The differences between men and women is a tremendously popular topic, especially when it comes to decoding women’s language. Countless books, articles have been written on this subject and many studies portray women and men as alien beings. “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray and “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen are 2 of the books that have topped the bestseller lists in countries from all continents.
One of the most intriguing questions is “Why don’t women just say what they mean?” Because women are born negotiators, politicians, diplomats, you name it! Women use metaphors, analogies, nothing is spoken directly, questions are rhetoric and everything has multiple meanings. No wonder men have no clue what women expect from them! Yes, women know how to introduce ideas and alternatives through the back door. Men are basic, women are details. Details, details, details…If you don’t got the details, do not talk to a woman
Who didn’t experience those moments when you felt that talking to a brick wall is more constructive than talking to your wife/husband, boyfriend or girlfriend? Men and women simply don’t communicate in the same way, particularly under stress. When a woman had a bad day, she is nervous or simply agitated, communication becomes stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. This funny Top Ten list features ten dangerous phrases and words women from all over the world love to use when they are tensed up. Remember, the signal for being in trouble is not reduced to words, it’s about the whole emotional messages behind the words, the nuances, but most importantly the body language and the tone of her voice. If you are married or if you are a “de facto” husband, this is no news for you, but I you are single and you are thinking about getting in a serious relationship, listen up!
10. You are not wearing THAT, are you?
Even if it looks like a question, this phrase is actually a suggestion or an order, depending on the woman’s mood. It’s quite a dangerous phrase, because if men don’t know how to react appropriately, it is usually followed by a looong discussion. The meaning of “You are not wearing THAT, are you?” could be either a.) she does not like it or b.) it is not appropriate for the occasion. Regardless the case, the translation of this seemingly rhetoric question is “YOU’RE NOT WEARING THAT!”, so run and change. Men are great, they make life worth living, you are our inspiration and support, but you make some really bad decisions when it comes to clothing and because we care, we would like to help. Does this sound familiar?
She: Oh…please tell me you are not wearing that outfit tonight, are you? It’s hideous…
He, ironic: No, see, I was in the closet and you weren’t around to help me, so this outfit must have been hanging right next what you wanted me to wear. Well, I am going to change now.
9. What are you doing? Do you have to do this now?
According to your wife or girlfriend, what you are doing in that moment is stupid and unimportant. She has other plans for you. It is useless to start a discussion because you ain’t gonna win that argument. No matter how you answer this tricky question, you will immediately find yourself driving down to your home’s nearest supermarket, IKEA, Home Depot etc. Men always want to be right, but women sabotage their success.
She: What exactly do you think you’re doing? Do you have to fix your computer now? What is this mess? The trash needs to be taken out and we need some groceries. By the way, the washing machine isn’t working anymore.
He: OK, fine! Whatever…
8. Listen to me! Are you listening?
Women are the king of “You don’t understand”, “You don’t listen”, “No one listens to me anymore”. If your girlfriend or wife has something to say, pay attention, otherwise she will just get really, really upset and you will end up regretting it. When women use the phrase “Listen to me!”, you are still on safe ground, she is giving you a second chance to engage in the conversation. But when she is using “Are you listening???”, you are dead. She will most likely make sure the evening is going to be unpleasant. Take these two dangerous phrases as prior warnings.
She: Now listen to me, ’cause I’m only gonna say this once: if I catch you another playing computer games, you will be in big trouble! Now go and fix that broken washing machine!
He: Can’t I relax for half an hour?
She: We can relax together. Why do you have to lose so much time with your stupid PC games? Am I not important enough? Why do you prefer to play games than spend time with me? Are you listening???
He: Yes, my dear!
She: No, you are not listening! You are still thinking about your “fascinating” World of Warcraft. Your insanely obsession with those absurd PC games drives me crazy. Are computer games really the answer to relaxation for you? (…)
7. Do you know what day is today?
Birthday, one week anniversary, one month anniversary, one year anniversary…engagement anniversary, wedding anniversary, international women’s day … some women celebrate anything and everything they can tie a significant meaning to. If your wife or girlfriend is part of this category and you forget the anniversary, you are screwed. She will forgive you, but she won’t forget it.
She: Bill, do you remember what day is today?
He: How could I forget it? It’s Friday.
She: It’s our anniversary…
He: Oops, I’m just a guy! You know how bad my memory is…
6. You’re right, I should do that (…)
No matter what you asked, she reacts as if she is accepting it, but actually, she is not! It’s a challenge. She will make sure you will pay for this later and you will be sorry! By paying, I mean both material and immaterial aspects.
She: I hope you didn’t take any appointments this weekend, because I am planning to clean the house from top to bottom and I will need your help.
He: Baby, you work so hard! Why don’t you take the weekend off, call the girls and have some fun? Go to the Spa, hit the shops…I will watch the children.
She: The house must be cleaned. Period. Do not start with me.
He: You know that I love to share the housework with you, I just want to treat you like the queen that you are, you deserve it!
She: You know what? You’re right, I should do that. God knows I need a Spa session. I saw some days ago a gorgeous Prada handbag and peep toe matching shoes. I will call the girls and schedule the weekend. By the way, I will need your credit card, ‘cause mine needs to be reactivated. Can’t wait to hit the shops!
5. The decision is yours
Women will set you up and unknowing, you will fall into the traps. When women use this phrase, they dare their partners to make the decision, but it is not an empowerment. Women test if you have got the courage to cross the line. For your own sake, you better not make this decision alone.
He: Honey, I was thinking…we need a new car. The old one is unsafe, it’s breaking down too often, the undercarriage is rusting…what about a Mazda MX-5 Miata?
She: We don’t need a new car! Especially a sports car! You’d better start putting money aside for your children’s education. College ain’t cheap!
He: But we can afford both the car and college. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
She: Which part of ‘no’ don’t you understand? The N or the O?
She: FINE, go ahead! The decision is yours…
Dr. John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, best sums it up: “Men have their own caves on which the sign states “Please do not disturb.” Men like to retreat into their own world where they feel they are in control. Women also have caves but the sign on their caves is “I need to talk”. When a man asks a woman what’s wrong and she says “Nothing” it really means “Nothing, unless you care to listen and give me an opportunity to talk.” Of course, there is also the dangerous side of “nothing”. Do you remember Homer Simpson’s words of wisdom? When a woman says nothing’s wrong that means everything’s wrong. The “Nothing Syndrome” is the calm before the avalanche of complaints.
He: What’s wrong?
He: What did I do wrong?
She: Nothing, leave me alone!
He: Why can’t you tell me?
She: Cause YOU’RE the problem and I don’t want to talk about it!
3. Is there anything new you want to try in bed tonight?
Think, think really hard before answering! Regardless of what you are coming up with, she may snap at you and here comes the cross-examination. She will get suspicious. Unfortunately, you don’t have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you.
He: Wanna try something new in bed tonight?
She: Something like…?
She: Where did you learn this? In your ”business” trip to Thailand?
Whatever…a classic among classics, a verbal weapon used by both men and women. When a woman says “whatever” during a fight, it means that she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, because you are pathetic. At this point you should be VERY worried. She has two words for you: screw you! Women make noises (including yelling) to get attention. When stress strikes and her main hormones – Cortisol, Epinephrine, and Oxytocin – go crazy, don’t let her alone, even if she is pushing you away. On one hand, men have their own caves on which the sign states “Please do not disturb.” Men like to retreat into their own world where they feel they are in control. Women, on the other hand, also have caves but the sign on their caves is “I need to talk”. Whatever can be translated in some cases as: you disappointed me, it seems that I am not the same important to you as you are to me and it hurts.
He: Sorry, I forgot to pass by the drugstore and take your medicine.
1. We need to talk – the “Come to Jesus” meeting
This phrase is dangerous and if you hear it, you’re in trouble! Seinfeld’s George Costanza, one of the funniest characters in sitcom, once said “we need to talk” is “the worst four words in the English language”. Well, in any language. Your wife or girlfriend is about to lose her mind. She has had it and SHE wants to talk. It is the typical “Come to Jesus” meeting of relationships: a time when a polite ultimatum is given, generally followed by a less polite ultimatum, then a threat. Guilty, guilty, guilty…
She: We need to talk!
She: I am not the only one in this house who knows how to use a vacuum cleaner!
She: Are you allergic to the hamper? How many times did I tell you to put the dirty clothes directly in the wash basket? Our bed is not a laundry hamper.
She: Why is the bathroom floor covered in water?