Thursday, November 26

Why men don't listen and..

Why men don't listen and why women can't read maps!

The simple answer is that they are both not programmed to do so.

I was wandering around Asda doing the shopping, as you do, and I walked past the books. This one leaped off the shelf into my shopping trolley before I could do anything about it. Well, ok, maybe I did reach it down off the shelf, but you get my drift. I saw the title and it piqued my curiosity. I CAN read a map, I thought. Well, ok, not brilliantly, but I can get us from A to B.. sort of, unless we're heading south, then I have to turn the map upside down, then round a full 360 degrees again, and well.. we end up at our destination having had a few cross words and u turns.

This book is enlightening! I thoroughly recommend everyone buys it.. nay.. not recommend.. you HAVE to buy it. Male or Female.. it will give you an insight into how the other sex is and why they don't do what you think they should do.

Since the dawn of time (the start of evolution as man) the male has been the hunter gatherer (lunch chaser) and the woman has been the nest defender. Our brains are programmed that way and there's nothing we can do to change it (apart from evolve further and that will take millions of years). Male and female brains are structured differently and men don't have the same amount of area dedicated to listening and talking that women do. Women don't have the same amount of brain area dedicated to spacial awareness that men do (that's why a lot of women struggle to reverse park a car - although in our house, I'm the reverse parker and Mark isn't). Men have the ability to convert a 2D image into a 3D image in their head. They have a large area in their brain to perform this task. Women don't. That's why we struggle to read maps and convert them into a real time image so that we can work out the directions, we're just not programmed to do it. Man had to get back from the hunt/kill so they had to develop these skills. Women only had to navigate small distances and so the skill didn't develop the way it did with man.

Man had to sit, sometimes for hours, waiting to spot and kill lunch. They didn't need to talk (it would scare the beast away) and so they're happy to sit and say nothing for hours. Women had to be the social person, talking to the children and to the other women all day.

One of the things that really annoys women is the apparent lack of ability for a man to find his socks/butter in the fridge/item right under his nose. (my hubby did it last night when I said, can you put 'that' on the plate please. He said, what plate? The plate was on the work top right next to his left hand!!) I'd read about this bit in the book and calmly said, the plate next to your hand.. whereas before I'd have said.. are you blind? it's right in front of you!!. Men developed a tunnel vision. They had to home in on the animal they were going to kill and didn't need the periferal vision as it would distract from where their target was. Women on the other hand had to watch the kids and keep an eye open for any threat to the dwelling and often watch other peoples kids too. Women developed a larger periferal vision. It's scientifically proven that women see an extra 45 degrees left and right and up and down to what men see.

The other thing that has been quite enlightening, is that men can perform one task at a time. That is the way their brains are wired. They are programmed to perform that task, and so they shut out anything else that's going on around them. This is why, when they're watching TV they don't hear us when we speak to them. It's not that they're ignoring us (most of the time) their brain is concentrating on watching the TV and filters out everything around it. They just can't watch TV and listen at the same time. They can't understand why women talk so much. We can't help it, we're programmed that way. We think aloud (how many times have you found yourself talking to the washing machine? shopping list? or other inanimate objects?) Men offer us a solution... we didn't want a solution.. we were 'just saying'. He gets the hump because he's been rejected, we get the hump because he always wants to 'fix' things and never actually listens.

Why on earth do men and women live together? LOL

Anyway.... I've rambled on enough about this.. but you really should read this book (Julie, you can have my copy when I've read it if you want). It really is an eye opener and will help you understand the man/woman you live with. It is all based on scientific facts and tests (MRI's and the like) and has facts and figures to back up what's being said.

So, my husband (apparently) isn't an ignorant git who will fob me off with a quick solution to shut me up.. he's programmed that way. Not that it's going to make him stop doing what he does and me getting upset at his apparent shallowness... at least I understand why he's the way he is.

The book by the way, is called Why Men don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps and is by Allan and Barbara Pease.


  1. I've come across various versions of these arguments and they do hold pretty true.

    I cannot multi-task. I can do one thing at a time, and do it very well, but I cannot talk, and listen, and watch the telly, and keep an eye on the kids and cook a meal all at exactly the same time. I have no idea how anyone can.

    And as for the problem solving - that's a classic. As men, we are programmed to look for solutions, whereas women are programmed to sympathise. It's this area that causes some of the biggest misunderstandings.

    When my mother was going through chemo for cancer, I remember my father struggling like mad because my mum kept saying about the pain she was in. My dad couldn't fix it, so every time she mentioned it, he felt more and more inadequate. It wasn't until I talked about these male/female differences that I got him to understand my mother wasn't expecting him to fix it, but to be there with her. What he actually needed to do was hold her hand, give her a hug and be reassuring.

    He accepted the idea and acted on it, much to my mother's relief, but I don't think he ever understood it

  2. Men are very much the problem solvers. Women go all around the houses to solve a problem. Of course, what I've said are all generalisms and there are always exceptions to the rules, but Mark can solve a problem just like that, I will go all round the houses and work out every possibility and probability before (very often) not actually reaching a solution. Men do want to fix things and I think also think that this is one of the biggest causes of misunderstandings. Women like to tell their other half how they are feeling because women are emotional. Men compartmentalise their emotions and leave them where they are, they don't need to discuss them, they will just work on the problem and find a solution in their head. Women need to get it off their chests but the fella wants to fix it, and butts into the conversation with a solution, hence women getting even more upset because 'he doesn't listen'. We do often need a hug not a solution.

    This book has been quite a revolution to me to be honest. I really hope Mark will read it, but it's highly unlikely LOL. If I leave the book laying on his computer keyboard or on his motorbike tank (the most obvious places he'll see it) he might read it, but then again, he'll probably just move it out of the way LOL.

    I'm glad your dad took your advice, even if he didn't understand. I bet it did your mum the world of good.

  3. I can really relate to what Kim said; Phil is exactly like that around his mum; he can't "fix" her and he has no idea what else to do! I say just give her a cuddle, listen to her, be there and he says what's the use in that? I would love to read this book.

  4. we call the failure to look properly Boy Looking, it's a daily occurence.
    Over to say a massive thankyou for following my blog - it really made my morning to see you up there - cheers!