Feeling Tuned Out? 9 Reasons Why Men Don’t Listen – Understanding the Problem
Struggling to Be Heard? 9 Reasons Why Men Don’t Listen: Tips for Bridging the Gender Gap
Do you feel like your man just isn’t listening? It’s not that he doesn’t want to, it’s just that men respond to different conversational cues than women. Understanding the reasons why men don’t listen can help you communicate better with your partner. Here are some tips for bridging the gender gap and really getting through to him.
Reason #1: You Expect Him to Agree with You
Women often think that agreement is a show of support, but men may prefer to play devil’s advocate. Instead of expecting him to agree, create a safe space for conversation and let him know you want to hear his honest opinions. Try to focus on what his opinion reveals about him, rather than getting caught up in an argument.
Reason #2: You Get Bogged Down in the Details
One of the reasons why men often seem to tune out during a conversation is because women tend to provide too many details, according to relationship expert Puhn. While women may feel that sharing every detail of a story helps their partner understand what they’re going through and builds intimacy, men are more interested in getting to the point. If you notice your partner becoming impatient, try to keep your comments clear and direct, focusing on the essential points. Limit your story to two or three minutes, ask for his thoughts, and wait. Changing your conversation style takes discipline, but it will help you avoid overwhelming him with too much information.
Reason #3: You’re Trying Too Hard to Impress Him
While it’s natural to want to impress your partner, men don’t want to feel like they have to compete with you for status and respect. Donna Sozio, co-author of The Man Whisperer, explains that men are programmed to woo women with their accomplishments, not the other way around. Men need to feel like they’re providing and fall in love with our quirks, not our trophy wall. So, be yourself and stay amazing. At home, let him know that you think he’s amazing too.
Reason #4: He’s Doing Something Else
Sometimes, men might not be paying attention because they’re doing something else, like watching the game or trying to finish an email. If you need advice or have a question, make sure he’s ready to listen before you start talking. Ask him if it’s a good time to ask a question. If he says no, don’t take it personally and try again later. Men aren’t as good at verbal multitasking as women are, and he might need time to think about his response to a serious question. So, be patient and give him space.
Reason #5: You forget to use your “pause” button.
Perhaps you have a lot to say about everything – the latest movie, your son’s day-care teacher, your husband’s clothing choices, and his mother. You may feel the need to get it all out in one breath. However, according to Leahy, this can be overwhelming for your partner, who may feel like he can’t get a word in edgewise. Men view conversation as a means to an end, while some women (not all) just like to talk and can go on and on without pausing. Instead, many men will just shut down. To improve communication, remember that a conversation goes both ways. Slow down, edit yourself, and ask for feedback. If you want your partner’s help solving a problem, be direct. Ask questions and give him a chance to contribute, or he’ll start tuning you out.
Reason #6: Your emotions are running high.
You’re upset about something and you want your partner to listen, nod his head, give you a hug and make you feel better. However, when men get emotionally aroused, their pulse rates go up, making it difficult for them to calm you down or give you advice. They may rush to solve the problem just so the conversation can end, or they may think listening to a rant means validating what they perceive as whining. To avoid this, let your partner know you appreciate having his ear. Men naturally respond to problems by trying to fix them, so if all you want is for him to listen, let him know. Remember to thank him for caring enough to hear and support you before switching to a lighter subject.
Reason #7: You expect him to be interested in everything you’re interested in.
It’s natural to want to share everything with your partner, but it’s important to remember that you’re not the same person and you can’t expect to share everything. Embrace your differences and understand that strong relationships can happen between people with different interests. It’s okay if he’s not interested in every aspect of your life.
Reason #8: He can’t keep up.
You start talking about one thing, and it reminds you of something else, so you launch into that topic, then another and so on. Along the way, you’ve lost your partner. Men’s brains tend to be single-focused, and almost everything can be an interruption. To avoid losing your partner’s attention, stop “tangent talking” and stick to one topic at a time. Avoid most of what women do when talking to each other, such as agreeing verbally, rephrasing your question, prompting the answer, and nodding excessively.
Reason #9: Feeling Nagged
When it comes to reminding your partner about certain things, it’s easy to come across as a nag. But did you know that the way you phrase your reminders can have a big impact on how well they’re received? Instead of sounding like a broken record, try turning your reminders into questions. For example, instead of saying “Don’t forget to get organic 2% milk,” ask “Do you know which kind of milk to get?” This way, you’re encouraging your partner to think through the answer and remember on their own.
Another helpful solution is to suggest downloading a reminder app like “Remember the Milk,” which is both a task scheduler and a reminder. This way, your partner can enter the milk type once and have it in their phone for good. By eliminating the need for constant reminders, you can avoid arguments and focus on more important things in your relationship.