never happens.
“You didn’t used to be this way.”Inherent in this statement is the implication that in whatever manner you suggest she “used to be,” that that was far better than the way she is now. Ouch!
“You’re missing the point.”When your wife hears this, it gets translated into “You’re not smart enough to understand what I obviously said so clearly and so brilliantly, so let me dumb it down for you.” If you really think she missed your point, then make your point again in a different way.