Just Overheard: Men In Relationships Think Women Are Bad Listeners

Word is that men in intimate relationships don’t feel heard

File under Excuse Me?:

In a survey of 175 men, 95 percent said women in intimate relationships are, overall, bad listeners. 

WHAT? I didn't hear you. Something about men being crappy listeners ...

Ok, focus people. Author Phillip Petree conducted this study while researching his new book The Man Puzzle.  “Does this mean the majority of women are bad listeners? Of course not. What this means is there is a very distinct difference in how men and women communicate in intimate relationships. When women are with female family members or girlfriends, the conversations contain a constant series of interruptions which are used to obtain more information, to interject new perspectives and to provide validation,” Petree says.

“When this same technique is applied to men, men report that after the second or third interruption they conclude that the woman isn’t really interested in what they have to say, so they either stop talking or change the subject to something less important.”

You mean women really are from Venus, while the men have returned to Mars after too many interruptions?

“I don’t even talk about where women are from in the book. I do talk about the biggest cultural message boys and men receive: forced independence,” Petree says. “You can track almost every conflict that men have had in adult relationships down to independence. He goes out and spends $500 on a TV without talking to you. He stops off and has beer with the guys after work and doesn’t call ... ”

One sec, did my husband just text me about our lunch date? He’s late! OK, where were we …

I ask Petree to give me some advice to help those soft-spoken interruption machines we like to call women.

“With men, prep them. Say this is a big issue that I want to talk about and give him a specific time to talk about it. Then he can collect his thoughts and he has a better chance to communicate well in the conversation,” Petree says. “There’s just a huge, huge gap in how we communicate and everyone laughs [about it] but the differences between us are mind-blowinnnnn … ”

What's that? Oh, sorry — our signal must be fading out.

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