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Do men and women communicate differently? And if so, why?

(34 Posts)
Destinysdaughter Fri 29-Jan-16 23:41:09

I had a date with a guy tonight and although he was a nice, intelligent guy, I found myself at times bored and struggling to communicate with him. Firstly, he hardly asked me any questions about myself and when I did venture information about myself, instead of showing interest in what I'd said and wanting to find out more, he just told another story about himself. By the end of the date I was losing the will to live. I'm a v good listener and good at getting people to talk about myself but when that isn't reciprocated, I end up feeling shut down, bored and resentful. I've noticed this before, with men just wanting to tell stories and not deepen the conversation. I find it really frustrating and feels a very superficial connection. Is it just me or have other women had a similar difficulty in communicating with men...?

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 29-Jan-16 23:46:03

Nope. Some people are like this. Lots aren't.

Friendlystories Fri 29-Jan-16 23:48:23

Sounds like they're just the wrong men to me OP. Think it's more like an arrogant, self obsessed arsehole issue than a communication problem tbh.

Marchate Fri 29-Jan-16 23:49:36

Men find women good conversationalists if they shut up and listen to the man's MUCH more interesting stories

Friendlystories Fri 29-Jan-16 23:50:51

Some men Marchate, they're not all like that.

Marchate Fri 29-Jan-16 23:53:08

Okay. Maybe I'll meet one of the 'listeners' someday!!

UmbongoUnchained Fri 29-Jan-16 23:56:25

I definitely think there's a different way of communicating! I grew up with all brothers and mostly only really had male friends until my late teens. I find men and boys are more open and verbal while women and girls communicate a lot more with tone and body language. I think that's why a lot of females (myself included!) complain about their male partners not doing things around the house or understanding them. I find as a woman I kind of expect people to read me and understand what I'm asking them, as my female friends do, but my male friends I need to be a lot more direct. I'm sure there's probably a biological explanation for it but that's just my experience. I have mostly female friends now that I've become a nun but my best friend is a man and I like that I can be more open and direct with him than I can with my female friends.

UmbongoUnchained Fri 29-Jan-16 23:56:55

*a mum. I definitely did not become a nun

Friendlystories Fri 29-Jan-16 23:57:53

I hope so Marchate, they do exist, honest grin

Fauchelevent Fri 29-Jan-16 23:58:35

Yeah no he's definitely not the only man to communicate like this. Any attempt to share your own personal experiences is met by yet another opinion or whatever.

BackforGood Sat 30-Jan-16 00:02:18

I think in the scenario you are talking about - that was just someone who wasn't a good listener, rather than anything to do with men being different from women. Some men are good listeners and other aren't, same with women.


As a generalisation, then I'd say there are quite a lot of stereotypical differences, yes. Have a read of Men are from Mars / Women from Venus (or is it the other way round? it's some years since I read it grin) and see how many of the people you know , it describes quite well. Not everyone of course, but that's how generalisations work....

smallfry16 Sat 30-Jan-16 00:02:31

Holy Moly a nun! Actually believed it.

Friendlystories Sat 30-Jan-16 00:02:39

grin Umbongo not sure there's much difference, both can lead to celibacy! I agree men and women do communicate differently but don't think that explains men or women actually who only want to talk about themselves, some people are just self obsessed and it sounds like OP has been unlucky.

UmbongoUnchained Sat 30-Jan-16 00:04:40

Ah yes he does sound self obsessed, sorry I didn't read the OP properly.

I may have had a glass of wine.

Destinysdaughter Sat 30-Jan-16 00:08:17

I've had quite a few glasses myself now! Was such a shame as I actually quite fancied him too! sad

LongWayRound Sat 30-Jan-16 00:12:36

Deborah Tannen would say yes:
You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation
That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

SelfLoathing Sat 30-Jan-16 01:11:09

mars and venus on a date has lots in it about this. how men act on first dates like an interview , giving info and trying to impress not asking questions

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Sat 30-Jan-16 01:19:48

Yes. Read Deborah Tannen. It's frustrating when you feel your politeness and attentiveness is being taken advantage of but not reciprocated.

MistressDeeCee Sat 30-Jan-16 02:43:37

Your date was an egotistical bore. I don't think its gender specific.

Lanark2 Sat 30-Jan-16 04:45:49

It does sound like he was misreading your fedupness, but this could be nerves. I (male) grew up with, and was friends at uni with, people who share stories around the same subject to bond, and the 'oh yeah that's like when i"' interruption builds and builds a multilayered conversation. In that environment its sometimes quite a shock when your 'oh man [i know how you feel] that situation was like when I was in America and.. ' is read as 'oh I see he/she is trying to boast about America'. When in the describers head its just a contextual statement.

If it is a 'talk about me' thing then he may have been just trying to say things on a range of topics till one engaged you at that level.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 30-Jan-16 05:17:13

Ignore the Mars Venus bollocks.
There is loads of evidence that boys are socialised from a young age to expect to be listened to and to have their contributions valued more highly than girls. This deepens through adolescence and into the work place. Men tend to dominate conversation especially in meetings etc.
Obviously this cannot be generalised to all men, but it's a definite trend. A man is more likely to have a fundamental belief that his life,interests and opinions are valuable and therefore to dominate a conversation in a way that can get pretty boring.
All of that is not to say that there are not lovely and interested men, or boring and self obsessed women. And it's not innate, it's socialised.

Joysmum Sat 30-Jan-16 07:35:01

Do men and women communicate differently?

The way I'd answer that is by asking is all women communicate the same?

Conclusion: PEOPLE communicate differently!

ravenmum Sat 30-Jan-16 07:36:25

Trills Sat 30-Jan-16 08:16:49

PEOPLE communicate differently!


There are differences in how people are treated when they communicate in different ways - a man's "assertive, confident" might be considered to be "aggressive, bossy" in a woman.

There's a chance that there are more men than women who display this "only talk about yourself, don't ask any questions" type behaviour because they are more likely to get away with it.

Trills Sat 30-Jan-16 08:17:59

(what Obsidian said)

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