It’s easy to imagine the difference between how men and women talk to one another. It’s thought that men speak directly, get straight to the point and don’t mince words with one another. Whereas women, speak more, and in a less straight to the point manner, but in a way that will explain the whole circumstance and scenario. The strange thing is the thing I learned from one of my psychology professors in my undergrad, that men and women speak the same amount as one another.
How is that possible though, if men are so “direct” than how is it that we talk about the same amount as women. I am probably not a good example of this because I talk too much but where there do these extra words go and what exactly do we talk about? In my experience, a lot of the same things, the same worries about the future, and personal interests.
There is, however, a disconnect between these words and who we talk to. Men talk to women more than they will talk to other men and are more willing to reveal personal information to women. The strange thing is that this paradigm doesn’t work both ways, women talk to other women about personal things. I think this has bothered my a lot of my life, being left out of these conversations by my mom, sisters, and female friends. With my love of people, I am always fascinated by the comings, going and stories of others, but I am at times restricted because of the nature of these paradigms. I think it’s also that we let men off the hook when it comes to emotions, never giving the chance to find that emotional outlet through works or expression, leading conversations of that sort to be taboo or considered a nuisance which also points to the difference in the way we speak to each other.
Why is that, why is there such a divide? I think for guys, we are looking for the point, the reason for the story. We tell stories to make a point about something and are taught to do it this way as a mechanism to save everyone’s time and effort. Where for women, the point is the story itself, the way it twists and turns, there may not be a problem to resolve but this something conveyed by the story that would lose it impacts if it was not told. This becomes a problem when these two types of speaking mix. When women talk to men, men lose themselves in the story because they are looking for the singular purpose, and women start to feel like they aren’t being listened to because men will give up after a time of not finding what they want. Men talking to women, women feel as though they are not conveying the feelings or the full extent of the story, just the highlighted details which are not enough to get the full picture, and men get frustrated after the story is told and women ask for more. All and all, it can be frustrating to talk when it appears that the other person isn’t on the same page as you.
There is a benefit to both of these types of speech and are useful in their own ways, but it’s essential for us to bridge the gap, learn each other’s language and be patient with how the other person speaks. We learn and find ways to communicate in this world and though we are different, we can celebrate our differences, especially because it allows us to get a different perspective on the world. Coming together and communcating is what gives us a leg up in this crazy world of ours, so lets talk.