Love Life: Men vs. Women Talking (Face to Face Vs. Side by Side)

Posted by on March 10th, 2016

This is the thirty-second post in the series: BIG TEN OF AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFE


Flooded Out


Imagine a couple of guys working on a carburetor, and one of them says, “Let it out a little bit more. Can you give me the number two Phillips for this?” As he’s letting it idle he says, “Does your wife ever…[fill in the blank]”

As men, we need an activity to do because if the other guy starts to get too intense, we can shift the topic back on the activity.

Ladies, you feel that men need to talk about the problem. What men actually need is a distraction in the middle of the problem. They need something else they can talk about. Men always need a conversation escape route if it gets too emotionally intense, otherwise they will do what’s referred to as “flooding.”

Because of testosterone, if men get emotionally too intense, they “flood out”. Like a car with too much gasoline floods and won’t start, you’ve seen guys flood out. You say, “Why won’t you talk to me?, Please talk to me.” At this point he’s flooded. No, he’s not drunk. He’s just flooded. Men you know this because once you reach a certain point, the engine is flooded and you can’t start the engine. Guys get overwhelmed.

Here’s where honey talk comes in. A woman’s ability to honey talk a man (all the ladies are murmuring to themselves, “That’s demeaning!”) Maybe, but it works. I don’t know if it’s demeaning or not, but it definitely works. If you honey talk a man, he will do anything for you.

So ladies, if you want the guy to fix something, you say to him, “I’m having trouble getting…[fill in the blank].” And if you feel that’s demeaning, that’s a shame, because it works. You may not like that answer. It may seem wrong to you, or it may seem like some cave man thing, but Gottman’s research indicates that a woman’s ability to honey talk a man is one of the master skills for relationship success.

So the two secrets are this:

  1. A man’s ability to say “Okay babe”, and
  2. A woman’s ability to give lighthearted feedback and honey talk. Those are the predictors of marital success and relationship success in general.

So if you hear someone ever say, “So what I hear you saying is”, you know that they either have been in sensitivity training or are therapy graduates…(to be continued)

Photo credit: Heinz History Center

Image of Roger HallDr. Roger Hall
Business Psychologist

I’m adding new coaching clients to my work. If you have interest in connecting with me regarding executive coaching or leadership development, please click here, fill out the information, and I’ll get right back to you!  Thanks!!