Hang on….I’ve got to go outside and think…
Ok. Ready. When a woman says, “I need to think”, what she really means is, she needs a quiet place to consciously and temporarily close out all of the other things she is thinking about. Then she can focus on that thing she needs to think about. Women think ALL of the time. We think as we awake, we think as we fall asleep (or we don’t sleep at all, on account of all of the thinking going on).
Look at it this way. Remember the Rolodex’s that were used way back when? If you don’t, google it. Now, imagine that Rolodex is a woman’s brain. It spins fast or it spins slow, with tons of different information on each card. But, make no mistake, it is always spinning. ALWAYS.
As women, this is not news to us. This IS us. We are thinkers, mental schedulers, teachers, planners, counselors and multi-taskers. Is it any wonder that many of us, on some level, suffer symptoms of ADD (cut to you running around the house looking for your keys, then realizing they were in your hand the whole time). Think, think, think….
And now to my favorites species, the man. I love men. I am not ashamed that I am envious of the way men “think”. Ladies, how many times have you asked a man, “what are you thinking about“? And his reply? Yep, you guessed it, “nothing”. Nothing??? How could he be thinking about nothing? Oh, he’s GOT to be thinking about something and he just does not want to tell me. “Just tell me!” Again he replies, “nothing”. Now ladies, this is the point where we start to get frustrated. After all, he looks uncomfortable, uneasy, almost panicked/annoyed…OH, he’s hiding something. So we desperately start to guess. “Is it me? Is it us? What? What is it?” And again, as we anxiously await a response, here it comes, “nothing”! Frustrated, and possibly on the verge of tears, we storm out…WHATEVER!
Stick with me here, men. Believe it or not, this is NOT a male-bashing blog:
Now, let’s look at the same scenario from a man’s perspective. Here it is ladies, the answer to all of those times you asked, “what are you thinking about“? Are you are sure you are ready for the answer? Ok, here it is: NOTHING. He’s actually not thinking about anything! He’s not lying to you, he’s not hiding something from you. So when he gives you that frustrating response, “nothing”, he means it. And that panicked/annoyed look he gets after we’ve asked/accused him for what seems to him like the billionth time? That’s him frantically racking his brain trying to think of something, anything he can say to satisfactorily appease us.
How can this be? Easy. It’s one of the many wonderful differences between men and women.
We all know that the average woman speaks close to 3 times the words per day more than the average man does. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense that most times, while a woman’s head is spinning with thoughts, some of which she expresses, men are far more likely thinking of nothing, which is why he talks less.
Ladies, we want men to open up to us, to be vulnerable to us, to talk, talk, talkety talk. And, to a degree this needs to happen. Men, holding all of it in is not healthy. Ladies, verbal diarrhea is not always necessary though either.
So, the next time we ask him what he’s thinking and he says, “nothing”. Let’s just say, “ok” (and really mean it) and walk away. THAT will give him something to think about.