That’s right; I’m saying that the ladies have been doing it wrong for decades. With my guy friends, we’re not afraid to call each other out on whatever the issue happens to be. We get it out, with brutal honesty, and then we move on. Done. For years, I’ve watched and observed women tippee-toe around potentially touchy matters…which ultimately leads to an unsatisfactory resolution. So hear me out. Read without too much prejudice, Here are my top five ways to argue like man:
1. Be up front. Ladies, however well-intentioned, seem to spend an inordinate amount of time seeking ways to massage a tough situation instead of just spitting out exactly what’s bothering them. (That isn’t a license to be a complete jerk.) It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. Nothing stokes emotions more than someone who’s hemming and hawing when you simply want them to just say it already.
2. Admit it!: More often than not, if you ask a guy what’s bothering him, he’ll tell you. This particular trait absolutely assists in moving a conversation forward. You’re getting it out in the open immediately. On the other hand, when a guy recognizes that there’s something different about the way his significant other is responding, he’ll ask, “What’s wrong?” When she inevitably responds with a curt, “Nothing,” what does he do? He simply shrugs, “OK” and scampers off to watch ESPN. From that point on, she begins to seethe, “How dare he not continue to probe about what was bothering me!” Now he’s the bad guy, even though he tried to check in with her. Do yourself a favor and avoid saying “nothing” when there really is “something.”
3. Don’t Mind-Read: The worst way to work through disagreements is to assume that you know the response to each statement you make. If your approach already assumes the worst, your perspective is going to be skewed toward the negative….and puts your guy on the immediate defensive. Instead of an open conversation, you have an interrogation. Not a great way to have a productive conversation.
4. No Messages: Very significant point here. While women have mastered the art of sending and receiving unspoken messages to each other, guys simply don’t get it. They often don’t receive your messages. Additionally, they’re not usually sending messages, either. Listen to what he’s saying and believe him when he tells you how he feels. When he says, “Hey, your hair looks great today” it really means your hair looks great today. It does not mean, “Your hair usually looks crappy.” It’s not fair to expect him to read your mind and it’s certainly not fair to believe that you can read his.
5. Move On: This one is vital. With guys, once the argument is over – it’s over. It’s not going to come up in another confrontation three months later. Once it’s done, it’s done. Let it stay in the past. There are plenty of other things you’ll argue about, there’s no need to add to the fire by throwing on kerosene from a previous inferno.