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Old 12-03-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
Littleghost
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Default Actual good advice from an advice column?

I'm the kind of person who reads just about anything if it seems vaguely interesting or good for a laugh. So I was surprised to find this fairly decent Yahoo advice on "How to get men to talk" It seems mostly based on respect and like it would work vice-versa. Respect, who knew? What do you think?

P.S. The only real man-specific one is #4. We hate that.

Quote:
1. Let him know you care about what he is saying. A man won't open up to you unless he knows you care. One of the best ways to convey this to him is through your body language. To show your interest, unfold your arms, lean into him and allow your eyes to meet his in a natural way.
“Let him know that you get what he is saying”
Let him know that you get what he is saying with a nod of the head or a raise of your brow.
Also, try "mirroring," which means that you absorb his body movement and convey it back to him. So if he looks stressed telling a story, you look stressed as well. It's like saying, "I feel what you are feeling. I'm putting myself in your shoes."

2. Be nonjudgmental. No man is going to let you into his real thoughts if he senses he is going to be criticized or put down. Leave out comments like "How could you do something like that?" or "That's not something I would do."
“Give him the freedom to express himself openly and honestly”
Give him the freedom to express himself openly and honestly without judgment and you'll be surprised at all that comes out. You don't have to condone or agree with everything he says. You're simply creating an environment where he has the freedom to say it.

3. Don't use the word "why." When psychotherapists are in training, they are often taught to erase the word "why" from their vocabulary, because "why" questions frequently sound negative and critical.
When you ask a man, "Why did you do it that way?" it can come across as "Are you stupid, why on earth would you choose to do it that way?" Now he's on the defensive before you even finish the sentence. Practice using substitutes such as "Tell me more about it" instead of "Why did you do it?"

4. Never say, "We need to talk." Nothing makes a man want to talk less than hearing "We need to talk." It conveys the message that he's done something wrong, he's in trouble for it, and you are going to let him have it. He will shut down before the conversation starts.
“The best way to bring up an important topic is to ease into it.”
The best way to bring up an important topic is to ease into it. Choose a time when you are both doing a small task together such as light cleaning or cooking, which takes the harsh focus away from "the talk" and will make him more comfortable. Remember not to approach him while he is involved in something important to him like Monday night football. (Heare are some other ideas about dealing with a football fan.)

5. Learn how to really listen. Chances are you always listen to him but you don't always hear him. How many times have you had something else on your mind as he is talking to you? Or maybe you are thinking about what you're going to say next instead of paying full attention.
It's important to stay in the "hear" and now with him, rather than letting your own thoughts or the outside world intrude. A man can sense when you really want to hear what he has to say -- true listening is the best way to get him talking true to you.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #2
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Default I dunno

Seems a little formulaic to me, LG? Kinda like I'm being trained to "speak" or something. Were there other instructions on how to get us to beg or rollover? For me, I talk when I feel like talking (which is seldom) and if she isn't interested I just keep to myself.

I'm guessing these guidelines are about eliciting the kind of "sharing yourself" talking that women mean when they say "we need to work on the relationship", not the "how about them Pats?" or "Darfur is SO effed up!" talking? I don't really do that. I tried it once and it way didn't work. Probably why I have two bad marriages and a string of failed relationships, but hey, we're not all wired to be open and vulnerable.

I've worked on it because just like society tells us we should all be thin it suggests that men need to be more expressive and in touch with our feelings. What if I don't though? Does that mean I can't be in a relationship because I don't want to talk about what it feels like to be in it? If I care for someone, express that in words and actions, am I obliged to pour out my feelings and inventory them with my partner from time to time so she know they're all there?

This is something I've struggled with for years. I know being described as cold, distant, aloof, bloodless should upset me, but it doesn't. I am not uncaring or unkind and I can be passionate about many things. I even enjoy talking about what I'm passionate about, just not the nature of the passion itself. So my question for the writer of this advice or anyone else who cares to answer is, how important is getting me to talk versus accepting my taciturn nature for what it is? If size acceptance is good, what about silence acceptance?
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Nagel View Post
Seems a little formulaic to me, LG? Kinda like I'm being trained to "speak" or something. Were there other instructions on how to get us to beg or rollover? For me, I talk when I feel like talking (which is seldom) and if she isn't interested I just keep to myself.

I'm guessing these guidelines are about eliciting the kind of "sharing yourself" talking that women mean when they say "we need to work on the relationship", not the "how about them Pats?" or "Darfur is SO effed up!" talking? I don't really do that. I tried it once and it way didn't work. Probably why I have two bad marriages and a string of failed relationships, but hey, we're not all wired to be open and vulnerable.

I've worked on it because just like society tells us we should all be thin it suggests that men need to be more expressive and in touch with our feelings. What if I don't though? Does that mean I can't be in a relationship because I don't want to talk about what it feels like to be in it? If I care for someone, express that in words and actions, am I obliged to pour out my feelings and inventory them with my partner from time to time so she know they're all there?

This is something I've struggled with for years. I know being described as cold, distant, aloof, bloodless should upset me, but it doesn't. I am not uncaring or unkind and I can be passionate about many things. I even enjoy talking about what I'm passionate about, just not the nature of the passion itself. So my question for the writer of this advice or anyone else who cares to answer is, how important is getting me to talk versus accepting my taciturn nature for what it is? If size acceptance is good, what about silence acceptance?
I can totally agree with you on quite a few points. (I've never been married, though.) I guess I just meant that I was surprised at how the article showed how women (and people in general) can be so easily insensitive in their socializing. And how the formula listed isn't foolproof, it points the way to respect, which I at least feel goes a long way for me. I can far easily get along with someone that I have nothing nothing in common with but respect than I can with someone who has loads in common with me, but shows no respect. It's happened more than once actually.

There are definitely times that I won't talk, because I have nothing to say that will at least fit into the conversation, but there are also times in which I want to but it's obvious from the environment that it would be pointless. I haven't been around long comparatively, but it seems like nowadays people tend to talk AT each other rather than to each other. Dunno.

Small talk isn't really my thing at all. At least not the average kind. I haven't the knowledge for most of it (sports, pop music, trends, reality TV) and little interest in the rest. (weather, gossip, etc.)

The sad thing is that while I am mostly solitary, I am definitely not ANTI-social. Which most people don't get. And when I try to be social, it's a obstacle of half my side plus half theirs. However, most don't see it that way as there are plenty of themselves to play with, so they don't really try to see me halfway. Which of course reinforces the cycle. Ain't no sympathy for the socially handicapped.

It just seems to me that if people followed more social rules like those that people like us would be far more willing to talk even if we didn't at every opportunity.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:13 AM   #4
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Amen to number four. "We need to talk" translates to "INCOMING!" "I'm pregnant" could be good news, but "We need to talk" from a woman invariably means that she's about to dump a shitload of something unpleasant on him.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:43 AM   #5
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I liked that article. I really liked the mention of not using "Why?" I think what they said is true. And #4 was a big one. I knew that "We need to talk." always clammed my guy up but I would still use it. I think I am going to try something else next time we need to...well you know...and see what happens. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 12-07-2007, 06:06 PM   #6
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For the record, I hate monday night football.

And yes, certain words are like unto the footsteps of doom. "We need to talk" means "you've done something horrible and insensitive. You are in big trouble, but odds are I won't tell you right away, I'll just expect you to know. Be warned that within the next fifteen seconds I will lecture you as if you are a six-year-old who just took a dump on the couch.'"

Other words to avoid are "Look,", "In my humble opinion", "I'm sorry, but" and "no offense". When any scentence begins with these words, blood is going to be shed.
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