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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
3:20 pm

Whodahell said furniture placement is a tough conversation?

Now, y’all are just being comedians.

And ForReal, I didn’t change the topic. I just gave an example of easy conversations.

Whats My Name Again?

July 19th, 2010
3:20 pm

@abc, I’m sorry but tough conversions don’t just apply to women giving men a hard time. It can happen the other way round as well. As a woman, I hate the “tough conversations” or “we need to talk” scenerio which translates into “you doing something wrong…again.” You know the important stuff such as not wearing six inch heels seven days a week. Or, the all important not wearing bootie shorts with the six inch high heels. Or, only wearing the tights as pants that shows off the camel toe but once a month and only when he brings it up. Lets see if I can re inact the scene.

Dude (with long suffering look on face): Hey
Chick (seeing look and is concerned): Baby, what’s wrong?
Dude: We need to talk.
Chick: What’s going on, baby?
Dude: I keep having to bring up the fact that you’ve only worn the tights you got two months ago, what twice?
Chick: I know baby, I’ve been busy. You know my mom’s been sick. I’ve been having to take care of her.
Dude: I understand that your mom isn’t feeling well, but I hate to have to keep bringing this up. It’s like you don’t ever do anything that I request of you.
Chick: That’s not true, I wore some heels about two or three times this week and I wore the bootie shorts just last week.
Dude: Yes but before that, when did you last put on the bootie shorts?
Chick (thinking): Well, I couldn’t really wear shorts because it was winter. It just started getting hot.
Dude: Still, its like I constantly have to bring this up and it seems like you really don’t care about what makes me happy. And when you got those tights, I was thinking I would see you in them more than once a month.
Chick (with WTF look on face): Ok baby, I’ll try to remember.

For Real

July 19th, 2010
3:22 pm

See lady what you call avoiding tough convo men call a complete waste of time. It’s just plain quicker to piss you off and end the convo. The number tool in a man’s toolbox to piss a chick off and end a convo is put on his “Mildly Retarded” hat. It works everytime.

Chick: blah, blah, blah and another thing blah, blah, blah, blah, and why yo mamma, blah, blah…..

Dude: Placing his Mildly Retarded hat snug on his head.

Chick: You so dayum stupid! I can’t stand yo azz!

abc

July 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

A man that pressures you to dress like a street walker on Ponce either has some personal problems, or has an agenda for you that has nothing to do with being SO. You don’t really think that’s something that can be talked out, do you?

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

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…..”,
Blue becuase that’s too much daggone stuff to remember about moving a table. I like my shirts ironed in a very specific way, so I don’t ask anyone else to do that for me because to them it probabaly just seems like too much daggone stuff to remember about ironing a shirt. lol

For Real

July 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

Scool: “And ForReal, I didn’t change the topic. I just gave an example of easy conversations.” – Topic Avoiding Tough Convos… you said “As is demonstrated over and over by the honesty and forthcoming with which you handle ALL of life’s situations, right?” and they not even spelled the same.

Leggs

July 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

Good one, What’s My Name.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:29 pm

@Dreams – ok, too many instructions. fine. but thats still your >/i> decision to ignore and forget or whatever you want to call it. its not me not knowing how to communicate. its not me being crazy or anything else. i told you exactly what i wanted/needed. you said youd do it. you didnt. end of story.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:30 pm

ok so didnt do the italics right, lol

For Real

July 19th, 2010
3:30 pm

Dumbest tough convo ever:

WHY YOU LEAVE THE TOLIET SEAT UP? I FELL IN THE BOWL BECAUSE OF YOU!

duh

July 19th, 2010
3:31 pm

Ladies, this topic has been looped around the block a few times, but shouldn’t be hard to understand why…..

Melo- African culture and tradition, married- she took him as he was, so he is not part of the dating world anymore….this would be too hard to deal with!!

abc- says he’s married….yeah…ok…good..he is off the market…good riddance!!!

For Real—does not want a serious relationship/ wife….dodge a bullet with this one

Dreams—-single by choice??? ….I don’think so

EPO….there’s still a slight glimpse of hope for him

East Point's Own

July 19th, 2010
3:32 pm

@blue-7/30 that speaks to the maturity of the person you are dealing with, and possibly the way you presented the issue. Like I said you should make issues known at or near the time they happen, then you won’t find yourself in a tit-for-tat situation because you will have already made your problems known.

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

July 19th, 2010
3:32 pm

This whole topic…just prove men and women communicate differently.. you hear what you want to hear..and react accordingly.

Sassy Me...Chocolate Cutey :-)

July 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

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,

Yeah we know sometimes y’all don’t do well with all of that so there’s this thing…ummm I don’t know if you’ve heard of it…it’s ahh err ahh what’s it called again?…oh it’s called a honey DO listcause some of y’all will get it wrong if it’s not CLEARLY written down in print(cursive may be too much of a stretch for some)…I’m jus sayin

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

Blue If I hear it and say I’ll do it, then I don’t turn around and complain about it. If I feel like it’s just too much, and I’ll just end up getting blasted for not doing it how she wants right, then I just decline to do it.

abc

July 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

It seems the only real constant in today’s topic and feedback is insults from the chicks. Actually, that’s pretty constant every day around here: both sides insulting the other. It’s getting to where worthwhile information is either rarely or never exchanged, or rarely or never acknowledged.

Suit yourself!

i'm swiss™ (from the airport)

July 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

I would comment on the current topic, but I tuned out once the conversation turned to what dudes need to do. ;-)

I would just like to publicly distance myself from pretty in black. Dude, seriously, if you’ve got enough going for you (and enough confidence in that fact) you can land a chick of any flavor. It’s about you, not them…

Whats My Name Again?

July 19th, 2010
3:39 pm

@Kym.. your 3:32 is so true. I can’t count how many times I’ve had a “discussion” with a SO and he repeats what I’ve said back to me phrased a little different to make his point but he is saying exactly what I’ve said to make my point, only its phrased differently. And vice versa. It’s as if you don’t phrase words a specific way and with a specific intonation, then the meaning is lost or gets flipped around.

Melo

July 19th, 2010
3:39 pm

Melo-she took him as he was…..this would be too hard to deal with!!

duh??

and u still waiting for the One that u can change and manipulate??

Good Luck (x 5) with that one! :lol:

Sassy Me...Chocolate Cutey :-)

July 19th, 2010
3:42 pm

Awwww wassa matter boo boo????

Swissie ^5 on that 3:35…

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:45 pm

it seems as if you guys have the idea that if a woman opens her mouth, its all down hill from there. shes emotional and irrational, and you’ll get blasted. its as if a woman cant ever have anything intelligent to say; anything that truly does need to be addressed or that could actually improve your relationship, you as a man, or her ability to be a good woman; or *gasp* that you have actually done something wrong. smh, smh

Sassy Me...Chocolate Cutey :-)

July 19th, 2010
3:45 pm

hasta luego blog familia!!!

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
3:45 pm

Duh thanks for your detailed and informed assessment of all the blog guys you’ve never met and know nothing about. Now would you kindly reveal yourself so that we can reciprocate with our own completely unfounded assumptions of you? Or would that be too tough a conversation for you to have?

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
3:46 pm

@Dreams – lmao

Melo

July 19th, 2010
3:47 pm

its as if a woman cant ever have anything intelligent to say; anything that truly does need to be addressed or that could actually improve your relationship

blue-7/30??

does addressing me on something that u urself do on the constant count?? I get that often too.

Melo

July 19th, 2010
3:49 pm

DreamsMaterialize??

duh is a duh_regular, too timid to reveal herself and opinions using her duh regular monniker!

Leggs

July 19th, 2010
3:49 pm

The pot is calling the kettle black! I like that.

Willie Dynamite

July 19th, 2010
3:51 pm

Ladies – Is this REALLY an issue in any of your lives? None of this is new but has it gotten to the point where its a dealbreaker with a current or past SO?

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
3:54 pm

if a woman opens her mouth, its all down hill from there. shes emotional and irrational, and you’ll get blasted. its as if a woman cant ever have anything intelligent to say;
Blue now you’re editorializing…cut that out. lol I hope that’s not how the ladies are interpreting the conversation. What I get from it is that men and women communicate differently, but we often project our own styles of communication on the other. This results in misalignment of the two people’s perceptions on a topic. Sometimes I don’t understand where a woman is coming from, and every woman I’ve been with can definitely probably say the same about me. It’s just something we all have to work on.

It's me....lurker

July 19th, 2010
3:58 pm

Dreams – I hope that’s not how the ladies are interpreting the conversation. that’s funny
This results in misalignment of the two people’s perceptions on a topic —-> hence the need to “talk”

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
4:00 pm

duh is a duh_regular, too timid to reveal herself and opinions using her duh regular monniker!
Melo lol but I don’t get it. why all the duplicity? what’s there to be timid about?

duh

July 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

I am not a regular, but I read you all a lot. Issues such as having a tough talk wiht your S/O is what makes the relationship stronger or break it! You all are going off into left field, talking about women wanting to talk about silly ish or stuff that is placed on “High Alert”, when really it is simple or can be handled on her own—-This type of silly ish is not what a “real” woman would do. You all are making it seem like nothing that a woman is talking about is worth your time to listen!!

Newsflash——If we don’t talk about the tough issues sooner or later,they will compile into something bigger—-at which point, it may be too late to talk.

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

Dreams – I hope that’s not how the ladies are interpreting the conversation. that’s funny
why’s that funny?

This results in misalignment of the two people’s perceptions on a topic —-> hence the need to “talk”
Actually, hence the need to work on communication. All the talking in the world just devolves into arguing when two people aren’t attempting to communicate in a way that the other can understand.

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

WillieD…not in mine. I happen to be in a relationship with a man who understands what communication in a relationship requires.

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

@Melo – mr.blue has mentioned that too. and in my experience there is usually at least one detail (men would call minor, women significant)that makes the 2 similar but not the same.

ex. blue: we agreed no need for anybody to be calling the house after 10pm. so why is your cousin calling at midnight, 2am like clockwork?
mr.blue: its just what she do. besides your cousin calls at midnight, 2am and I dont say anything.
blue: yes but my cousin works nights, sleeps days. she cant call at regular hours. besides, we talked about this and you said you didnt mind because of her schedule. your cousin works 8am to 4pm, why cant she call b4 our agreed upon cutoff of 10pm?
mr.blue: ah, there you go again, always got to be on my back
blue: (to self – there i go again, doin what? thinking? i see)…

similar, but different.

@Dreams – lol. love a good sense of humor, even amidst tough conversations. sounds sarcastic, but seriously, love it lol. gotta be able to laugh, takes years off the soul. i appreciate yuor reference to misalignment, and think if more men presented it that way, women wouldnt be so defensive. but, IMO, my earlier statement is how most men are coming off today. Ladies: yes or no?

duh

July 19th, 2010
4:06 pm

Stop assuming that everyone who posts are regulars…..the AJC is online and be accessed even in other countries…..all this talk about perceptions and not understanding what is being asked of you is simple>>>>>>>>>>>>TALK TO HER/HIM…..if you care enough. that is all

Melo

July 19th, 2010
4:07 pm

You all are making it seem like nothing that a woman is talking about is worth your time to listen!!

Duh??

so why schedule a Diplomatic conference if its simple..why cant we handle that in regular convo like we do everyday??

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
4:11 pm

@melo – was wondering this earlier. agreed if we talk on the regular, appts shouldnt be necessary. but what about those guys out there, and there are plenty, who wont talk on the regular. or who used to b4 you became too attached to walk away, and now that you are, wont. you try to talk on the regular, they respond to a multiple choice question with a head nod, or dont respond at all and then when you repeat yourself (thinking he didnt hear you) come at you with “i heard you the first time”. what do you do with them?

Catherine

July 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

I know this is a little off topic blue-7/30, can anyone suggest a good website to find cars for sale by owner in Atlanta?

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
4:18 pm

Just because we bring up an issue as a matter of a topic in a *regular* conversation doesn’t mean that it’s not a *tough* issue.

So, what you GUYS are saying is that it’s not about the SUBJECT of the conversation; it’s about the MANNER in which it is addressed?

LOL!

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
4:19 pm

I am not a regular, but I read you all a lot.
Stop assuming that everyone who posts are regulars…..
Duh a person who reads regularly (”a lot”) is not a regular? Also, I never assumed that you were anything. I did, however, conclude that you were making unsubstantiated statements about others.

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
4:19 pm

Catherine – Craigslist. And it’s nowhere *close* to the topic. LOL – but that’s okay. :)

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
4:22 pm

@Catherine – lol, off topic no problemo, but sorry no, i do not know of any. wait, think i heard something about AutoTrader.com once, but dont know much about it myself. Anybody else?
@SexyCool – lmao, mr.blue has said that to many times. its not so much the topic, but HOW i addressed him. sometimes that was because i did a simple thing like *gasp* turned the tv off when the game was over. whatever was i thinking…..

Melo

July 19th, 2010
4:23 pm

who used to b4 you became too attached to walk away,

@Blue??

thats the problem..females become too attached be4 they get other details outa the way…

however,there are instances where somebody aint doing what they used to do coz they have checked out emotionally…..thats on u to either use ur gut and cut ur loses amnd step or persevere and address the issue with him/her to see if u can get the gist of it……

what does ur pride/gut say??

DreamsMaterialize

July 19th, 2010
4:23 pm

So, what you GUYS are saying is that it’s not about the SUBJECT of the conversation; it’s about the MANNER in which it is addressed?
I didn’t say that. I don’t care what the topic is. Extend the same respect that I would extend to you, and we’re good…can talk about anything.

Willie Dynamite

July 19th, 2010
4:23 pm

SC – thats good, but YOU should understand that something can be miscontrued to be a Tough Conversation by one party and not the other. What is missing is the willingness to work through it in some cases.

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
4:26 pm

Trust, WillieD, I understand.

Melo

July 19th, 2010
4:27 pm

Do men avoid tough conversations

@Scool??

that there is WD’s qstion on the blog heading…

and the answer is we dont..just bring it on..dont add to the angst by lacking in diplomatic skills..

Just say it without being emotional nor scheduling appointment.

Is the boyfriend a boyfriend by appointment anyway??

blue-7/30

July 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

@melo – thats on u to either use ur gut and cut ur loses amnd step or persevere and address the issue with him/her to see if u can get the gist of it……

and a male perspective/expectations, if she is chooses to “persevere and address”? is she, by choosing to try to work on it, somehow to blame if things sticks around and things remain the same?

SexyCool - Joy bubbles over.

July 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

“Just say it without being emotional nor scheduling appointment.”

Melo – I happen to agree with that.