Interpreting the “She Said, He Heard”

Many of us have been there. The wife says one thing, the husband hears
another and soon, voices and getting a little louder and blood pressure is a
little higher. It’s a common misunderstanding.

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend helps sort through the

She Said: “Can we talk?”

He Heard: “Hey Loser, Once Again You’ve Blown It and I’m not Happy!”

When a man hears a woman say, “Can we talk?”, a cold chill comes over his
body as if he had just been told he has a horrible disease with only three
months to live. As men do not usually bond by talking, they rarely ask for
“formal talks” where the actual “goal” is to sit down and communicate, and
only use such conversations on serious occassions. Such occasions might
have been called to end the relationship, or to make major complaints or
adjustments in the relationship. No matter what, they usually haven’t been
positive. In order to change your man’s thinking, find other ways to
introduce the conversations without saying “Can we talk?” and make sure that
most of the conversations are about what is going positive in the

She Said: “Why Don’t the Kids do What I Say?”

He Heard: “She Wants My Brilliant Advice About How To Force the Kids To

Men will usually never ask a question to someone else unless they really want
it answered, which is why they won’t pull over and ask for directions, right?
Hypothetical questions are really used more by women then by men, and
because of that we tend to see the question as an invitation to give advice
instead of validation. Pleading to be heard, she asks her hubby, “Why don’t
the kids do what I say?” and ignorantly we don’t hear her and begin to give
the advice we’ve wanted to give her for years, “Because you’re too nice!” Men
are much more prone to give advice because of our “male ego”, as that puts
us higher up in the hierarchy of the conversation. Women on the other hand
aren’t jockeying for position in the conversation, but simply want to connect
and be validated. It’s really a battle between His need to fix and help her and
her need to be validated.

She Said: “Wow the Johnson’s Yard is Looking Great!”

He Heard: “Our Yard Needs Work…Mr. Johnson Really Cares…I Wish You
Actually Cared!”

Women tend to watch what’s going on around them about four times more
than men do, which makes them able to notice things that most men never
pick up. Because they’re also more verbal, they’re quick to share what they
are thinking. Men, on the other hand, don’t tend to pay attention like women
do, and rarely say most of what they are thinking, making these common
misunderstandings possible. The biggest reason for this misinterpration is
“the male ego”, which engaged tends to incite a spirit of comparison or
competition into every conversation, which may cause him to feel invalidated
“because his lawn is not perfectly green and edged like the Johnson’s.” The
solution is to lose the innuendo and lose the ego and instead give each other
the benefit of the doubt.

She Said: “Something Stinks! Is It The Garbage?”

He Heard: “Smell The Garbage and Quickly Get Back to Watch Your Game.”

Women are masters of double talking, “Saying one thing while meaning
another.” When she asks her hubby to “smell the garbage”, that is really her
subtle way of asking him to track down the smell and take the garbage out.
Men tend to be very literal in their conversations and are much more apt to
say exactly what they are thinking and feeling. Sometimes by being so literal
the women in our lives feel like we come off as “offensive, direct and too
sharp” in some converations. If a man wanted the garbage out, he would just
say, “Honey will you take the garbage out?” Women talk in code in order to
not impact the male ego. They also don’t want to nag by telling us
everything that we should do. The women would love to see the man work
harder to anticipate and notice what is going on in their lives and the men
would love the women to be a little more direct. Just tell us what you want us
to do.

She Said: “These kids are driving me crazy!”

He Heard: “Eliminate The Children! …We Can Always Make New Ones!”

Her goal in sharing with her partner is not to have her children eliminated,
but she’s trying to get help. Remember that men bond in action and not
conversation, so the fastest way to help in this situation is to increase the
intensity with the kids. You asked for it, you got it, he thinks. He’s really
trying to help you be happier based on the philosophy, “Don’t upset my wife
or you will totally upset my life!”



MARCH 23, 2012



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