You’re dating someone. It’s going great. Then, he forgets to call you when he said you would to firm up plans for your Friday night date. When calls and apologizes, you tell him, “I was disappointed when you didn’t call when you said you would, and I went ahead and made other plans.” You both agree to do something the following week, but you never hear from him again. Not a call. Not a text. Nothing. You feel confused. You can’t figure out what went wrong. All you did was express your feelings. Should you have just buried them and said nothing at all?
Of course, you shouldn’t bury your feelings. You had every right to say how you felt, you just needed to say it in a way that a MAN could hear it. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, men and women communicate differently, VERY differently. And there are certain things you should NEVER, ever say to a man. Here are my top three:
#1. “I’m Disappointed”
Men hate hearing this word. Why? Because the LAST thing they want to do is “disappoint” women. Men want to make us HAPPY, and they feel emasculated when you tell them they’ve disappointed you.
I had heard this information before, but I was still surprised when I talked to my husband one day about what a client should say to a guy who had let her down. I was running some things by him, and I used the word disappointed. He had a very strong reaction and said, “Oh, no. Do not use THAT word. Whatever you do, don’t tell a man he’s disappointed you.”
If a man lets you down or he doesn’t call you when he said he would, you need to let him know that it’s not okay, but you need to phrase it carefully. You could say,
“I would have loved it if you’d called me sooner. I was really looking forward to seeing you. But when I didn’t hear from you, I went ahead and made other plans.”
If you say it this way, he will will be impressed by how kindly you expressed your feelings. He will also get the message that you aren’t going to wait around for him 😉
#2. “How Do You Feel About Me?”
Men are not as in touch with their feelings as women are. (Duh!) Therefore, when you ask a man, “How do you feel about me?” it feels like a trick question. When asked how he “feels,” the typical man will get a blank look on his face and struggle for words.
Most women would take this personally. After all, it was a vulnerable thing to ask. And then he just looks at you with this dumb look. Not good.
You need to know that he isn’t intentionally being rude or evasive. He REALLY doesn’t know how to answer this “feeling” question.
If you want to hear how a man “feels” about you, you need to say, “What do you THINK about me?” THAT he can answer. It will get him to tell you a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff like…
“I think you’re great!”
“I think are so cool!”
“I think you’re awesome to hang out with!”
“I think that you’re so smart.”
“I think you’re so talented!”
“I think you’re really beautiful!”
“I think you’re hot!”
“Thinking” is something he does. “Feeling”? Not so much.
#3. “We Need to Talk”
Do not EVER tell a man, ‘We need to talk.”
You know what happens in his brain when he hears this? “Oh, my god. I’m going to get a lecture. I did something wrong. What did I do? How do I get out of this?” That statement is really, really, REALLY off putting to men. They will do everything they can to avoid that conversation because they’re afraid they did something wrong. They think they’re going to get lectured. And again, it’s going to feel emasculating to them.
If you really do need to talk to a guy about something, here’s the best trick. You should say, “Hey, you know what? There’s something you could really help me with.” Say this, and his ears will prick up. He will be so excited. Why? Because a man who likes you will want to help you because he wants to do what he can to make you happy.
I know I said I would give you three tips, but here’s a fourth one I just thought. The difference is that, rather than being something you shouldn’t SAY to a man, this is something you shouldn’t DO:
#4. Never get angry with a man.
And this is why. When two men get angry at each other, what do they do? They fight. But when a woman gets angry at a man, it puts him in a bad position. Here’s what happens:
Men are hardwired to be protectors. When they feel they’re in danger, their testosterone level shoots up and this makes them feel aggressive.
So, even if you’re right about what you’re saying, he can’t respond because his testosterone level skyrockets, leaving him with only two choices. He can either suppress his anger or get angry in return. Either way, he can’t hear anything you’re saying.
Getting angry with a man, no matter how angry you feel, isn’t going to work. It’s just not effective because, again, it’s emasculating to a man. There’s literally nothing productive he can do in that situation.
So, the next time you’re upset, try taking a timeout. You can do some self-soothing – take a walk or a bath, go to the gym – and then when you’re calm, you can go to him and say, “Hey, there’s something you could really help me with. When you didn’t call me the other night to set up our date, I felt like you really didn’t care and that you really weren’t into me, and so I made other plans.”
Getting angry, telling a man he’s inconsiderate or a jerk, none of that is going bring the two of you closer. In order for you to remain close, you need to stop saying: I’m disappointed, how do you feel about me, and we need to talk. And don’t get angry with him!
I know this might just sound like MORE stuff YOU need to change. It might even seem you’re giving something up, but, truthfully, you’re not – you’re GAINING something. You want your relationships, your communication, and your interactions with men to be effective. That’s why following this advice is crucial.
Great communication is about bringing two people closer together. If changing a word here and there or taking a timeout until your anger subsides and you can express your feelings rationally is going to help matters, why wouldn’t you do it? Your man will feel more respected, and you’ll feel more in control of your emotions. Trust me, this advice will work wonders on your relationship and your connection will only deepen.