Men and women have fundamentally different thought processes. Don't believe us? Well, according to a recent Stanford study reported in Stanford Medicine, men and women's minds really do work differently.
It has nothing to do with one being more or less intelligent than the other, it's simply the way the brain works for evolutionary purposes. These differences have long been observed in animals but many contemporary studies have written off the differences in humans as being cultural-based. It wasn't until recently that psychologists discovered women, on average, are more adept at utilizing their long-term memory and tend to outperform men in reading and writing abilities. Meanwhile, on average, men are better at visualizing two- and three-dimensional shapes as well as hand-eye coordination.
What do these studies mean? Put simply, men and women think differently from one another. These differences may be why certain behaviors from men, like forgetting to put the toilet seat down, and women, such as pulling their hair from the shower drain, can cause so much friction. There are countless lists of what men do to drive women nuts, but what exactly do women do that drive men up the wall? To find out, let's turn to the men of Reddit, who are only too happy to share their insights:
19 Ladies, We Need To Work On This
"I [mess] up -> I apologize.
She [messes] up -> I confront her -> she gets upset/emotional -> I comfort her.
There is almost never a scenario in which I am satisfied with the end of an argument/confrontation."
When a good man makes a mistake, he recognizes it and apologizes appropriately. When a good man is wronged by a woman, he feels a certain sense of empathy. No guy likes to see his lady cry, so when a woman makes a mistake and he calls her out, sometimes she cries because she genuinely feels bad for whatever it is she did. Of course, when she feels so bad she starts to get emotional, Mr. Good Guy feels like he should comfort her. It's a vicious circle that always leaves the guy feeling like he's the guilty party either way, so as mikevanatta explained, "There is almost never a scenario in which [men are] satisfied with the end of an argument/confrontation."
So how can women help with this process? After apologizing, you can't always control how emotional you get, but what you can control is what you say. Admit you were wrong and share that you'll work on things so it doesn't happen again. It's easy and it helps him feel like less of a meanie.
"Him: Where do you want to eat?
Her: I don't care, you pick.
Him: How about Thai?
Her: No, I had Thai on Tuesday.
Him: How about Italian?
Her: No, pasta makes me bloated[.]
Him: Well, why don't you pick?
Her: No, anything you pick will be fine.
Him: How about Subs?
Her: No, Tina made me eat there for lunch yesterday.
Him: JUST [freaking] PICK SOMETHING TO EAT
Her: Why are you getting so angry? I don't care where we eat."
Okay, to be fair, some guys do this too. Anyway, what drives guys insane is an indecisive woman. If you don't know what you want to eat, don't say, "I don't care, whatever is fine." Say, "I don't know. What do you feel like?" This gives a guy an opportunity to mention what he's in the mood for. If nothing he says sounds good, just tell him you need a minute to think about it. Use the most of that minute to check Yelp! for ideas, consider old favorites you haven't gone to in a while, think about what is closer or what might be offering something new, etc. After considering your options, offer a few for him to pick from. No one ever said you have to respond with what you want immediately. He can wait a few minutes for you to think about it and that way neither of you needs to get worked up over nothing.
17 Just Admit It!
"Sometimes when I ask a woman a question and she does not know the answer to it[, Instead] of telling me 'I don't know' she will supply me with a different question that is semi-related to or is close to the question that I asked. [She'll get] mad that I didn't ask that question instead and blame me for not asking the 'right' question.
In the same vein, simply just not answering what I ask. I have never...had this problem with a man. They will at least answer my question first[, t]hen ask why I asked it or tell me that it was a [dumb] question.
This kind of stuff doesn't happen often but when it does it gets to me."
Ladies, if you don't know how to answer a question, there's no shame in admitting it! Just say you don't get the question, that you're not sure what the answer is, or just ask him to clarify. Lots of people avoid admitting they aren't knowledgeable about certain topics, but it creates needless anxiety. No one will think less of you for admitting you don't know what someone is talking about, in fact, odds are people will respect you more for your honesty.
16 Don't Be Rude
"...I find that women are much more likely to interrupt me while I'm talking, and it drives me insane. At first, I thought it was just my wife and her mother, but almost every woman I talk to does the same thing."
Again, this is a situation that is true for both men and women. Sometimes people are so excited to add to the conversation that they stop listening to whoever is speaking and just jump in. By no means is that an acceptable excuse to be rude, but some people are like that. There are also those who don't really listen during conversations, they just want to be heard. These people are the ones who can't wait to jump in and what they say isn't exactly on point with the rest of the conversation. It's rude and doesn't make for very good company, but they don't recognize it in themselves or they simply don't care.
Guys, when a woman (or even another man) gets into the habit of interrupting you, take a moment to collect yourself then ask them outright why they interrupted. More often than not, they'll be so embarrassed that they were called out that they'll try to hold back in the future. If they don't, just keep pointing out when they're interrupting until they take the hint.
15 Stay Away From Generalizations
"'All men are [unfaithful] scumbags', literally heard this on the weekend. All my friends are nice guys, [I] could easily point...women towards decent men!
[It's] just girls seem to be attracted to the [bad boys] and they never seem to understand why they get treated like [garbage]!"
This has actually been an issue for several years. Men often generalize all women as "crazy," while women often generalize all men as being unfaithful. While there certainly are women who might appear unstable to some men, and there are men who can't remain loyal, it's wrong to claim all women are X or all men are Y.
If you've had a bad experience, or even if you've had several back-to-back issues, it's time to stop looking at the people around you and start looking in the mirror. People tend to be attracted to certain characteristics, but how many of those characteristics coincide with negative mannerisms? So you like a "bad boy" type who wants to be in control of everything and believes he's the head of the household simply because he's a man. While appearing macho might be desirable, the inability to relinquish control is not okay - it's a red flag. When you ignore the warnings, it really should come as no surprise when things start going wrong.
14 Why Would Anyone Do This?
"Demand more bathroom rights than I'm allowed. Have had a couple women in my life who insisted they deserved, due to being women, at least twice the available time in the bathroom than I was due. These were not makeup-wearing girls, either.
I have things to do in there, too! Want me not to have bushes growing from my nose or ears?
Don't think I want to take my time drying off...? Why must I rush, while you automatically get to take 30 minutes to 'have a quick shower'? Grrrrr..."
Ladies, we get it, you need time to shave your legs, wash, dry and style your hair, apply makeup and more, but men require time to ensure they look and smell good too. They may not have as many obvious beauty maintenances to do, but that doesn't mean you should selfishly take up the bathroom when he also needs to get in. If you need extra time in the morning, wake up earlier or take turns so he can do what he needs to prepare for the day. It isn't about who deserves more time, it's about compromise. He obviously wants and needs bathroom time and so do you. Act like an adult and figure something out so you can both be satisfied.
13 Offer To Pay Every Now And Then
"I live in the south. A lot of women expect to be put on a pedestal. If you go out on a date, they expect the guy to pay. They will also then turn around and demand equality or complain that they don't get paid the same, etc. It's a double standard..."
To make things clear for everyone, the general rule is whoever initiates the date is the one who pays for it. Ladies, this means if you want to go out to dinner, you're either going to foot the bill or you should talk about it beforehand. Not everyone has so much disposable income that they can afford for two people to dine out regularly. This goes the same for men. If you ask her out but can't afford to pay all the time, explain your financial situation, say you'd love to spend time with her but maybe you should eat in or ask if she would be open to paying her own tab.
There's nothing wrong with being open and honest about what you can and cannot afford. This is especially true for couples who meet on dating websites - men can't just pay for several dinners every week until he finds the right girl. Ladies, if you're old-fashioned and believe a man should always pay, be upfront about it before the date so he knows what to expect.
12 Why Ask?
"Don't ask me a question that is either a yes or no answer OR an opinion based question if you've already decided your answer to create an argument over my answer. If you already decided whatever you're asking me, why ask me?"
Remember the whole "men think differently than women" thing? Well, some women have an idea of what they want, but they aren't 100% about it. She's holding up two dresses - blue and red. She loves them both but when she asks which you prefer, it isn't until she verbally asks the question that she instinctively makes a decision, so by the time the words are out of her mouth, she's decided. Unfortunately, you don't know that so you give your opinion thinking it matters, and in a way it really does. The fact that she asked is how she's making the decision. By the time the question is out of her mouth, it has gone from a legitimate question in need of an honest answer to a rhetorical one, where the response doesn't really matter. It doesn't mean she's doing it on purpose, it's just one of the many ways in which she can better understand what she wants.
11 Don't Be A Hater
"Tear each other down over [dumb stuff]. Like, come on ladies - we have to break up the patriarchy together."
Women have long been treated as second-class citizens. Several things have changed in the past few decades and women have more rights now than they ever have, but there is still a long way to go before they are entirely equal. There exist several old-fashioned assumptions about women that make moving forward difficult, but the one thing that holds us back the most is how often women judge one another. The lack of solidarity is the true detriment to the gender. Not everyone makes the best decisions, but tearing other women down instead of building them up is by far the worst thing you can do.
Most women are doing the best they know how to do, so if someone comes to you for advice, give them your honest opinion! Tell her she shouldn't make this horrible mistake and explain why. Don't turn around and gossip about it afterward, just be the best friend you can be and encourage her to make smarter choices. When the women in your life make mistakes, don't spread rumors, talk to her directly and encourage her to do better next time. That's what real solidarity is and that's how we can make a real difference in each other's lives.
10 Tone It Down, Ladies
"Get mad at me for [stuff] I've done in THEIR dream."
We've all been there - we're in the midst of what amounts to a pretty horrible nightmare. The person we love most is cheating on us, hurting us, hurting others or being a bad person in general. When we wake up, we know it wasn't real, that it was all just a dream, but somehow there's a lingering feeling that something isn't right. We don't mean to think of them differently, but the way they acted was so real that it's a hard feeling to shake.
It isn't right to hold these feelings against our significant others. They didn't actually commit any of the incidents we dreamed about, so instead of learning to forgive someone for something they've done, it's actually an opportunity for us to grow as people and to learn how to let go of lingering emotions born of a situation that never happened. It's okay to be honest with your man and to just admit that you had a horrible dream and you need a little time to get over it. Guaranteed he'd rather give you a little space than deal with undeserved resentment. Just talk to him and do whatever it takes to get past the feelings your dream instigated.
9 Double Standards Aren't Cool
"Guarantee this. If she comes home with a ton of groceries guess who's expected to drop whatever he's doing and go help her, but if I do the exact same thing guess who gets to keep laying on the couch cuz she'd be too cold if she got up?"
There's a lot to be said about this situation - some women are lazy and don't want to help if it inconveniences them in any way. On the other hand, there are plenty of women willing to get off the couch - even if they don't like it - to help. butchburg sounds like he's got himself a lazy lady because most women don't just sit there without at least offering to help.
If you see yourself in OP's story, take a minute to think about how you can be more considerate to your man. Sometimes you really do need your man's help. If you're a 90-pound five-foot-nothing girl, of course, you're going to ask for help carrying a 60-pound bag of dog food from the car! Just keep in mind that you should help out when you can as well. All relationships are a game of give and take, which is true for the chores involved as well. If your man needs help with groceries, remember you're going to be eating them too so get up, help out, and if you're cold afterward, guaranteed he'll be willing to help warm you up.
8 Ask, Or Don't
"Minimally implying something when you want me to do something.
For instance, 'I'm thirsty'... okay...
5 minutes later, 'Fine if you will not get me anything I will. I told you I was exhausted and had a long day. This is also the month my grandfather passed away 12 years ago, but fine all you ever do is think about yourself.'"
This is actually a situation that can be true for both men and women. Some people like to drop hints to give the other person an opportunity to offer to help, but not everyone is willing to play this game. Most people want it straight - if you want something from them, just ask. If you don't, then don't say anything. This might sound mean, but the bottom line is no one can read your mind. Are you thinking out loud? Are you eluding to an opportunity to open a discussion? Are you asking for the other person to actually get up and get you something to drink?
Unless you've got an established method of communicating, don't assume the other person will immediately understand what you're doing. It's even worse when you get mad at them for failing to respond the way you wanted them to. Again, they can't read your mind! Ask for a drink or get it yourself. It's simple, it's easy and it won't cause unnecessary drama.
7 It's Time To End Gender Roles
"Pretend that they don't know how to do basic things.
I refuse to believe that women are too [dumb] to figure out how to for instance change a light switch.
I mean do you think that we just knew how to do that at birth? Try looking it up or perhaps read the instructions that come inside the package. It has to be a ruse."
You know what guys? Sometimes it really is just a ruse. Isn't it easier to ask someone else to fix a problem than it is to figure out how to fix it yourself? This is the mentality of women who don't pull up a how-to YouTube video or who don't bother to read instructions. In fact, women aren't the only ones who do this! There are a surprising number of men who have never used a hammer in their lives! Likewise, there are a surprising number of women who have, so if you don't like a girl who asks for help instead of doing things herself, don't date one! Or better yet, ask her if she'd be willing to learn. This particular situation may be skinnytrees' pet peeve, but honestly, it isn't that big of a deal.
6 It's Okay To Just Say It
"Just a general lack of communication. I don't know what's going on, I can read some cues, but if you don't tell me, I won't know for sure. If you want to do something, suggest it, don't throw out 10 suggestions with one of them being the only thing you want to do."
The thing about relationships is you need to maintain a good line of communication for things to go right. Think about every romantic comedy in existence - how many of them would never have been created if the two main characters had simply had a little sit down to discuss what was going on? Pretty much all of them.
Ladies, if you want to go to the beach for your birthday, don't tell your man you're open to watching a movie, going to a theme park, having a small get-together with friends and family, or go to a restaurant. Tell him you want to spend the day at the beach and you want to walk hand-in-hand across the shore and blow out your birthday candles on a little cake on the pier while watching the sunset! Be specific! Remember, he can't tell what you really want unless you clearly tell him.
5 Time To Buy New Shoes
"Wear high heels and [complain] about how much they make their feet hurt."
Ladies, if you're in your early twenties or later, you should know by now that if you're going to wear new shoes to any kind of event, you need to break them in first. Wear them around your home, walk up and down stairs, do whatever you have to do to break them in so they're comfortable before a date! If you've already broken them in and you've worn them a million times but they still hurt your feet, then you need to throw them out. Pain is never okay. Shoes that continually hurt your feet are doing so because they're forcing you to put pressure on bones and joints that shouldn't be weight-bearing.
There are multiple studies showing that permanent damage can be caused by the continued use of shoes that are painful to wear. If you want to look cute, buy quality shoes. If you insist on wearing those strappy heels that make your feet swell and your toes go numb, you're going to have a bad time and so is your date because no one wants to listen to you complaining about something you had the power to fix, but chose not to.
4 Not Everyone Has Unlimited Text Messages
"Sending multiple texts instead of compiling thoughts into one message"
If you're in the middle of a great movie and your phone goes off, it's a simple matter to ignore it, but if you're in the midst of the best action scene you've ever seen and your phone goes off once, then twice, then again and again, you're going to get upset.
That's exactly why some people prefer a single text message with a condensed version of whatever you're trying to say. No one wants to be badgered by a phone constantly buzzing or ringing. It's even worse if their phone battery is extremely low. All those notifications will drain the battery even faster and could wind up shutting the phone off completely.
Ladies, while it's nice to chat with people via text message, try to be a little understanding of the other person's situation. If they're at work, don't send multiple messages. If they ask you not to, then don't send multiple messages. Remember, not everyone has unlimited text services, so you might be driving their bill up on top of being annoying. Don't be the reason they have to keep their phone on silent. Do the right thing and condense those texts!
3 If You Want To Communicate, Then Learn To Give And Take
"...I hate how women constantly badger men to open up and talk to them, but every time you do, they criticize you, get offended, worried, upset, etc.
Sometimes its easier to just shelter your fragile ego than it is to tell you about something that happened at work where you either freak out for an hour, tell me how I was wrong, or develop long-lasting insecurities."
When you're asked how your day went, you should feel free to explain what happened and express how you felt about it without fear of some kind of retaliation. The same goes for when you ask your man to open up to you. Listen to what he has to say, ask him how certain events made him feel, and comment on them in ways that indicate you're listening and you understand. If you immediately launch into why he's the one at fault for what happened at work, you're really just telling him something he already knows. There's no reason to point out his mistakes or make him regret talking to you. If you want him to open up, show him you know how to listen, and if something he does or says really bothers you, explain why it bothers you and give him an opportunity to talk to you about it. There's no need for unnecessary drama.
2 It's A Trap!
"[Ask] Does this dress make me look [bad]?"
Oh boy. The age-old question that can either land a guy in the doghouse, or land a guy in the doghouse. This is the question that really makes men sweat, and for good reason! No guy wants to tell his gorgeous woman that a dress doesn't look good on her. He wants to build her up, not make her feel bad about a clothing choice. Unfortunately, if he lies to her and says she looks beautiful, she might purchase the dress and go out in public, where a friend might tell her the truth and now she's mad at you for lying.
It's a fine line a man must walk when he's asked for his opinion on how his woman is dressed. A good woman will only ask if she legitimately wants an answer. She'll ask because she doesn't want to go out looking like a mess. She wants to look good while she walks by her man's side and if she can't tell whether a particular outfit is working for her, she should be able to rely on his response. Men, don't be afraid to be honest, and women, don't ask if you aren't prepared for his answer.
1 Sometimes You've Got To Leave The Past Behind You
"My wife and I were fighting once and she brought up something from when we were dating over ten years prior. I said 'Hold on. I'll be right back.' and went into the garage to get a shovel.
'What the [heck] is that?' she asked.
'If you want to keep digging up old [stuff], you might need this,' I replied.
She did not appreciate me bringing a prop into our argument, but I enjoyed the milliseconds of befuddlement before she got even angrier."
Men have always complained about women bringing up incidents that happened in the past. As irrelevant as a man thinks these examples are, the Stanford study revealed a woman's brain is hardwired to store long-term memories, so of course, she's going to use them! From a woman's point of view, when a man does something she doesn't like, she brings up other examples as a way to explain that his behavior hasn't changed. From a man's point of view, the example makes no sense since it happened so long ago. With such different views on a situation, of course, each party is going to feel exasperated with the other's reaction. Does it mean the woman is always right? Not necessarily, but in this case, Bwhit1019 might have taken things a little out of proportion.