Unsolicited Advice. Do with it as you will

I keep hearing girls say the same things about things guys do in conversation, the good and the bad. I thought that I would pass along a few tips to the gentlemen, but as I was writing, it was clear that these tips may be important across the board.

What to do when talking with a girl…or a boy:
In my experience, boys like to talk about themselves. Constantly. And while I do a pretty good job of surrounding myself with interesting people, therefore, I don’t mind the information, I have to say that it can be kind of nice when a guy actually asks how my world is spinning. But not just the “How’s the job hunt” (arm punch) kind of fact finding. I once had a conversation with a guy who asked my opinion on ideas and current issues. I was floored. And a bit smitten.
And while there are no sweeter words than “How was your day?” try asking for a girls thoughts on something she is interested in.
Ex: So, Amy, tell me why you think churches fail to have an in-house graphic designer.
Ex: Sam, tell me your thoughts on the Russian reponse to the US placing an ICMB defense system in Poland?

And this is something all guys need to know. Get out a pen. Do you have one out? Ok. Guys, unless we ask specifically, stop telling us about the girls you want to date. If we want to know, we will ask you. I mean, have we ever been reticent to get into your business? No. It may be hard to understand. Maybe not. But when we listen to you talking about another girl, even if you are not someone we are intereted in, we will compare ourselves to her. And that is a major stumbling block for us. At this age, we are DONE being the chick friend. If you need one, there are lots of 22 year olds around. Seriously though. I don’t think I have any guy friends that do this anymore. But I have lots of girl friends that keep getting hurt because, even though they have tried to convey this boundary, it keeps getting crossed. If you value your ladies, keep to the “don’t tell unless they ask” policy.

Ladies, can I get a witness?

It is entirely possible that the boys will come back with “Why won’t girls just shut up about their lives” and “we don’t like it when ya’ll talk about other guys.” And if that is an issue, by all means, let us know.

For what it’s worth.

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13 Responses to Unsolicited Advice. Do with it as you will

  1. Sam says:

    you not only get a witness, you get an amen. i especially appreciated being an example (along with the discussion we had on rwanda yesterday), and the statement ‘we are done being your friend…22 year olds”. perfection.

  2. katie says:

    seriously, i dont think guys realize that talking about the girls they are interested in to their “chick friends” is as much as stumbling block as it would be for their chick friend to be standing in front of them topless.

  3. cheryl says:

    well said. and specific, too.

  4. Steven says:

    DANGER AMY DANGER!
    You don’t want to go there. I went there. It turned out badly. Get my number from Cheryl. I’ll tell you all about it. DANGER!

  5. Steven says:

    Oh. That was hypothetical? Ohhh he he he. My bad.

  6. John David Henderson says:

    ” talking about the girls they are interested in to their “chick friends” is as much as stumbling block as it would be for their chick friend to be standing in front of them topless.”

    So why don’t the chick friends return the favor? 😉

    p.s. I couldn’t resist that one.

  7. John David Henderson says:

    So keep this on or off the record, I don’t care. So hearing this I know that I, for one, need to change my behavior. Now that I know this I’m wondering how to proceed:

    How can I possibly stay connected with friends (sharing my life) while not discussing this? I would honestly have my feelings hurt if you invited me to a party at your new house which you had for 6 months and I never was aware of. A relationship is big stuff so to leave it out of friendly conversations makes the friendship feel really distant.

    Also, guys aren’t nearly as perceptive socially and emotionaly as women. Its as simple as that. My relationship with my wife, whoever she is and at all stages from introduction to grandkids is the second most important thing in my life. So… given how important this is to me who do I turn to for help and advice? Guy friends just don’t offer the same insight and the 22year old you referenced 1) isnt mature enough and 2) doesn’t know me well enough to comment. So Im poor and my value as a guy is really wrapped up in being able to provide. That makes all these house buying discussions rough on me. If you bought a house though ,and there was any way I could help, I would. Assume you just don’t know about these things and I as a man do, I would help because you are a friend and it was important to you.

  8. cheryl says:

    so john. what’s new in your life?

    well, i am seeing cindy.

    cool. hope that goes well.

    or

    Great, tell me about her.

    when you are in a relationship one day, you can ask your married guy friends and/or their wives if you’re really stumped.

  9. John David Henderson says:

    It’s my thought that the hardest decisions are at this stage in the game not once I am already married. Then its a no brainer, you stay and work it out. Now it’s alot of choices as to who you spend the rest of your life with.

  10. cheryl says:

    the way you set boundaries now will determine how they look when you’re married. how you talk to women now will determine how you talk to them after you’re married. you never perform better than your best practice. same thing applies here. you’re setting relational patterns now that a wedding ring will do little to change. sucks sometimes, i know.

  11. cheryl says:

    oh, and refer back to the 22 year old reference. they are out there.

  12. Jared says:

    But if a guy doesn’t talk about himself constantly yall ask why we are so “emotionally closed off.”
    And then there’s the know it all who is always correcting you…
    (It’s ICBM, InterContinental Ballistic Missile)

  13. cheryl says:

    people can talk about themselves constantly and still be emotionally closed off. it’s two separate issues. you know. sometimes you will be talking with a boy and you can ACTUALLY hear the moment he pulls back. but i’m not one to follow him into a cave, so i just let him be. even though i think i have proven myself to be more than trustworthy, but i digress…

    i hate it when you correct me. but i have “cheryl’s stupid” insecurities. that’s my problem, not yours. you know i have lisdexia.

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