Words We Need to Talk Scares Men

Words We Need to Talk Scares Men

One of the things I learned years ago is that the minute you say, “we need to talk” to a man, they run, avoid, need to go buy butter or call their mom.  The thing I still don’t know is why using these four (4) words are so frightening.

I asked Chip.  He said, “I just don’t want to get in trouble.”  Really?! Trouble?

Now the times I’ve wanted to say, “we need to talk” it’s been to slow down for a sec and figure out weekend plans.  Or, to ask what we should buy for a wedding gift.  Also, things about paper rolls (which should go over the top not bottom).

If I need to actually say something important, I wait for an opportunity and gently ask or say what’s on my mind.  That’s not scary.

What the Research Shows

Apparently, there is something called a negative activity bias.  Whether at work or at home, these words create anxiety.  So, bad experiences weigh heavier on us than neutral or good ones.

To overcome the bad feeling, someone needs to have affirmations ten or more times in the week the anxious experience happens .

However, the worst of all is someone saying, “we need to talk,” and they don’t do it right away.  They say let’s meet tomorrow at 5; or next week, etc.

This makes people, even the non-neurotic, think out of control thoughts trying to figure out what it is.

One story I heard was that someone’s boss said, “let’s grab lunch next week, we need to talk.”

After days of anxiety wondering what it could be, the day of lunch came.  The person was near sweating waiting for the expected bad news.

But, it wasn’t bad at all.   His boss just wanted to get to know him a bit and hear his ideas about a project coming up soon.

All that energy and sleep wasted on these four little words.

Can You Guess What the Answer is for Relief?

Talking, yup, talking relieves the anxiety of “we need to talk.”

If you simply ask, “hey what do you want to talk about?”, people will give you a genuine answer.  Phew-done.

In fact, some even say, the way to relieve this even more so and sway things in your way … talking the power back.

Simply allow the other person to see you vulnerable.  By saying, “Wow, I couldn’t imagine what it could be.  My heart skipped a beat.”

Most people are disarmed by this approach and deal with the topic in a very amicable way.

Just like your mom said, “Always be honest.

Is it The Same Experience in Txt?

Sorry, no.  In text, people feel very empowered.  Also, the lack of seeing body language and seeing someone’s face, you have no idea of context.  That heightens the uncertainty.   This is more disconcerting than phone. but using the phrase on the phone is still pretty nerve-racking.

Are There Other Ways to Get a Real Conversation Going

Being in proximity to someone and even working side by side, somehow lessens the stress of important conversations.   Activities  such as gardening (something I’m horrible at), cleaning the garage, or painting a room, has you multi-tasking and avoiding eye contact, but intimacy exists.

Doing these small tasks together opens the door for conversation.

Your mind is occupied using one part of your brain for determining how to complete the task; another is focusing on accessing the central nervous system physically completing the task; and allowing you to have a calmness to create an environment where guards are down and but the mind is not strenuously being used.

This is true of me for sure.  If we are on a long drive, looking forward, we talk like there’s no tomorrow.  We cover everything … meaningful conversations, relationship questions, things from our past, how the funniest things happen in my family.  

Same with cuddling (love to snuggle), being in Chip’s embrace, all cozy, and everything is fair game.

Some Ideas and News For Men When You Hear “We Need to Talk”

  1. Buying time to get your thoughts together but quickly saying something positive about your spouse for a second can help you catch your breath and lessen the stress for both of you.
  2. Don’t run away though, because that could escalate things (unless someone is crazy mad … then run).
  3. If you think there is a problem, work with her to come up with a solution.
  4. If it’s not a good time, say it, but give an alternative time to talk.  If you had a hard day and need to let the day roll of you.  It’s ok.  Most will understand.  As long as you follow through with talking another specified time.  This will also build trust.
  5. You can also just give in and listen.  Listen to the whole thing and nod.  Most women want to vent more than fight.  Listening is a great skill to have.
  6. I have a better idea … scoop her up and take her somewhere else,  Don’t know why, but I don’t want to be descriptive here.  You know what I mean.
  7. Keep the conversation or need for one to yourself.  Sharing it with friends, family or co-workers is disrespectful and when you make up, people will be bewildered and your spouse could be hurt.  Not cool.

Don’t Fear

Every couple whether friends, spouses, co-workers or family, need to find there own way to communicate.

My advice is never raise your voice and put yourself in the other person’s shoes before talking.  The bigger the issue the more you need to considerately think it through.

If you care about someone, you want to have a good outcome.

With us, once we get things out we end up laughing.

My Take on All This

If you need to talk, it doesn’t need to be announced.  Just do it.

Let us know you’ve ever said, “we need to talk” and what’s happened.

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