Planning a wedding can be stressful, ask any bride-to-be to confirm that. And as much as guys say they want to involved in the wedding arrangements, we all know that is not entirely the truth.
And that’s OK, most women would not admit it, but they actually prefer it that way. Because women are like that, they like to plan everything in the minutest detail. But now and then it is good to be reminded that women are from Venus and men from Mars so that they can have an understanding of each other in this time of planning their wedding.
I thought I’d give you some examples, courtesy of Tom Peters:
Ask a woman “Do you prefer black or white” and the only reasonable answer to that question would be “It depends”. You see, women have to consider how a decision like that fit into their lives. Men, on the other hand, view it as below them to get involved in minor details. They prefer to process information at a “headline” level. “Lets get all this messy, obscure detail out of the way and focus on the bigger picture”. Women enjoy going through the actual process of everything while guys like to get straight to the point.
Women are baffled as to why men do everything in linear fashion. I mean, when my husband tells me he is going out to get a few beers, why does he get upset when I ask him to also pick up the dry cleaning which is right next door? “But honey, it’s on the way”, but for men it’s never on the way, its always in the way!
It’s Saturday night, your man ask if you are ready to go out. You answer, “I’m ready” and he go waits in the car. Five minutes later you come out to the car and he is fuming. Why? Because you, innocently, on your way to put on your shoes and lipstick, had to put the dishes in the dishwasher and wipe the kitchen counter (again: on the way!). He just shakes his head.
Martha Barletta in Trends (written with Tom Peters) give the example of Jack and Jill each being given the same list of five tasks, ranked in order of priority. The mission: come back at the end of the day with these tasks done. Jack will come back with the first task done and done well. He might also have the second task done. But very likely, he won’t have finished the other three tasks because task 1 and 2 simply took all of his time and energy. In the meantime, Jill might come back with the first task left undone. But she’ll have completed tasks 2,3,4 and 5. Maybe those fours tasks are clustered in one part of town, whereas task 1 has to be done somewhere else entirely. Jack will look at Jill and think, “You know what? She didn’t even get the most important thing done. She can’t focus.” And Jill will look at Jack and think, “Oh, the poor dear. He can only focus on one thing at a time.” Both gender-based judgements have a grain of thruth, but neither of them does anything to help us communicate better.
Men know this all too well – women needs to be understood. A woman might come home after a tough day at work and vent towards her husband or boyfriend about how unreasonable her boss is or how much stress she is going through in trying to meet a deadline. Because her guy is a good guy, he wants to be supportive. She brought him a problem, so he tries to solve it. He’ll say: “You know what you must do, honey? You should tell your boss…” or “Tell your coworkers…” But its no use. The woman doesn’t want solutions (she is smart, she will figure out things for herself). She wants understanding – the feeling that he’s there for her and that everything will be OK.
For women, just having someone appreciate what they’re going through discharges a huge amount of negative energy. Not so with men. When they had a tough day at work, all they want to do is go into their den and close the door. And they’ll come out when they’re ready to face the world again.
We see this all the time, though we might not realize it. Guys might sit in a waiting room and one might break the silence saying, “Oh man I’m so tired, I’ve been standing outside the ticket office for 3 hours today, waiting to get Linkin Park tickets” and the next guy will say “I’ve got all of their albums and some very cool memorabilia” and the third guy will say: “Yea, I met them backstage last year at their London concert and they were totally awesome guys”. Point, counterpoint, score! That’s how guys exchange information with each other. Everything is a mini contest of sorts and they are well aware who came out ahead of the other.
Just as men have competitive games, women on the other hand, have commonality games. A woman might say to her friend that she is so tired of her kids’ untidiness and the friend might answer: “Yes, I get so tired of picking up my son’s clothes from the bathroom floor.” Or: “I wonder what I’ll make for supper tonight” “Yeah, I have to go to the store now to pick up something myself”. There isn’t much content in those messages, but for women, they function as a mini support mechanism.
Women also try to lift each other out of an embarrassing situation. They will step in to buffer another women by pretending to have experienced the same thing. Take as an example a woman at a function tripping over a carpet. She might look around to see if anyone saw her. If there is a couple of women standing close, one will come to her rescue by saying: “That damn carpet has been tripping everyone this evening. We should get someone to remove it now.” And another one might say: “Yes, I fell over it myself just now”. Would men do that? I doubt it.
So, that then just a little reminder of how different we are and why we should try to understand each other better not only while planning our weddings, but also in marriage to come. So next time she’s venting about all the wedding stress, don’t ask her if she wants to cancel! And when he tells you he doesn’t care what the wedding cake looks like, don’t hold it against him – just go ahead and make the choice yourself. Men are simple, women are not. Simple right? 😉
Adapted from Trends by Martha Barletta and Tom Peters