The Girl Decoder

Ever think, “It’s like women speak some other language!” Well, they sort of do. Here are some tips for understanding why women communicate the way they do and how to handle it.

God has played some cruel tricks on us men. He has made manly foods far too fattening and handed over Megan Fox to Brian Austin Green. But in perhaps His most diabolical move yet, He’s seen fit to make sure men will never, ever be able to understand what the hell women are saying.

Sure, that communication gap has fueled lame comedy routines and sitcoms for eons, but there’s definitely more than a nugget of truth behind it. So why do men and women have such a problem figuring each other out?

For one thing, women are just plain different. And we’re not talking about their propensity to wear bikinis. They actually communicate differently. Here’s why, and what to do about it:

Why They Talk … and Talk and Talk
While men tend to bond by exchanging information, women bond simply by opening their gobs; what she’s saying isn’t nearly as important as the fact that she’s saying it. “This is something guys don’t understand,” says Stephen Simpson, author of What Women Wish You Knew about Dating: A Single Guy’s Guide to Romantic Relationships. “Just sharing any information is bonding to women.”

Why They Don’t Come out and Say It
Women are also generally less direct and more polite — not including Nancy Pelosi. “Women speak from the heart,” says Lissa Coffey, relationship expert and Web mistress of the site Coffey Talk. “We’re aware of the emotion that is involved, we’re sensitive and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. When we are direct, it comes across as a demand, an argument or nagging. So we say in girl speak: ‘When you have a minute, would you mind please taking out the trash?’ and of course, the man hears this, interprets it as not a priority and a minute later promptly forgets. What we really meant in man speak was ‘Trash. Out. Now.’ But that just sounds mean, and we prefer to be more lady-like.”

Why They Say “Maybe” When They Mean “No”
When you ask out a woman, she may say “Let me check my schedule” as opposed to what she’s actually thinking: “You’ll see Rush Limbaugh running the ACLU before you see me naked.” Simply, the female preference for politeness is to blame.

Why They Use Body Language
Science has shown it, and we know you’re not going to try and argue with science: Women won’t just come out and say they are interested. Instead, she’ll let you know she’s hot for you by making eye contact, touching your arm and rubbing her own neck. It’s true. What can be most maddening for men is that women are even less direct when they feel like they’re being pursued by a guy. “She’s immediately going to become a lot vaguer and use more nonverbal cues,” Simpson says. In other words, don’t expect her to come right out and invite you for a cozy weekend at her beach house.

Why They Want You to Argue
Most guys will agree with anything a hot woman says. When you don’t, she’ll know you’re being honest. Simpson says women are so jaded that, early on in relationships, they actually count on men deceiving them. “They expect any guy who’s interested to exaggerate and hide something,” Simpson says. Often, women are less direct because they’re more cautious. (If you’d been hit on by as many losers as most chicks have, wouldn’t you be cautious too?) One of the ways to show her you’re not like all those other lying Neanderthals is to disagree with her.

How to Deal
So, yeah. Seems that bad comedian at the Ha Ha Hut was right. Men and women: different. She’ll continue to say vague, indirect things that you won’t understand, and the problems will persist. Solution: It’s time to put yourself in her place, gentlemen. “So often men don’t understand women because they look at the situation from their own, male point of view,” Coffey says. “Look at the situation instead through her eyes. Psychically try to put on her high-heeled pumps and feel what she’s feeling, just for a moment, even if it might seem to be illogical to you.”

And if that seems like more empathy than you can muster, try repeating back in your own words things women are saying to see if you’ve got it right. Sure, playing the parrot is a pain. But it’s not nearly as bad as swinging from your perch alone, night after night.


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