I'm bad at listening to girls vent

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My point is just that some PEOPLE want solutions, some don't. And assuming too much is based purely on gender is probably not a good way to really understand someone. Appreciate that it's possible that she's venting? Yes. Assume it's because she's female? ehhh.... not the best plan.
Flex's later post clarifies that he did not make all these assumptions you ascribe to him:

Flex said:
But yes, her words were (almost verbatim) "I called you so I could vent and you keep asking me questions." She might even have used the phrase "second guess" but I certainly didn't second guess anything she said or did... I was just curious because it covered an interesting topic.
Gale said:
Assume that "genuine interest" is contrary to what she wanted because she was "venting as females tend to do" is definitely not productive.
That's not what happened. He assumed his expressions of genuine interest would be appropriate but they were rebuffed as making the conversation "a lot of work".
 
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lisab said:
Nice to see you here again, Gale!
Hey lisa! Nice to see you too!

D H said:
My wife and I have venting down to an art. Spouse A calls spouse B: "Honey, I need to vent." Spouse B inevitable says "Was it something I did?" If the answer is "No. I just need to vent", it means that spouse A just needs to vent. Spouse B kindly listens.

There's lots to vent about in this modern age. A call to the computer helpless desk yields no help. A call to a billing agency that has off-shored everything to some country in which English is a second language and the off-shore personnel are powerless to solve problems. A call to some local mindless bureaucrat whose job should have been off-shored to that same country. Being stuck on hold for over an hour only to result in no solution to the problem at hand.

"Arggh! I need to vent!"
Hah. That sounds perfectly upfront and simplified. Nice! At work we say "A bitching sailor is a happy sailor." Everyone's gotta vent these days.

Flex's later post clarifies that he did not make all these assumptions you ascribe to him:

That's not what happened. He assumed his expressions of genuine interest would be appropriate but they were rebuffed as making the conversation "a lot of work".
Right, that's why I was only criticizing that particular sentence. I don't really think the OP is misogynistic, just the statement itself, and even then I qualified with "slightly". I just wanted to point it out because if you're going synthesize your understanding of women into a sentence or two, I think you should be a little more careful. A man talking about whether "girls need you to solve their problems" or women "want[ing] to be empowered" is touchy and unnecessary. Why attribute venting to women at all? Why assume it's about empowerment?

In general, posts like these do overgeneralize women and they really don't need to. I know some men have problems talking to women, but women have problems talking to women too. I just wanted to emphasize that it's a problem that exists outside of gender. Really, the OP probably has difficulty when any person vents.... It's really just a question of how to deal with venting in general. Maybe if you take the female-factor out of the equation, it'd be easier to understand and deal with.
 

strangerep

Science Advisor
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[...] There's literally nothing for the listener to do but listen and make sympathetic noises. Asking questions is inappropriate because there's no point in asking questions. There's nothing to be learned, because I'm already giving you all the details you need... because the point is for you to come to the same conclusion as me and then sympathize. That's it. Sometimes, maybe, at the very end, AFTER I've vented, then I'll go into problem solving mode and THEN I'll be interested in advice, perspective, introspective questions, etc.
I found I needed to vent less after I came to understand that this need is a low level form of mental illness. :eek:

More severe forms of this illness tend to occur later in life, e.g., when an older person with cognitive deficit is literally incapable of jumping to the end of a story they're telling. If the listener tries to get them to fast forward to the end, they become either annoyed (even aggressive, demanding that the listener "shut up and pay attention"), or they just shut down completely ("oh boo-hoo, no one's paying attention to me"). The older person regards the listener as some sort of inferior subordinate servant who must "shut up and listen". They don't even realize how arrogant and offensive that is.

It's a type of mental illness (neurosis) because the sufferer has (hopefully temporarily) lost the ability to think rationally and resolve conflicts between id and superego without going off the deep end.
 
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I think there are two answers:

1 - Her fault ( I personally believe this one since I have a negative opinion of women my age)
Here's the thing about women: most of them create their own problems. Don't take it seriously. If she wants to be histrionic then she can go tell her therapist or complain to another guy who will either: A)generally care like an idiot and accomplish nothing but wasted time that could be spent playing Xbox, drinking, studying, sleeping, etc or B)pacify her to eventually get laid.

2 - Your fault (I believe this one if she is a real woman who I would respect)
Maybe this girl was sincere and she had something very traumatic happen to her (such as rape) and it was taxing for her to talk about the subject. You don't ask someone more questions in this scenario. You don't ask them to divulge details unless they feel comfortable. If they don't seem to be ok, assuming you are somewhat perceptive, you say something like "we don't have to talk about this if it makes you feel uncomfortable" I'm guessing, if it is your fault, that you were asking questions to continue the conversation instead really thinking about the conversation.

It's a tricky line. You have to discern which women want you to actually listen and which women just want a body to talk too. It's the reason why these days I don't let girls ramble to me about anything unless its very personal, funny or serious. Perhaps you have head the expression in the USA: "Being used as a wet blanket" For those who haven't it essentially means you are the individual who said woman always runs and cries too whenever she has an issue, but she has no investment in you beyond that.
 

Chronos

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Wow! A lot of guys here appear to have issues with 'can I just talk your ear off?'. It's a chick thing. They could care less about the issue [if there even is one], they just want to yak. All it takes is an occasional 'wow' so they know you are listening. In fact, they usually get annoyed if you offer advice, or, sympathy. That was never the point. Chicks hardly ever talk to guys about stuff they really care about - until they decide to break up. The traditional line is 'it's not you, it's me'. Newsflash - we already knew that.
 
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I don't really think the OP is misogynistic, just the statement itself, and even then I qualified with "slightly". I just wanted to point it out because if you're going synthesize your understanding of women into a sentence or two, I think you should be a little more careful.
The reason I'm offering resistance is because you used the word "misogynistic". It's abundantly clear to me that Flex does not hate women. The sentence(s) you don't like might be construed as slightly sexist, rather than misogynistic, by an uncharitable reader, but Flex is not someone who deserves to be read uncharitably. You're indulging in moral entrepreneurship at Flex's expense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_entrepreneur

Flex isn't standing in the way of equality for women.
 
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According to the author, nothing creates more friction between men and women than men not understanding that women aren't laying out their problems to have them solved, and women not understanding that when men lay out their problems they're asking for a good solution.
Ok, this is interesting to me, because I'm always open to learning more about women so I can be more compatible with them; however, it makes little sense to me. Why would a woman not want a solution to her problem? Or at least a suggestion to help mitigate the severity of it?
 

Evo

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Ok, this is interesting to me, because I'm always open to learning more about women so I can be more compatible with them; however, it makes little sense to me. Why would a woman not want a solution to her problem? Or at least a suggestion to help mitigate the severity of it?
It's basically not universally true. I want support and suggestions. If I take the time to talk to you it's because I'm seeking both of these things. If I don't want answers, I'll talk to my dog.

I want 2-way conversations, not an occasional "wow" or "really?". I find men usually don't want to talk, especially if it's issues in the relationship with them. Then after months or years of trying to communicate to them what's wrong, they are always shocked when you decide to end the relationship.

My suggestion, don't follow any suggestions, be in tune to the individual. If they don't seem open to feedback, then just let them talk (if you wish to do so), or just excuse yourself.
 
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Dembadon

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The following post isn't directed entirely at you, leroy. Just quoting you because your questions are what got me thinking.

Ok, this is interesting to me, because I'm always open to learning more about women so I can be more compatible with them; however, it makes little sense to me. Why would a woman not want a solution to her problem? Or at least a suggestion to help mitigate the severity of it?
It's not that people who vent don't ever have a desire for input or solutions. It's just, at that moment, they are feeling emotional and don't need a two-way conversation; they just need to release whatever it is they're feeling. It has been my experience they are open to input and suggestions after they've had time to process and "vent" about the situation. It's up to you to know the type of person you're with and respond accordingly.

That said, I believe both parties are responsible for meeting the needs of the other person. For example:

A venter needs to know that a non-venter has a desire to offer solutions and input. Therefore, it would be insensitive and selfish of them to always vent and never allow the other person a chance to give input.

A non-venter needs to know that a venter has a desire to emotionally dump. It would be insensitive and selfish of the non-venter to cut them off all the time and not allow them to process events in this way.

There is a balance; neither party is wrong. If one can't handle venting, a relationship with someone who processes information in such a manner is not going to be easy, and one only has oneself to blame for staying in such a relationship. Conversely, a venter cannot expect a non-venter to always be an emotional landfill.

My wife is a verbal processor, and I am not. We are both gradually getting to the place where we understand and respect the other person's needs. I don't offer input when it's not needed/wanted, and she understands there has to be a point when input/solutions are appropriate and given.
 
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D H

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It's not that people who vent don't ever have a desire for input or solutions. It's just, at that moment, they are feeling emotional and don't need a two-way conversation; they just need to release whatever it is they're feeling.
Example: Young men: Axe is not a substitute for proper hygiene.

My doorbell just rang a few minutes ago and I went to see who it was. It was a young man who had parked his Geek Squad car in front of my house. He was obviously at the wrong address as I hadn't called the Geek Squad in. I went to help the young man find the right house. I stopped several yards because as I approached I was overwhelmed by that toxic cloud of Axe that often surrounds 15 to 30 year old males. I pointed him to the correct address and he left. Thank goodness. Axe is not a substitute for proper hygiene.

My vent didn't change anything, but I do feel better getting it off my chest.
 
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Ok, this is interesting to me, because I'm always open to learning more about women so I can be more compatible with them; however, it makes little sense to me. Why would a woman not want a solution to her problem? Or at least a suggestion to help mitigate the severity of it?
I don't have a copy of the book with me to check but what I remember it asserting is that the process of venting to someone else is the first step a woman will take in finding a solution. It's something like an informal laying out of the problem to get it clear in her mind. Premature interruption of this process is intrusive and counter-productive. Once she has clarified the picture of what's bothering her, a solution, what she needs to do, will pop into her head eventually.

Men generally don't vent until they're at their wits end and have thought through all possible angles. It's like cern and neutrinos: they don't publish the fact they have a problem till they've checked everything they can think of and really, really need outside input. That being the case, it doesn't occur to them that women aren't doing the same thing when they vent.
 

Evo

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I don't have a copy of the book with me to check but what I remember it asserting is that the process of venting to someone else is the first step a woman will take in finding a solution. It's something like an informal laying out of the problem to get it clear in her mind. Premature interruption of this process is intrusive and counter-productive. Once she has clarified the picture of what's bothering her, a solution, what she needs to do, will pop into her head eventually.
That doesn't sound like any women I know, including me. I love how people will pick the traits of a few people they've met and pretend it applies to everyone.

Men generally don't vent until they're at their wits end and have thought through all possible angles. It's like cern and neutrinos: they don't publish the fact they have a problem till they've checked everything they can think of and really, really need outside input. That being the case, it doesn't occur to them that women aren't doing the same thing when they vent.
My ex-husband was overly emotional, very clingy, touchy-feely and would even burst into tears when frustrated, made me crazy. Broke up with another guy that was the same.

People that write such books should preface it with the fact this is

1)based on a few people I know, but it will sell!!

2) it's mostly made up, but it will sell!!
 
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That doesn't sound like any women I know, including me. I love how people will pick the traits of a few people they've met and pretend it applies to everyone.
Whether or not the book actually applies in general, all you're doing here is countering what you claim is one person's experience with another person's experience. If the first person's experience can't be credited due to it's being based exclusively on the people they know, then neither can the second's.

My ex-husband was overly emotional, very clingy, touchy-feely and would even burst into tears when frustrated, made me crazy. Broke up with another guy that was the same.
I'm sorry to hear this, but what does it have to do with the concept of men not venting until they're at their wits end? It just sounds like they were so sensitive that every little problem drove them to the brink.

People that write such books should preface it with the fact this is

1)based on a few people I know, but it will sell!!

2) it's mostly made up, but it will sell!!
I think that people who criticize books should read them first.

1)How can you be sure I've correctly characterized what it says? I've stated I'm not completely certain I am remembering it properly. Even if I assured you I had it in front of me and was telling you exactly what it says, how would you know I wasn't completely misunderstanding it?

2)If you haven't even read it, how can anything you assert about why it's selling be anything other than assumption?
 
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I've never possessed the patience, nor the desire, to abandon everything I'm doing simply to listen to another's problems. The only times that I've ever actually been the recipient of a vent is if I sometimes am interested in hearing what that particular person has to say, but the type of people whose company I enjoy are not the type to sit me down and harrow me with their petty issues.
 
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Whether or not the book actually applies in general, all you're doing here is countering what you claim is one person's experience with another person's experience. If the first person's experience can't be credited due to it's being based exclusively on the people they know, then neither can the second's.


I'm sorry to hear this, but what does it have to do with the concept of men not venting until they're at their wits end? It just sounds like they were so sensitive that every little problem drove them to the brink.



I think that people who criticize books should read them first.

1)How can you be sure I've correctly characterized what it says? I've stated I'm not completely certain I am remembering it properly. Even if I assured you I had it in front of me and was telling you exactly what it says, how would you know I wasn't completely misunderstanding it?

2)If you haven't even read it, how can anything you assert about why it's selling be anything other than assumption?
Don't be bothered too much by her comment; she was just ranting, and will figure it out after she lets out her steam. :biggrin:
A good summary for those who can't be bothered to read it Here.
 
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1)based on a few people I know, but it will sell!!

2) it's mostly made up, but it will sell!!
1) The guy has a phd and is a relationship counselor.
2) The guy has had two marriages.
3) The guy has counseled counselors in counseling.

-I think he does know what he's talking about and hence will sell!!!

@Zoobyshoe: A more well reasoned criticism can be found here

Both for and against are a remarkably good read.
 
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OmCheeto

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Don't be bothered too much by her comment; she was just ranting, and will figure it out after she lets out her steam. :biggrin:
A good summary for those who can't be bothered to read it Here.
author John Gray said:
...women enjoy talking for its own sake...
:rofl:
I know a lot of men who do the same.

John Gray said:
...and if they[women] cannot find any real issues to concentrate on, then they will find some random other things to worry about.
:rofl:
This is why I dread when things get slow at work, as I know EVERYONE is going to start nit-picking random things.

Sally; "Betty is looking at me. Make her stop doing that."
Om; :rolleyes:

George; "Do you remember when Betty hit me, and you didn't do anything about it?"
Om; "Wasn't that 7 years ago?"
George; "But you didn't do anything about it, did you."
Om; "I didn't see blood. And why did you wait until the next day to tell me about it?"
George; "Because I was upset."
Om; "I see."
George; "So what are you going to do about it?"
Om; "Retire early."

It sounds like Gray collected a bunch of stereotypes and wrote a book about them. Of course people are going to buy such books. People love having their stereotypes reinforced.

I would put my new boss in the female category, as he can spend 30 minutes talking about something, whereas my response would be to simply roll my eyes. We share an office, and the first time I experienced one of his "chats" with another employee, I was amazed. I told him I was awed by his communication skills, and told him that if I'd been in his seat, I'd have told the employee to "get a life, and get out of my office" and slammed the door behind them.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
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This sounds slightly misogynistic...

I'd just like to point out that it's not only women who need to vent and when we do vent, it's not necessarily to be empowered or not. [...]
It certainly isn't my attempt to be misogynistic. In fact, I don't think I've ever been called that. Sexist, certainly; I will readily admit to a deeply-held belief that there are fundamental differences between the genders that don't manifest as raw physical disparity.

That being said, I appreciate the feedback.

It is the insight into the female psyche offered by the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

According to the author, nothing creates more friction between men and women than men not understanding that women aren't laying out their problems to have them solved, and women not understanding that when men lay out their problems they're asking for a good solution.

So, it's ironic you find Flex's attempt to be evolved misogynistic.
Yes! That's the book! It was given to me as a gift alongside Neil Strauss' The Game. Feel free to draw whatever conclusions you wish from that, however I'll never reveal the gift-giver. For the record, I've only read a few pages of The Game.

That's not what happened. He assumed his expressions of genuine interest would be appropriate but they were rebuffed as making the conversation "a lot of work".
Oh, and for what it's worth, there was no follow-up discussion. Things seemed to just be "normal" the next day. The trauma of the whole thing clearly affected me more than it did her.

At the risk of sounding sexist...

Ladies, please note that there are men out there who are desperately trying to make/keep you happy. These men are going to great lengths to find the best ways to communicate with you. They're reading books, asking for opinions, and genuinely trying to break old habits and form new ones.

They suppress instinct. They focus. They value everything you say immensely. The cavalier way in which you might dismiss those efforts can be a bit devastating.

Constructive criticism is welcome!​

The reason I'm offering resistance is because you used the word "misogynistic". It's abundantly clear to me that Flex does not hate women. The sentence(s) you don't like might be construed as slightly sexist, rather than misogynistic, by an uncharitable reader, but Flex is not someone who deserves to be read uncharitably. You're indulging in moral entrepreneurship at Flex's expense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_entrepreneur

Flex isn't standing in the way of equality for women.
Thank you, Zooby.

I don't have a copy of the book with me to check but what I remember it asserting is that the process of venting to someone else is the first step a woman will take in finding a solution. It's something like an informal laying out of the problem to get it clear in her mind. Premature interruption of this process is intrusive and counter-productive. Once she has clarified the picture of what's bothering her, a solution, what she needs to do, will pop into her head eventually.
Yes, and this conflicts with my inquisitive nature. I'm too interested in the facts and ideas being presented, and the discussion is not meant to be an exchange of facts and ideas. At least it wasn't in this case. I think this is where I went wrong. I identified "the vent", but my response was too conversational.

Men generally don't vent until they're at their wits end and have thought through all possible angles. It's like cern and neutrinos: they don't publish the fact they have a problem till they've checked everything they can think of and really, really need outside input. That being the case, it doesn't occur to them that women aren't doing the same thing when they vent.
Yeah, I don't really have a "vent" inside of me to let things out. My mom actually pointed this out to me once (in my adult life). She said something along the lines of, "you never want to talk about anything." To which I said, "not if I already have a plan."

I think this captures what you're saying. The closest thing I get to venting is a pragmatic discussion about a problem I have. I mean, sometimes I tell stories about things that upset me ("this moron cut me off at such-and-such...") but only if I have a comical witticism to add to the end; otherwise it strikes me as a bit of a waste.

Anyway, I guess I'll just try to do better next time...

EDIT: A brief anecdote.

I once got in trouble for noticing that I could map the phases of the moon and the rate of consumption of ice cream in the house on the same time axis.

This is not the only time I had gotten in trouble for observing... correlations.
 
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Evo

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1) The guy has a phd and is a relationship counselor.
2) The guy has had two marriages.
3) The guy has counseled counselors in counseling.

-I think he does know what he's talking about and hence will sell!!!
:rofl: Well, I don't. I have psychologists in my family. I'm very familiar with psychologists. Seems the more garbage people like this author spouts, the more they will sell. It's human nature.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
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Don't be bothered too much by her comment; she was just ranting, and will figure it out after she lets out her steam. :biggrin:
A good summary for those who can't be bothered to read it Here.
As a side note, I really liked this summary... however, now I'm unsure if I'm supposed to or not.
 
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As a side note, I really liked this summary... however, now I'm unsure if I'm supposed to or not.
Read the criticism too and then decide, you should know both the sides of arguments before deciding something...
 
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This conversation is a lot of work, I want to hang up now.
 

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