Why Is He Always So Analytical?

It’s been said before that the “Y” sex chromosome came about because since the beginning of time, men have been questioning, “Y do we always have to talk about this $#%! relationship?!”

In an earlier post I talked about women’s genderlects, and how most women are taught from an early age to communicate in certain ways with others. So engrained are these behaviors, researchers say that understanding and caring is the context in which women frame nearly every conversation that they have. In short, the underlying message in women’s conversation is connecting with others—and they do this by talking (a lot).

But what about guys? Are boys, like girls, socialized from young ages to stick to certain communication “rules?” Do guys have an underlying genderlect?

Researchers think so!

When men engage in conversations—with family, friends, intimate partners, or lovers—their underlying genderlect appears to be:

  • Problem Solving: From a young age, boys are taught to be independent, and because of this, they often solve problems on their own. While girls are taught to “talk things through” if they have an issue with a friend, boys are often taught to look at the situation “logically.”
  • Advice Giving: Because men are tuned in to problem solving, when someone shares a problem or a concern, men often immediately jump to offering advice or a solution.

Thinking, analyzing, intellectual understanding, facts, logic—this is the way men experience their relationships. It’s the way they assess the status of all of the friendships and interpersonal relationships.

This is probably why your guy is so quick to offer advice or a solution when you share a problem with him.

It may also be why you sometimes feel as though he seems so distant or insensitive, and why he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings or what’s troubling him.

Newer research even suggests that men’s communication behaviors are established well before birth. According to some genetic studies, male and female brains are structured differently—wired differently—because of the influences of testosterone (the masculinizing sex hormone) during the prenatal period. These biological differences cause men to process information and communication messages in different ways.

This new research might also help to explain why guys, when confronted with a problem, will oftentimes make jokes or change the subject.

This isn’t to say that men don’t have an emotional connection to their family, friends, intimate partners, or lovers—it just means that they do not express these emotions in the same ways that women do.

So, let’s say you come to your guy and describe a problem to him. Because your genderlect is connecting, talking, understanding, and caring, you expect him to respond the same way you would.

When he comes to you and describes a situation (like a problem at work or in class), he expects that you will give him advice and help him solve the problem, because that’s what he would do for you.

Do you see the problem? When he offers advice and you’re expecting understanding, you feel that your feelings are invalidated or that he’s trivializing your problems.

When you offer sympathy and understanding and he’s expecting advice and a solution to the problem, he feels that you’re putting him down.

You may feel that his joke-telling is making fun of your situation. He may feel that your comforting is treating him like a child.

Now’s the time to toss out absolutely EVERYthing you’ve ever heard about or learned about communication (unless you’ve taken my class…cuz that’s the right stuff!).

Here’s the deal: it’s not the words that are the source of lover’s spats (or full-blown arguing).

For you to have ah-mah-zing communication with your partner, you need to stop listening to the words being spoken.

Big. Huge.Important.

Yep, you heard read me right. Stop listening to the words.

Come back next week and I’ll show you what to tune into in your intimate relationships, so you can have the kind of couple communication that very few couples are able to achieve.

Can you think of specific instances where your feelings were hurt because you felt that your guy wasn’t “listening” to you? If you look at the situation again with his genderlect in mind, does this change your perception of his response to you?

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Comments

  1. Inspired says:

    This is exactly how it happens! When I had a tumor removed not to long ago, my boyfriend made jokes or changed the subject. He didn’t want to confront the fact that I may have cancer. I was offended and felt as if he didn’t care!

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