Book Excerpt: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
You: "I walked into work today and before I could get to my desk, I saw Tanya walking over to the coffee machine and wouldn't you know that heiffa had on the same shirt as me?"
Your man: "Really? Don't wear it anymore."
End of conversation. It's that simple for us. In this particular instance, and many more examples such as this, we can't get more worked up than that. How you felt at work while you had to sit there with this other woman on the other side of the room with the same blouse on is irrelevant to us. As far as we're concerned, the problem has already been fixed—you came home. You're not looking at the woman in the identical blouse anymore. And if you don't wear that particular blouse to the office again, you won't have to deal with that particular problem again. In our mind, problem solved—no more talking.
All of this is to say that we men aren't in the talking business; we're in the fix-it business. From the moment we come out of the womb, we're taught to protect, profess, and provide. Communicating, nurturing, listening to problems, and trying to understand them without any obligation to fix them is simply not what boys are raised to do. We don't let them cry, we don't ask them how they feel about anything, we don't encourage them to express themselves in any meaningful way beyond showing how "manly" they are. Let a little boy fall off his bike and scrape his knee—see how fast everyone tells him to get up and shake it off and stop all that doggone crying. "Be a man," we demand. There's no discussion about how he felt when he hit the ground—nobody's asking him to talk about whether he's too scared to get back on the bike and try again. Our automatic response is to tell him to get over it, get back on the bike, and figure out how to ride it so he doesn't fall again.