Tuesday, March 12

Girl Speak

Today we’re going to discuss something really important. Many men consider this topic necessary, maybe even indispensable* for a healthy relationship.

*indispensable = you can’t survive without it

Our topic for today is: the language of girls.

It is often said that women are complicated, while men are insensitive. Each opinion is probably true in itself. Or, it could be that both opinions have arisen out of a deeper, completely different problem: one connected to communication.

When we talk about communication, we usually think that it’s the act of sending our message or idea in the most effective way possible, across to the other person. But we are forgetting the fact that all communication must be two-sided. Aside from the output part of communication (Speaking), there is also the input part (Listening). And poor listening skills will always end in a breakdown in communication between two people.

For two people in a relationship, this can be very serious.

At this point, we can say that communication in English – or at least ESL (English as a Second Language) is easier. This is because the average non-native speaker often tries to use and understand English in the most simple form.

But as you can imagine, in your own native language, there are in fact so many layers of meaning in communication. Not only one.

Imagine an onion. Before you can get to the center of this vegetable, you’d have to peel away many skins of it:

all images courtesy of stock.xchng 

Let’s have another example. When a guest says “It’s hot” while staying in your room, you may understand the words exactly as they mean. The literal, direct meaning of the expression is about the temperature inside your room. Is it hot or cold? Only that.

But as a matter of fact, there is a second layer of meaning under the first. Your friend is most likely trying to tell you: “I feel uncomfortably hot here. Do you mind turning on the air con?

As you can see, it’s very important to be able to quickly pick up the meaning beyond the basic. We need this to make a natural response or to act according to the situation. If not, we’ll probably just say something like: “You’re right” or “I agree with you” but not do anything. Then our friend might think we are strange or we are not paying enough attention to his or her needs.

This very often happens between couples. Simply because the ways of communicating between men and women are different. This is all perfectly natural. But as you might already know from experience, this can easily lead to a misunderstanding.

And if the couple can’t realize their individual roles or improve their communication, it might even lead to a breakup or divorce.

In contrast, couples who have spent a long time together are very familiar with each other. They know very well how the other person thinks or feels in all kinds of situation. So, they can easily know when their partner is happy, angry, sad, disappointed, etc. In short, old couples have already become very sensitive to each other.

They will know what their partners want with only one look or one word. And they will know exactly what to do or how to act.

Of course it takes a long time and a lot of practice to become familiar with each other’s different ways of communication. But the first step is to recognize and accept the fact that there is a gap or difference between our styles of communication.

As soon as we keep this in mind, we’ll have the intention to try and understand each other more deeply, and to pay more attention to the real message that each person is trying to say.

Below is a list of common expressions used by women in different ways. It is presented in a humorous style, but there is a lot of truth in it.

Of course the content of the list is general and will not be true 100% of the time for all women. In other words, some women might actually be practicing "men speak" sometimes, and vice versa.

In fact, some people might say that our list below is stereotyping*.

*stereotyping = the act of making a simple and untrue idea about what type of person somebody is

In any case, whether you view the list below as humor or as truth, or a combination of both, I hope you recognize the main lesson that we are trying to learn: A big part of communication is understanding what the other person is really trying to say.  Or knowing how the other person truly feels.  

Girl Speak

Real Meaning  
# 1. Are you hungry?

Take me to dinner now.
# 2. Do you really want to go to that restaurant?

I don’t want to go there.
# 3. I’ll be ready in five minutes. 

Give me five hours.
# 4. It’s up to you.
The correct decision should be obvious to anybody by now.

# 5. Yes.

# 6. No.
Definitely no.

# 7. Maybe.
Still no.

# 8. There’s nothing wrong.
Something is perfectly wrong.

# 9. I’m not angry.
I’m very, very angry.

# 10. Nothing, forget it.
You’d better realize your mistake fast.

# 11. Sure, go ahead.
You’re dead if you do that.

# 12. You have to learn to communicate/ listen.
You should just agree with me.

# 13. (loud sigh)
You’re an idiot.

# 14. We need to talk.
I need to complain about you.

# 15. Are you sure?
You’re wrong and this is your last chance to change your mind.

Actually, guys tend to be very literal and exact about the information they are trying to express. They say exactly what they mean.

Women, on the other hand, tend to use more dramatic vocabulary to completely express their feelings.

In general, guys also have a tendency to become cold and quiet when they are thinking deeply. On the other hand, girls are the exact opposite: they like to talk about their problems. Guys always want to come up with solutions to all the problems they hear, while women just want a listening ear.  

This is the reason why men and women drive each other crazy.

Hope you learned something!

Keep on learning !

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