Communicating with Women Views
Monte’s View (Montague Mulberry)
Monte is an observer. He sees things from a male perspective, not the sharpest knife in the rack, nor the most qualified philosopher but is a loving husband of 20 plus years and Father of a few sons. Having said that he is not a sexist pig, just another bloke endeavouring to find his way in the brave new world. Each month he will regale an episode that hopes to highlight, crystallise, confuse or if nothing else, amuse the reader.
Story number one is a true life expose of the manner in which a woman tried to communicate to a man or more particularly, how in fact such communication demonstrated the inescapable difference between the way in which the two species communicate between each other, let Monte’ set the scene:
Hundreds of thousands of years ago a bunch of cave men hunters were sitting around the fire strategising the next hunt. By way of simple grunts and various inflections the lead hunter explained how the moon was full over the next few days so although that delivered brighter light for the hunters it also gave the prey the advantage of seeing the hunters thus removing the element of surprise. The group’s food supply was currently OK so there was no urgent need to hunt anyway, by consensus, and backed by sage experience, the hunters agreed that they would enjoy the next three days at home, sharpen their spears and prepare for the hunt in four days’ time. This whole process was expounded by a handful of grunts and poignant hand signals. Each grunt and hand movement was specific to the matters at hand and would be described to-day as “task and outcome driven communication”.
Whilst the lads were sorting details and timing of the hunt, the girls were chatting(also by way of grunting and various gesticulations) about matters relevant to their own positions. Although highly unreliable as a research fact, cave drawings suggest that the girls used up a whole lot more grunts et al during their chat. Monte’ is quick to denounce any assumption that this is bad, quite the reverse.
The female species communicates to exchange information : yes, but also to remind those around that they are a valued part of that community, to nurture infants and children, to include into the discussion perhaps those that have been too shy to contribute, and(at times)stake a bit of seniority into the group and to enjoy the actual process of having a bit of a chinwag with the others etc, in other words the overall communication system with the girls from the beginning of time was way more than just a means to establish outcomes and or data.
Now, fast forward several hundred thousand years. The white collar hunter is sitting in his office, the phone rings and it’s his wife calling. The hunter is donkey deep in his white collar, hunter thinking mode. He answers, “Hi Babe”, she says, “Hi, did you go out to lunch to-day ?” He responds, “No, was I supposed to ?”. She says, “No”. He says,”OK, is thereanything else ?”, she delayed her response, he is flat out doing what he is doing so says, “Got to go , see you tonight” and continues with his work / hunting. If he gives the call any thought at all, he thinks, what an odd call.
Park the above exchange.
Consider this: Two blokes are flatting together, they have a well-oiled system, Bill cooks Mondays and Wednesdays, John cooks Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are floating days so dinner is whatever happens. If the above exchange took place on a Tuesday (and the same question arose) John would have called Bill and said, “HI Mate, I’m cooking now , on a scale of one to ten how hungry are you ?”
Bill would have said, “starving Mate, worked through and have not had lunch”. John would have responded,” cool, I will load up, cheers” and the call would have ended. Net outcome, a very clear, short, effective fact finding mission, resulting in John knowing that Bill is hungry so would have cooked lots. So what do we deduce from this ?
The hunter’s wife did actually want to enquire as to how hungry her man (husband) was. Her obliquely worded question was, had he gone to lunch ? — the assumption being had he, he would not be very hungry. A logical deduction indeed. But what transpired was that no real instruction came to her way as the question was too abstract to catch the attention of a white collar hunter (perhaps a lawyer preparing papers for his appearance in court the next day and therefore completely pre-occupied with the task / hunt at hand).
Had the blokes had the same issue, the question would have been clear and direct, the outcome assured and not a second wasted along the way. Actual outcome from actual call, wife still no idea how hungry (or otherwise) husband is, husband thinking strange call (if at all) no positive outcome.
Monte’s advice to husbands:
Listen to every word, say nothing, digest words and look for actual meaning, if not immediately apparent, ask how her day has been, then, what is she currently doing. She will respond cooking dinner and BOOM you will both be on the same page, you can then express your hunger on a level of one to ten.
Good luck chaps, this is Monte’signing out and looking forward to explaining why Mother’s should not stress about young boys on scooters in bare feet.