MEN SHOULD KNOW HOW TO LISTEN
Dr. Jasmine Tenpa is a medical doctor by profession and writes as a freelancer. The article portrays her personal thoughts and observations.
WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?
An age old question, with answers so elusive, that even after centuries, I am sure we are still as baffled as the first time this was asked. So to the men, instead of asking, what it is that women want, perhaps a better topic to raise is: what is it that men should know about women’s wants.
I went through the pain of asking my friends, sisters, aunties and random strangers I met in parties about what characters in a man makes a woman feel absolutely treasured. Unsurprisingly, this particular answer, if not number one, was definitely in top three of every woman. You might think I’m starting to blabber and rant, but trust me read this through. Yes, especially you.
You guessed it, what men should know about a woman, and it applies to Nepali men as well… is we love a man who can listen. And since, men like it when we get right to the topic, that’s exactly what I am going to do here (but you should also know, we don’t like to feel rushed either!! hhmmppff!!)
So here: there is a fine line between how men perceive listening and how women see listening as. For men, I guess, listening means listening with a motive; to listen to the words she is saying, make sense of it, decipher it, try to understand it, figure out her worries and then the BEST part… come up with a solution and save the day !! In fact, when I think about it seriously, I find it very endearing that they actually put up so much effort into understanding and frankly there have been moments when I see this light go on inside the guy’s head, and his face goes all bright, as he comes up with his big solution and awaits for the girl to look up at him, smile and say “my hero!!”. Instead he finds himself at the end of this steely, cold look with an “uff, you never understand” or a “you just don’t listen to me!!”
If you are stumped on what to say, say nothing and just listen. Listen, nod, hold her hand, play with her hair, bring her tea and, ask her if she feels better.
So what went wrong? What went wrong was not that your advice was useless; I think Your advice might just be too obvious. If a girl is crying about her broken heel or venting about her colleague, of course she knows she can fix the heel or buy a new shoe in the former or she needs to just confront her colleague or to ignore the situation (as what is called for), in the latter. She knows that. She is crying or venting her heart out not for the solution but she is doing that so she can get over it by just letting her feelings pour out. When a guy tries to “FIX” a situation, he makes a girl think there is a problem, when most of the times a woman just sees it as a part of her daily life. Making her see it as a problem, only increases her worries and suddenly she gets angry because she came to you with just worries and now because of your genius insights and fixes, she realizes she actually has a problem. So now you understand, why you’re the brunt of her blames, right?
When we women listen to each other, we don’t sit down thinking today I am going to find a solution to this. We sit down thinking, “ I soo need to talk about this!!” and that’s how we communicate.
If you ever notice a group of girls talking, you will notice they hardly sit down with an agenda to fix a problem, they just sit down and vent, sometimes, we don’t even respond to our questions… we just go “ I know!” This means we totally understand, and we laugh about it and feel happy that we are not alone, that we are not the only one going through this. And I guess that’s what we look for in our guys as well.
We all know a broken nail will grow back, office politics will subside, misunderstandings amongst friends and family will always smoothen out and eventually, life will always go on. So when we ask you to listen, please do not state the obvious, do not interrupt and never ever say, “its not a big deal, why are you making it one??” If you are stumped on what to say, say nothing and just listen. Listen, nod, hold her hand, play with her hair, bring her tea, ask her if she feels better and tell her you are there for her till she needs to finish, and when she is done, there will come a moment when she will ask you for your opinion. The golden answer here is “ I think you are doing fine baby. What do you want to do?”
Aaaah… she might go on for sometime after that as well, but do this and that anticipation you had for your heroic moment, I can assure you, will become a reality.