Book Excerpt: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
"We Need to Talk," and Other Words That Make Men Run for Cover
"We need to talk."
For a man, few words are as menacing as those four—especially when a woman is the one saying them and he's on the receiving end. Those four words can mean only two things to men: either we did something wrong or, worse, you really literally just want to talk. Now, we understand that we're not the essence of perfection and there are going to be times when you're mad at us and need to let us know it; we get that, though we don't necessarily want to have to concentrate on an hourlong angry lecture about how we screwed up. But even more? No man wants to sit around gabbing with you like we're one of your girlfriends. Ever. It's just not in our DNA to lounge around, sip coffee, and dab at our eyes with tissue as if we're in an AA meeting or on some psychologist's couch trying to get things off our chest. When men are talking, and especially when they're listening, it's with purpose.
We don't vent.
We just want to fix whatever situation is upsetting the balance.
We understand that this frustrates you time and time again, because sometimes you want to talk to share and get someone else's take on a situation—you know, put a listening ear on it. But seriously? That's what your girlfriends are for. You lay out your problem and she'll commiserate with you—give you all kinds of "yeah, girls" and "I know that's right," and nod and agree and tell you stories about how the same thing happened to her. She'll even go on to give you concrete examples of every other time something like this has happened to other women throughout the history of the world, and, hours later, you all will get up from the couch, having solved nothing but feeling so much better.