Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Mysterious Language of Women

There are two genders (generally speaking) and only one language between them. No matter what country or nation we’re talking about here, there is a verbal way of communicating between the sexes. So why is it so hard for the two species to understand one another?

Women have this strange way of communicating to their male counterparts. It’s a confusing vocabulary some might compare to a foreign language. Except in this case only one of the parties can truly translate what is being said. Over the generations, women have created their own set of hieroglyphics composed subtle words, sighs, gestures and body movements that only their own kind can understand. When verbal language is combined with body language the challenges to find true communication can get even more complicated.

The language of women is rich with subtle hints of the real meaning behind opposite words. It can be a conflicting web much like a matrix where ‘no’ can mean ‘no’ or ‘yes’ or ‘maybe; but let me think about it first.’ ‘Yes’ can mean ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘maybe; let me think about it first.’ You would think ‘maybe’ would be the standard fallback when commitment isn’t desired or an option…not necessarily so. ‘Maybe’ is wide open for interpretation depending on the mood of the woman.  

If cornered in a losing argument, women often fall back to old reliable standards like ‘Just because’ or ‘Just let it go’ or ‘Drop it!’ Each of which can be a genuine roadblock to continue the discussion or argument.

For those of us desperate to figure out just what she meant, there are a number (no surprise here!) of web sites devoted to help the hapless male decipher what the woman is really saying.

I love the description of this last web site. “Unlike women, who are adept at the art of prevarication, most men say what they mean and mean what they say. Their speech is straightforward and to the point.” (For those of you not in the know like myself, prevarication means to deviate from the truth.)     I rest my case!!

Before I was married, I was in two relationships. One was in high school but that didn’t count since I was about as clueless as the lowest mammal on the plant. The second one was in college. I was a little more adept by then in the language of women but not to a great extent. In both instances, there were probably dozens and dozens of subtle hints of impending doom dropped along the way that I never saw. I’m guessing even a dictionary on the Language of Women wouldn’t have helped me back then.

The cliché ‘Only women understand women’ is probably correct on many different levels. Romance novels written by women are speaking to other women. Most men wouldn’t get it. There has been great literature written about women’s issues that have withstood the test of time. The trouble is that they’re not letting men in on the secret.

Yet for all their success in coding or decoding the mystery of communication, women still have some missteps to correct.

TheHuffington Post recently listed 23 things every women should stop doing. Strangely enough, I think some of these criticisms would fit nicely into their inability to communicate without the need for a code-breaker across from them. Just a couple of those flaws include:

Stop apologizing all of the time
Research shows that women do say ‘sorry’ more often than men. There’s no need to quality everything you do. A mistake is just that…now it’s time to move on.
Stop putting your looks down
Nothing good will ever come from it. Physical appearances are so subjective that one never knows what is considered attractive to the male species. Heck, they don’t even know themselves.

Stop feeling like an impostor
Start taking your accomplishments at face value. Understand that you did it because of your talent and skills and perseverance. The same as any male.

Stop comparing your real life to someone else’s virtual one
The ‘Real Housewives’… and those sisters are not the real world. That’s a made-up world engineered for the highest ratings and mindless time-consumption. Your real life, as boring as it might seem, is more realistic than theirs.

Holding on to regrets or guilt
Guilt and regret are two emotions that equate with self-poisoning. They do nothing but bring harm to yourself and don’t affect anyone else. So why feel it?
I guess in the end, women are women and men are men. They’re two entirely different species with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Language will probably always be that missing link that both parties will have to work on strengthening for better communication. For some of us, only time has been that constant teacher in the challenging task of translating just ‘what she meant.’

I’ve only had a couple of serious arguments with my wife over the last forty-two years.  I usually know what caused it and so for her to get mad at me is like falling leaves, silent and unexpected. 

Even retreating back to my standard refrain of “What did I do?” usually doesn’t get me out of the losing end of an argument with her. In truth, about 99% of the time, I know why she is mad and she’s probably right.  And yet she didn’t have to say a word to get her message across.


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