Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
I Don't Want to Talk About It Posted by: Tanoro
- Sep 2, 2010 12:21pm
I had a little confrontation with my girlfriend last night. Don't worry, gang. It wasn't serious. I have an adamant policy against letting any kind of friction in my relationships go for any length of time. I am a solid believer that good communication skills, common sense, and an appreciation for tact can get anyone through any kind of relationship problem, assuming the other party involved has their communication practices in order as well. In my relationships, I always assume the role of the expert communicator and I discourage any and all hesitation to speak to me freely and honestly. I never become angry for any reason because doing so is detrimental to this practice. The overall goal is to establish an environment where communication is free and understanding is unhindered.
When the issue we had came out, which I'm not going to detail what it was, I immediately took my usual position and offered her an explanation of my point of view. Her immediate reaction was classic among modern women: "I don't want to talk about it." I've been steady with this girl for months now and I knew she'd probably say that. Still, that reaction exasperates me to no end. This morning, I resolved for myself what the purpose of that response really is.
Why does a woman refuse to talk through a problem when it arises? Well, I concluded a few possible reasons: 1. The woman has convinced herself that no justification is good enough; 2. The woman doesn't care what the justification is, she simply wants to be angry in order to force her position without the aid of reason; 3. The woman is unable to establish for herself a moral position on the subject without private deliberation.
In scenerio #1, the woman is convinced that no justification is good enough, therefore punitive actions are universally appropriate. This is blatantly a closed-minded approach not appropriate in any relationship. Whether a man or woman, the more self-righteous a person is, the more likely they are to become unwavering in their moral principles. Therefore, the more likely they are to fall into this scenerio. This is dangerous because it rejects the concept of reason and understanding entirely. If you commit a crime in the U.S., the judge is going to hear your case. There is no crime that warrants immediate detention without being heard and given the chance to justify your actions.
In scenerio #2, I observe most young women and quite a few older women behave in this manner. This behavior is easily the most destructive to any relationship. It is an appeal to desire over reason and rationality. It is a horrible communication practice. It introduces misunderstanding into the relationship. Like scenerio #1, it implies a complete rejection of the critical component of understanding. If you do this enough, it will inevitably cause the relationship's destruction.
Scenerio #3 is a tricky one. It happens less often the older and more experienced a woman becomes. This position is natural and reasonable, but not when accompanied by anger. You cannot become angry with someone if you cannot effectively determine your moral position on an issue in order to justify your anger. At best, you may be conflicted or confused, but not angry.
There is nothing wrong with having trouble placing your moral compass because we will all constantly encounter issues upon which we have not previously considered our moral position. It happens throughout our lives! But it is still essential to communicate that you must take time to deliberate, rather than demonstrate or imply to your partner the possibility that justification is unimportant to you, which is a bad thing no matter who is at fault. If you must take time to think, ladies, just let your man know and he should back off. However, you should promise him a chance to justify himself once you have composed yourself.
In short, ladies, you have no moral or reasonable purpose to declare a rejection of justification when a relationship problem arises. If you don't want to talk about it, you're doing something wrong. Open your mind, be willing to hear and understand, and NEVER convince yourself that others behave without reason. People essentially behave through interactions of desire, opportunity, and motivation. Motivation provides reason. If there is no motivation, the behavior does not occur. Whether or not you're willing to accept and allow yourself to be exposed to the behavior which sprouts from the justification is up to you. My point is that justification is always there and there is no offensive behavior that does not warrant justification. "I don't want to talk about it," does not fly, ladies. You are contributing to the problems in the relationship if this is the card you are tempted to play.
On another topic, I thought I'd check out someone else's take on the topic of relationship communication and found this article on Google.
Quite frankly, this person scares me. She is clearly one who has read far too many women's magazines and has become an expert on the lore therein. Here's a quote I find particularly absurd.
"Men seem to feel that they have an innate GPS system that is expected of them. If they have to ask for directions, it shows that they are inept at getting to their destination without help. The older men get and the more experience they have with asking for directions (usually because of the insistence of a woman), the more they realize that they often can get to their destination more quickly with some assistance."
This is the most absurd piece of urban myth crap and I'm tired of hearing it. Men do not have an innate GPS system, nor do they feel they do. This is a myth some women, usually self-declared experts, like to propagate to credulous people in order to demonstrate an obvious absurdity in men's behavior. The problem I have with this is that it is based on a false premise that even some men have been duped into believing. This myth implies that the woman is always the rational one and that the man is not. This is a dangerous concept to propagate and such things are why I despise women's magazines. They are full of crap like this and assert nothing from any objective studies of human behavior.
What men have is a simple, basic, not so unusual sense of self-reliance. Men are willing to go a little farther than woman on their own devices, exercising a little more independence and self-reliance, which is a virtue in its own right. It implies a sense of patience.
The woman has one of two roles in this scenerio. She is either conditioned to be more reliant on others, leading her to press the man to be more reliant as well. Or she unconsciously resents her obligation to cooperate with the man's desire to practice his self-reliance, leading her to behave the very same way in order to get the task done quickly.
What we have here is not a rational woman versus a man's mythical GPS system. What we have is most likely two rational people with a differing opinion on the most effective way to perform a task and poor communication skills. If one or both were willing to be more compromising, than there would be no such issues.
Here's another quote that sickened me because it held spots of truth followed by a non-solution.
"Men and women want to the same basic thing. They want to be desired. They want love and passion that is sustainable. They want a healthy relationship where they feel honored, appreciated and even admired. Is that possible? We believe it is! In order to get what you want, you will need to learn some new skills. You are going to have to forget a lot of what you 'think you know.'"
I agree with this statement entirely. Men and women, assuming they are decent people, want sustainable love and passion. It is also necessary, to a wide extent, to adjust yourself ever slightly over time to learn how to keep your partner happy. People are incredibly malleable and change greatly over time. There are no "one-size fits all" solutions to understanding others, which is why a proper communication environment is essential.
I strongly object to anyone who asserts they can teach you the necessary skills needed to understand others. If your communication skills are up to par and your partner is also making a sincere attempt at communicating well, you will both passively learn and adjust naturally based on your ever-changing personal and unique desires.
Without a firm and detailed familiarity into the intricate, intimate details of both you and your partner's needs and desires, NO expert can EVER give you advice that effectively substitutes good communication practices...period!
"Did you know that nearly 40% of our attendees at the Soul Mate Quest Seminar are men? Yep! They are the more evolved men who are willing to ask for directions. We have been increasing our male attendance each time we do one of our seminars, mostly because the men who have attended are referring their friends. We think that says something about what we are offering. It is meeting the needs of our male attendees. So are you willing to ask for directions?"
No, it means you are good at finding credulous people who have not learned the communication game yet. Your approach is absurd and potentially harmful to the overall dating culture.
I'm not saying your course is completely worthless though. Let's assume a couple attended your seminar together and both take your relationship advice seriously. They must agree to both play by the rules you laid out, no matter what those rules are. They will naturally discuss how they behave with each other and what behaviors fit in those rules. Through the course of this practice and these discussions, some may learn to speak more openly and learn to compromise, essentially stumbling onto reasonable communication practices by accident. This may demonstrably improve some relationships. My problem is, again, that it's based on false premises which can be avoided entirely by a little common sense. But that wouldn't make for a good seminar, would it?
The harm I see in your approach is that it puts women in a universally rational light and putting men in the opposite extreme. You are preaching that men have an irrational justification for a perfectly rational behavior and they are wrong for it. They need to change. This simply is not true. Love is a game of give and take.
I'm am, quite frankly, appalled by people like this author who spew their crap, propagating that women are to consider men essentially flawed, irrational, and even dangerous. According to them, men are devious. They are sex-crazed maniacs. They are violent. They will ruin your life unless you learn how to effectively manipulate them out of their irrational ways. It's nothing short of pretentious bullsh*t.
On my final point, men want simple answers because life is usually simpler than one makes it out to be. Women, who culture conditions to be more humble, buy all those dating books because they like to believe life is always greater and more complex than we could possibly understand. They feel any simple answer is insufficient or wrong if it's not overwhelmingly profound or lead to even more complex questions. Life is simple when you open your mind, deal with it!
This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.