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.
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.
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.
- 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.)
- 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;
- It is assumed you were not paying attention and zoned out,
- 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!
“But DUDE, she ASKED FOR MY OPINION!”
“DUDE, SHE IS ASKING YOU TO AGREE!!!”
. . . so you cannot ask questions. Men, shut up and just listen. Don’t ask a question because you will do one of two things;
- Make her mad that you interrupted
- 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.
- Know the Significant One’s body language
- Listen to the voice for a change in pitch
- 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
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