Female Focus Friday: Things Men Need to Know About . . . The When and Why to Shut Up . . . During a Vent

Guys, take it from me, the man who knows . . . Women want us to Shut Up.


Not a major revelation, since I imagine most of us have heard those words, or close to them . . . a few times. But I’m not talking about those times when you . . .

  • Are about to announce the name you’ve picked out for your child that you promised not to mention to anyone.  (This usually is also  accompanied by a bruised shin that occurs from underneath the restaurant table.)
  • Or when you start telling that joke in front of her parents you just know is wrong. (Yes, never tell the mother-in-law the joke about the Secret Service discovering who peed the words The President Sucks in the snow outside the White House. Yes, being OJ Simpson at the time was funny, and yes it being in the First Ladies handwriting was also funny. But still . . .)
  • Or when you are about to tell your mother the truth about what your wife thinks of one of your mother’s specialty meals. (See results of the first type of shut up moment.)

No, I’m talking about the truly important times to shut up. Bruises will heal. Some scarring may occur, depending on the shoes worn or the length of the nails as they dig into your hand if a kick is not available. There are things worse, much . . .  much worse.


So let me give you . . .


Things Men Need to Know About . . . The When and Why to Shut Up . . . During a Vent


First you need to know that whatever the stage of the relationship, they have to let things out sometimes. If you read all those magazines and watch all those talk shows like Oprah you will know pretty quick that “They are like  Stars” and “We are like a . . .” well it rhymes with Venus. At least that’s how it seems when it comes to handling those talk times. We are insensitive. At least that’s how we’re portrayed. We’re not insensitive. We’re just not trained right.

FGdogsleep WAKE UP! This is important. Pay attention.

You know the talk times I am talking about. She’s had a bad day, and she needs to talk, and you half mindedly listen and give your advice on how to handle the situation. Before long you realize that either 1) you are alone in the room, b) you are being glared at, or the most likely 3rd) you don’t notice a thing and keep talking as you watch the game assuming you have done something amazingly helpful.


Men if you are reading this and you identify with the first two or believe she was happily listening as you spouted wisdom between screams at the coach on TV for his bad play calling and crunches of nachos while still advice spouting then I advise you to keep reading.


The scenario:

You walk into the room and your Significant One does NOT look happy. She doesn’t give you the ‘what the frilly hoohaa have you done this time’ look, so you start breathing again. Now you do the only correct thing of the next several minutes to two hours that you will do. You ask, “What’s wrong honey?”


She will do of two things:

  • She will say nothing is wrong, and you will either stupidly accept that, or you will rightly be sensitive and ask her what is really wrong, knowing you will probably regret it, but you love her and must continue.
  • Or she will immediately begin telling you what is wrong without any further prompting.



Now we enter the ‘Shut Up Zone’. Men, I know it’s difficult, but in time you learn. At times you will forget, but for the majority of the time you will make your life easier. Follow these basic rules of ‘Listening to your Significant One Vent’.


The Reasons you need to Shut Up are . . .



. . . so you can listen. Listening accomplishes a lot of things.

  1. You need to know what is actually going on for the test later. (The test will be unannounced and at any moment within the next 2 days to 55 years.)
  2. Another reason is to know when she is actually speaking specifically to you. If she pauses and stares at you, you best be ready with, an “of course, you’re right”.



. . . so you can remember not to give advice. Men, the Significant One does not want your advice. If they wanted advice they would call their mother or their best friend, neither of which you are. Oh, you think you are her best friend?

Men, we like to think that. We may even believe that. But the truth is, once you become the Significant One’s other  there is a change in the dynamic. There are things that can no longer be said or shared for fear of hurting our masculine pride. Don’t believe me? Okay, your significant other is thinking of Johnny Depp while kissing you. And that ‘mmm’ sound, was not meant for you. How do you feel now? Point made.



. . . so you can remember not to try and solve the problem. Men, they don’t need us to solve their problems. In fact if you listen well enough, you may realize there is no problem. We are the ones that created the mythical problem by asking what the problem was. In reality there probably wasn’t a ‘problem’. They just need to vent. If you do not ‘Shut Up’ you will then create a . . .

Wait for it.


. . .  BIGGER problem . . . YOU. As for solving a problem, if they want us to help they will ask us to help. (A secret, they usually don’t need any ‘help’. Yeah, like I said, just shut up.)



. . . so you can tell when the vent is over. Men, you’ve listened well, but have you paid attention. The vent is over and you are sitting there staring at her. This will lead to a couple of dangerous possibilities;

  1. It is assumed you were not paying attention and zoned out,
  2.  Or your opinion may be asked, although only on a rare occasion.

Do not, I repeat, do NOT give an opinion. Agree and say that you totally agree. I REPEAT, DO NOT GIVE AN OPINION!





. . . so you cannot ask questions. Men, shut up and just listen. Don’t ask a question because you will do one of two things;

  1. Make her mad that you interrupted
  2. Or you will send her off onto another vent before she comes back to the main vent

I repeat . . . Shut Up.

How will you know the vent is over? I will make this simple for the moment, although this could be an entire article of its own.

  1. Know the Significant One’s body language
  2. Listen to the voice for a change in pitch
  3. Finally notice the vein is no longer protruding wherever it protrudes and the shoulders are no longer up around the ears from tension and the hands have stopped waving

You may ask, “Ronovan, how do you come by these freshwater pearls of wisdom. ”

Oh young grasshopper mint cookie. Though the waters may appear calm, even this tiny grain of sand in the great ocean of the male population irritates. You either become a pearl, or you are spit out.


As for the Significant Ones reading this today, I ask, are there other reasons to add to the “Shut Up” list? Please advise. We really need to know.


The ever Needy and

Much Respectful



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25 thoughts on “Female Focus Friday: Things Men Need to Know About . . . The When and Why to Shut Up . . . During a Vent

  1. Hehehe this made me giggle. Especially the “grasshopper mint cookie” bit. I think your main point’s a great one: sometimes we just need to vent while our male friends shut up and listen (without going into problem-solving mode, because like you said, we’re not asking you to solve our problems).

    Sometimes, though, we do ask advice, and we do want an answer (contrary to #4). It depends on the situation, obviously, but if you have a good relationship (<–important) and she actually asks for advice, not for agreement ( "ugh this girl is so annoying isn't this girl so annoying?" <–asking for agreement), this is a great moment to give an honest "Well, maybe she just had a bad day?" to balance your Significant One out. Yes, sometimes a rant is just a rant, but other times it's a serious conundrum at work that she'd really like your honest opinion on so she can have a better understanding of her coworkers. And that's where the listening comes in, so you know how to respond! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh hey, I thought of more things.

    Again, loved the main idea and reading about this situation from a male perspective. I do have a teeny tiny little critique on your second paragraph of #2. Mainly, I think it’s entirely false. Or darn well should be. Let me explain.

    Yeaaaah, maybe we don’t want to go right out and say that your kissing’s a little slobbery sometimes, but good relationships are based on communication and honesty, and your scenario includes neither, which made me sad. The best relationships are the ones that grow out of (and/or into) great friendships, where each person loves the other for who he or she is. One person certainly never pretends they’re with someone else, because why are they in a relationship with that person if they don’t want to be?

    I realize you’re including any and all stages and kinds of relationship while I’m focusing on later, well-developed ones, but just wanted to throw in my two cents there (okay, more like $0.75, sorry 😉 )

    Fun read though and great thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such fun to read but things are quite the opposite for me. My partner grew up with five sisters and myself two brothers, and one Tomboy sister. He is the one who wants to talk about his feelings, all the time. I am the strong silent type. Though that also means I listen and feel his every word. I certainly don’t mind if he fixes my problems and I have become prone to advice giving since people first started coming to me in primary school. I had to think of something to say 🙂 Am I an anomoly?
    Even though I am the female, perhaps I should take heed of your words 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • funny I’m the strong silent type as well. My husband grew up with five sisters as well. He’s the venter I’m the listener, and when he wants to give me advice I’ll take it, but like I mentioned below . . . as long as it’s not diet advice 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • There are times problems need to be fixed, but a vent time isn’t one of them. Perhaps my next advice humor yet for real article should be when to know it’s a vent and when to know it’s a real I want your help situation.


    • The focus of this particular Shut Up moment is when you just need to vent. 🙂 You just want to get things off your chest, not really have anything done . . . even by your self. You just want to grrrrr.


  4. Thanks for the giggles:) I am quite opposite though in a lot of ways. I’m silent always alone in my thoughts while my husband talks about every emotion and every event of the day.. But I’m a listener always have been. I’ll speak when something really bothers me and only if it is a back and forth conversation… I genuinely want opinions. If I say I’m ok and it’s nothing to do with you I just need some time then I’ll come to you for advice…..that is truly what I want.

    The one time men should be quiet it when a woman is in a “diet” yet you see her eating a piece of pie etc…. Just shut it and keep walking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 Some of that was actually very insightful. As Embracing a wounded Soul mentions above I too am the quiet one, always listening while he is venting.

      “whats wrong honey?” er, I don’t want to talk about that and he knows when to drop it. Thank goodness.

      Lol again agreeing with this comment “The one time men should be quiet it when a woman is in a “diet” yet you see her eating a piece of pie etc…. Just shut it and keep walking. “

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Your post is as thoughtful and entertaining as always Ronovan. It reminded me of a John Tesh segment on the radio where he was giving advice to men about pet names women like most. He said women hate being called “baby.” That is actually my favorite pet name! So I thought, “Do not take Tesh’s advice – ASK your lady what she prefers to be called.” Maybe guys could approach this the same way: On a day that everything is completely smooth-sailing, ask your lady how she would prefer you handle these types of things. Some of the ladies here have offered differing preferences… I love it that you are so progressive and eager to learn, and to share your insights in an effort to help.


    • This particular Shut Up situation is for those just Vent moments. I don’t think I conveyed that properly. 🙂 Or maybe I did and I am still just that wrong.


      • No, I got that you were referring to venting situations. My suggestion was to ask your lady how she prefers that you respond to her venting on a day when things are calm/there is nothing she is venting about.

        What I would want in a situation like this is for my man to listen to me and validate my feelings. Definitely do not take the other person’s side or defend their POV during the vent.


  6. You did a great job talking about the venting part. Hit it right on the nose. Trust me I see it all the time with my woman friends. They confuse me so I can see how men become confused.For some the laws of nature have turned inside out and it is that man who takes on the role of the venter 🙂 that’s what made this even more enjoyable to read. I do vent just not too often. That’s what I got you for 🙂 At the the end you asked for other reasons to add to the shut up list . . . I brought up the super sensitive diet questions 🙂 trust me that’s a doozy for a lot of woman :),Thank you for the funny and well thought out articles as always.


  7. Nice post Ron and totally agree with Honua and Serins with the diet advise comment..men should learn to shut up and agree sometimes.Just let us talk and sometimes you are right there probably is no problem in the first place just listen and tell us we are right sometimes even if not always..;)


  8. I don’t vent often but when I do, I’d like to be listened to, so spot on, Ron. Enjoyed the post!

    Other ‘shut up’ moments (1) when I am re-telling special moments shared with my girlfriends, shut up and do not comment, or worse make fun or derogatory comments, about the moments or the girlfriends. Unless of course if you are in total agreement. There is a sisterhood here – so be respectful. (2) when I have put myself out there, taken a stand, offered an opinion/viewpoint, if you don’t agree or can’t support me, at least just shut up. Unless if you are asked then I guess you need to be true to yourself in which case, this is not an issue. In short, be on my side. 🙂

    Something I’ve learned over the years – observe and process the situation/interaction, before doing. Think and feel, before you act.


  9. I hope all men can learn this art to say shut up…we really want to nag and brag at times…we are women after all 😀
    Great Post Ron…loved it…and it’s so true 🙂


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