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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Do men avoid tough conversations?

Hello everyone! I hope your weekend was wonderful. Mine was super busy and super fun. I had a really great time at the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) this weekend. It was a weekend packed with music, art, food, and all the great things that make Atlanta so great!

I even managed to squeeze in a date with Ben, a guy I met last month at the airport. It’s like the 3rd time I’ve met a guy in the airport, oddly enough. Maybe I should hang out there even when I’m not flying!

The date went really well and the conversation was very engaging. We got on the subject of relationships and why they seem so hard to keep. Ben mentioned how a lot of women think that men don’t like or want to communicate. He said the reality is that some men love to talk but they aren’t at all comfortable with accusatory, emotional, or intense conversations.

Apparently women are fans of these types of conversations. Guys hear the dreaded, “We have to talk” and their eyes glaze over and they sort of check out altogether. I thought about a statement someone made during the taping of ABC Nightline ’s Face Off: Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find a Man .

The advice was that women should really make an effort to talk to when they are calm and in control of their emotions. The reasoning was that you would be able to discuss the issue you are having with him without coming across as nagging or irate. A lot of women have issues with discussing a topic they are passionate (read: ticked off) about.

Ben agreed with that sentiment and said that many people don’t have problems finding mates, they have issues keeping one. It’s mostly because we aren’t able to talk to one another effectively.

Has this been your experience too? Has communicating and resolving conflict proved to be harder than you thought in a relationship? How do you handle it?

Men, what is the best way to approach you when we feel upset, hurt, or disappointed ? Someone else at the show suggested that we take you to your favorite sports bar and discuss it over a beer.

I don’t know about that one. Could that actually be effective? Are men more comfortable talking to when they are in familiar surroundings? If more effort is made putting you at ease, would you be more inclined to hear us out?

320 comments Add your comment

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

So…It is now MY fault that the other party lacks the ability to comprehend basic communication? Stop it.

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

Why do I feel like walking out on this blog conversation? LMAO!!! Okay For Real..how about I am saying being there but not being there and taking for granted can be one in the same in a relationship…Dude taking for granted that a plate of waffles and turkey bacon and some sticky icky..is going to count as change.

Willie Dynamite

July 19th, 2010
2:26 pm

Peferences and complaints should be talked about. I think the problem is when they are discussed ad nauseum without a resolution or compromise. At that point the next convo is more than likely an argument. Hence the pick your battles phrase. To me it shouldnt even be a battle.

Leggs

July 19th, 2010
2:26 pm

@DreamsM ~ you have a point, but in the example stated, it should be a given what’s being said without a need to “break it down.”

I do understand how two people define things can definitely be a problem, I just don’t see it being a problem with the poor example given.

Melo

July 19th, 2010
2:27 pm

It is now MY fault that the other party lacks the ability to comprehend basic communication?

@Scool??

that is what U are saying!

For Real is saying it is UR fault that U lack the ability to CONVEY UR thoughts to the Other party thru basic communication so as to be able to Communicate.

Sassy Me...Chocolate Cutey :-)

July 19th, 2010
2:28 pm

I tell any chick I’m dealing “if you don’t tell me what I did, then I am going to believe I haven’t done a dayum thang and will act accordingly.”

Yeah we’ll tell you what’s up hence the tough conversation that you’ll try to avoid so what’s the use? See how this is soo circular?…seriously that one statement just brought us back to where it was this morning.

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
2:29 pm

DreamM,

Your 2:16 is on point!
Double D’s what’s good with you sweetie? did you have a good weekend?

DM: Women always fall back on two things when dealing with their man.

1. “You know what I meant”

2. “You should know what’s wrong”
ForReal Every dude in the world hates these two statements. I don’t how many times I’ve been like “what the phluck are you talking about?!?” And I almost never know what’s wrong, but I’m not gonna sit here for three hours prying it out of you either. The first time you say #2 I’m moving on like “I’m in the mood for Thai. What about you?” lol

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:31 pm

Well, even with that interpretation of what was said, Melo, I’m good. I have no problems communicating my thoughts.

For Real

July 19th, 2010
2:34 pm

“So…It is now MY fault that the other party lacks the ability to comprehend basic communication? Stop it.” – I never placed blame on one party. If two people cannot communicate then blame both of them. However, if your point isn’t getting made or you are not understanding someone elses point then you have to decide if it’s that important to try something different.

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:37 pm

Do men avoid tough conversations?

Not only do they avoid them, they pretend like tough issues don’t exist. (Or at least that seems to be the *general* consensus being communicated on this blog on this day.)

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:38 pm

Forgive the *broadstroking* and generalization there – correction SOME men pretend.

For Real

July 19th, 2010
2:40 pm

“Yeah we’ll tell you what’s up hence the tough conversation that you’ll try to avoid so what’s the use? See how this is soo circular?…seriously that one statement just brought us back to where it was this morning.” -The circle can be broken if chicks would stop assuming that dudes “know what they meant” instead of simply stating what they mean the first time around. Leggs “lonely” post is a perfect of example of chicks saying one thing and meaning another.

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
2:40 pm

I swear its in the male DNA..that playing crazy when you know you have done something wrong. It’s your little weapon…Do something wrong..go completely dumb…act like you have no clue. Prime example..tell a man to do something give clearly detail instructions that even the blind could follow and watch him screw it up. Simply ishhhh tooo..

Pretty in Black

July 19th, 2010
2:41 pm

ok- I think alot of this can be cured by you all black ladies givng us white guys more chances to date you! Why is it so hard for a white guy to find a nubian princess to date? I mean the white girls are gobbling up the black guys! I think we can relate to you ladies great! You think?

Willie Dynamite

July 19th, 2010
2:41 pm

SC- 2:37pm. You hit the nail on the head. Really its not that many things that we consider tough issues. Yes we really are that simple. Thats why we go through so many Women trying to find the one that wont trip off everything and who can make my Turkey Sammich just the way I like it.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

trying to catch up here, seems yall have been busy

@Leggs, sure lil leggs can ride Fred, he’s a pygmy pony, altitudinally challeneged he is. @ your 1:23, agreed there does seem to always be some show that means now is not a good time, but hey, im missing my show too. i lose sleep too. not looking for anything from you im not willing to give. if i waited for there not to be anything on you wanted to watch, you not to be sleepy, not to want to go out, eat, fu(k, have to go to work/school, and for all the stars to align, this would never happen.

@For Real – yeah, agreed there are times where a better method needs to be find. but lets be real here, sometimes you guys arent exactly forthcoming in what your problem is. rather than saying you dont get what the issue is, calmy and all like you want her to be, it becomes an attack on her. hows that beneficial? and 9x out of 10, dont see you all coming up with a better means to communicate. cause yes, have tried that simple “say what you mean” bit and still gotten flack for it.

@Dreams – you let some stuff ride. good. but do any of you really keep count of how many times you’ve done something she couldve gone off about and she let it ride? doesnt seem so, you only notice when she finally calls you to counts for it. then shes making the issue.

@Kym – 1:39, seems sad to me too, have been in that situation and was sad. the distance sometimes is unbearable. theres more to a significant relationship than simply being within eyesight

For Real

July 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

Men don’t avoid tough convo it’s part of our lives and upbringing. The conversation only become tough when we have to deal with a cluttered message from a chick filled with abstractions and self created feelings of being there but not being there or being taken for granted.

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

DreamsM ~ you have a point, but in the example stated, it should be a given what’s being said without a need to “break it down.”
Leggs that’s subjective though, based on what you believe someone should be able to comprehend because you comprehend it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some things you don’t really have to break down for someone to understand what you mean. But if these “tough conversations” are so important, then I would think we would want to be as clear about things as possible in order to really have a productive dialogue. I don’t know how many arguments I’ve been in where the problem we start out discussing isn’t even THE REAL problem. You start out telling me you hate chili (but I thought you loved my chili). That turns into, we eat chili too much, which turns into we always do the same thing, which turns into you’re not happy. On top of all that I “should have known what was wrong” all this time. Shyte, don’t yell at me about chili when you reall want to talk about why you’re not happy. lol

Sassy Me...Chocolate Cutey :-)

July 19th, 2010
2:52 pm

you’re tryna be funny but but in actuality you’re proving the point as well…carry on :-)

abc

July 19th, 2010
2:53 pm

I’d say the “tough conversation” is defined as the woman giving the man a truckload of sheeot until he finally just agrees to whatever it is she wants. I think that’s where we started with this, and so far, that’s where this conversation has gone. It isn’t working though, is it, women?

Kym, if a woman portrayed something she wanted of me to be a detailed instruction for a simple task that she was sure I’d screw up, I’d certainly tell her to do it herself. That’s not a tough conversation. That’s an invitation to look elsewhere for pleasant company.

DM, that’s an example of the “tough conversation” losing it’s original value of resolving an issue, and becoming nothing more than the imperative of winning a point that has become pointless in the process.

For Real

July 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

Kym: It’s not in our DNA we watched our grandfathers and father show us how to navigate the crazy that is woman. Your example is perfect.

Chick: Go to the sto and get some meat, carrots, eggs and vingar so I can make this pot-licca.

Dude: Didn’t you just come from the sto?

Chick: Why can’t you just do what I say?

Dude: The game is coming on in 5 min. When you gone make the pot-licca?

Chick: Right now!

Dude: You gon make it right now?

Chick: As soon as I finish my hair and get my nails done.

Dude: Fine I’ll go now.

Chick: Thank you!

4 hours has passed and Chick just finished getting her nails done.

Chick: Where are you? Did you get the stuff for the pot-licca?

Dude: Naw I forgot.

Chick: WTF! You forgot? Where are you?

Dude: Crickets

Chick: Crickets!!! (mumble, mumble, mumble) I’ll get it myself!!

Dude: I didn’t want to go in the first place.

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

“Men don’t avoid tough convo it’s part of our lives and upbringing.”

As is demonstrated over and over by the honesty and forthcoming with which you handle ALL of life’s situations, right?

“No, I can’t go out with you tonight because I’m going out with Sheila. However, I would still be willing to come over and break you off once I get done.” (That happens a lot, I’m sure.)

“I know you’re my wife, but I got my girlfriend pregnant.” (That’s all the cluttered chick’s fault too, right?)

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

Real Life Example

ADude: I can’t give you what you want.
Me: How do you know what I want? I am not sure what I want.
ADude: Well I just know I can’t.
Me: Fine you can’t..so why are you still here?
ADude: Cause you want me here.
Me: I don’t want you to be anyplace you don’t want to be.
ADude: Fine I am here cause I want to be here..but I still can’t give you what you want..
Me: Oh good grief..why don’t you just stop coming around then?
ADude: Cause…
Me: Cause what?
ADude: Cause I am comfortable with you.
Me: You come around cause you comfortable..but you can’t give me what I want eventhough you don’t know what it is I want?
ADude: Right..Now come on over here and let me rub on you.
Me: Why not just say you come over here so I can rub on me?
ADude: But that’s not why..
Me: Are you high? Did you not just hear what you said..
ADude: Of course I heard what I said..I said I want to rub on you..are you not listening?
<<>>

abc

July 19th, 2010
2:58 pm

SC, those aren’t topics for tough conversations, those are grounds for divorce. Let the lawyers argue it out.

abc

July 19th, 2010
2:59 pm

Kym, again, that’s not a tough conversation topic; that’s just a clear indication of no future with ADude. Why are you wasting your time?

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
2:59 pm

So, you don’t talk about it? You just go get the lawyer? (Now THAT is funny.)

Tivo/DVR makes that 254p scenario an unnecessary exchange.

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
3:00 pm

And that is when the Fight starts..Ohn and this should read..so you can rub on me not ..I

East Point's Own

July 19th, 2010
3:00 pm

If you think your instructions/requests are clear ask a man who is not involved in the relationship what he thinks about your instructions/requests… 8.752432990091 times out of 10 your instrucitions are clear to you, (and maybe to women who think like you), but they they mean something completely different to your man than you think or they are not very clear to your man…

My experience is that a lot of women leave out details that really matter in their directions/requests…

If you ask me to move an end table from your bedroom to the living room beside the couch, don’t say anything to me when its not to the right of the center window between the couch and the ottoman exactly 6 inches from the wall, cause you didn’t say all that in your initial request.

abc

July 19th, 2010
3:01 pm

If my wife came up pregnant with another man’s child, yes, straight to the lawyer. No unringing that bell, no matter how much conversation took place. What for?

If a chick I was dating offered to get to me as soon as she finished with some other man, then you can rely upon my newfound lack of interest in that chick. No conversation needed.

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

@abc..I did..ADude is still serving Uncle Sam headed to his next warzone.

For Real

July 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

Scool: So now we advance from tough convo to how all men handle any situation. Can you at least yeah out switch when you change topics? But um your two example is exactly the way I would handle it.

Kym: I read that dude is confortable around chick and likes to rub on her even tho he knows he can’t give her what she wants. So, he gets what he wants until he is no longer confortable around her. Why is that so hard to understand?

Luvbug

July 19th, 2010
3:04 pm

So, if I have a preference or a complaint, I should say nothing?

Sure a person should express preference, but maybe not give it as much weight as a conflict (if any weight at all sometimes). People (sibling, romantic partners, coworkers, parents, etc.) may shut down around a person if the person consistently handles a 1-9 problems like it’s a 10.

Sometimes stuff is just a straight 0 (annoyance)…you may only want to mention it after strongly considering the consequences or just drop it until you have something worth mentioning.

But, if you routinely treat a 1 like a 5 and a 5 like a 10. People will start running from you or zoning you out.

Everybody has those moments when we’ve miscalculated the value of an issue…sometimes we (men and women) have to avoid making it a permanent stable of our personality.

Luvbug

July 19th, 2010
3:04 pm

Melo

July 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

don’t say anything to me when its not to the right of the center window between the couch and the ottoman exactly 6 inches from the wall, cause you didn’t say all that in your initial request.

LOL EPO, exactly my experience with my woman..then when im done,she be like:

:evil: :shock: and

I THOUGHT U WLD KNOW!!

GTFOH !!!!!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
3:07 pm

ForReal..cause why would any dude want or expect to rub on someone who knows he is only there for comfort? You want comfort buy a dog or a nice pair of slippers.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:08 pm

@East Point (and maybe others, i’ll admit ive lost track of who said what) – what about when she has given you all those instructions, details and all, and you all checked out between “move the table to the living room…..”, (insert instructions for exact placement) and “…oh, and im gonna get a pizza later, i’ll order one of those meatzza ones you like” because some flashy commercial came on. i say commercial, because out of respect to your game, she waited till the commercial to talk to you. but now, in the end when the table isnt where she asked you to put it, you claim she didnt tell you. you heard me ask you to move it, now your asking me where the pizza is so you heard that too, what happened to the middle, oh i only had half your attention, i see. but somehow thats my fault too, “cause you know i get distracted easy”….hmmmm

for me its called selective hearing and selective memory

Pretty in Black

July 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

I still think all you ladies need to do is mix that color up a little bit! Be open to variety chocolate gals you to close minded- Ya’ll got it in you dont you?

East Point's Own

July 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

@blue-7/30 The whole point of letting it slide is to not think about it or make a big deal of it… so of course we don’t count how many times we let it slide or how many times she let it slide…

If you decide to let something slide you have absolutely no right to complain about the ocassions when you let it slide in the past. If you can’t deal with something make it known as soon as reasonably possible. But don’t bring up old stuff from six days six months ago. So having said that… if you let somethign slide 10 times then you decide that #11 is your breaking point you are free to complain about instance #11 but instance 1-10 are forever pardoned…. LoL

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

Understood, abc. But how do you know that if she doesn’t TELL you in a CONVERSATION?

It's me....lurker

July 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

Ladies, ya’ll know ya’ll ain’t crazy right? Just making sure

Luvbug

July 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

I mean the white girls are gobbling up the black guys!

Written with such conviction…hysterical!!

duh

July 19th, 2010
3:12 pm

if you really love and/or care for a person, you will know when something is bothering them and you will sense something is off and inquire…..BUT only if you truly love and care for them. It is not that hard…at all.

Kym-Shake it fast..Watch-cha Self!!

July 19th, 2010
3:12 pm

for me its called selective hearing and selective memory<<<<Yeah it is…my son has already developed these conditions.

Willie Dynamite

July 19th, 2010
3:13 pm

Blue – you just described me. I admit it, Selective hearing. I just wait for the buzzwords in between the blah blah blah. Luckily we’ve already had that tough conversation (smile) and know how to deal with it on both sides.

abc

July 19th, 2010
3:14 pm

Regarding furniture placement, that’s one of those things that a woman will make assumptions that you can read her mind about where she means it to go — anything resembling decoration, furnishing or home-making in general, you can assume that she thinks you’re retarded about it. Get 2 chicks together and try to offer some input into whatever the current decorating/furnishing project is. They’ll look at you like you just escaped from the small school bus, then turn around and do what you said.

As tiresome as that can be, it’s another thing that I just let go. It’s not important enough to have endless “tough conversations” about. I just give over the total appearance of where we live to her. I do resist assertions that I’m somehow too inept to know the difference, though. I don’t really like half of what she decorates, and some of it she knows about, but it’s just paint color, things hanging on walls, junk collecting on the mantle. No biggie. I get to where I don’t really notice it’s all there, anyway.

GeorgiaBoy

July 19th, 2010
3:16 pm

My girlfriend says I never listen to her.
At least I THINK that’s what she said!

Leggs

July 19th, 2010
3:17 pm

Leggs “lonely” post is a perfect of example of chicks saying one thing and meaning another.”

No, that’s not a perfect example…that’s what you men would say we women do often…nit pick!!!

East Point's Own

July 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

@blue-7/30 the real answer is write it down, that way there is evidence of exactly what you communicated, and there is no arguement… but true story, and I tell people this in real life… dealing with me if its more than 2 steps involved you are best to write it down or email it to me, because I am not responsible for what ever happens after the second step in any verbally communicated request.
I can’t remember all that, especially if its not something I care about.

Don’t send me to the store with a list that’s not written.
Don’t ask me to clean this, then wash that, then make this,then fold those, then scrub that… cause I already forgot everything after wash that….

I mean imagine if I told you verbally how to go install a new set of brake pads on your car(assuming that you have never performed this task before)… you would probably be lost probably before I told you all the tools you will need. But to me its pretty much second nature, so you can’t expect someone to know what you think is common knowledge.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

@East point – um k, got that 1-10 is pardoned. but in that scenario then, when 11 hits and i say dude wtf, you dont get to throw anything at me, 1-10,11, 0r 62, cause you’ve pardoned it by not bringing it to light then. so why when i say dude wtf, do you turn around and go well you know, you did 62 the other day and i didnt say anything? sounds…a little…contradictory…..

@its me – lol, thanks. sometimes we do need some affirmation on that count

abc

July 19th, 2010
3:19 pm

…course, that can turn into “I don’t appreciate what she does around the house”. One of those scenarios that you can’t win no matter what you say or do, so you mostly just shutup. I wouldn’t have characterized it as a “tough conversation” before today, but there ya go… bet a dollar that tonight it becomes a “I’ve been meaning to mention that” kind of convo.