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How really to STFU (with examples!)

December 17, 2019

Hi ladies,

I recently got engaged! Owe a lot to this subreddit so I thought to contribute once again. I’ve read a lot of people’s complaints about not knowing how to STFU or what that looks like, so I thought I’d offer some input.

First of all, it’s kind of a misnomer. There’re plenty of jokes about how a man just wants a mute sex doll, but reality is much more complex. Men do actually want a sentient partner who loves them for them, so some personality (and therefore speaking) is needed. The reason why STFU is so ubiquitous is that women often say the wrong things or say things in the wrong way, which is often worse than not saying anything at all. So the goal of STFU isn’t to be totally mute, but to say things in the right way.

So what’s the right way? There are a lot of theories, but I think it all boils down to saying what you mean. Sounds simpler than it is, because you’ll have to avoid all sorts of stuff like rhetorical questions, sarcasm and hidden implications.

Example: You’re shopping with your partner and he picks a blue rug for the house, but you prefer the pink rug.

Worse: “Why would you pick that rug?”

Implication: Your choices are questionable.

Worse: “The pink rug is better because our sofa is pink.”

Implication: I know what’s best for the house. My judgment is more sound than yours.

Better: “I like the pink rug more.”

No implications. Or maybe that you expect him to take your feelings and preferences into account, which every good partner should do (not always defer to them, but take them into account).

Example: Your partner stayed out late at a party without you. You felt lonely and a bit insecure.

Worse: “What were you doing so late at a party?” (In an accusatory tone)

Implication: I don’t trust you.

Worse: “Don’t stay out so late! You made me worry!”

Implication: Commanding, blaming. I have authority over you. You’re obligated to take care of my feelings.

Better: “I missed you! I got insecure for a bit there.”

Just sharing vulnerable feelings. Insecurity is not the most attractive, but if you feel it, either own it or don’t say anything (instead of trying to hide it behind logic or commands).

Better: “Would you please let me know ahead of time if you’re going to stay out late?”

I’m requesting something because it’s important to me. You don’t have to grant the request but I hope you do.

Example: Your partner isn’t taking you out as often as he used to. You want to change that.

Worse: “Mary’s boyfriend takes her out every week!”

Implication: You’re worse than Mary’s boyfriend. I compare you to others.

Worse: “Why don’t you take me out as much as you used to?”

Implication: I’m entitled to x amounts of dates/resources from you.

Better: “I want to go on dates more.”

At this point, you might be seeing why having no implications is so difficult. You’re in a really vulnerable position. You’re communicating your authentic desires and trusting him to take these desires into account. He might not. (Maybe reconsider your relationship in that case. NOT if he can’t fulfill all your desires, that’s normal, but if he never or rarely takes them into account) But it’s better than trying to guilt him or out-logic him into doing something.

And yes, sometimes it is better to STFU. Bonus real example: In the earlier days of dating, I went to my partner’s place. He bought some wine for me but didn’t have a corkscrew so he was trying to open it with some tools he had lying around. It was taking a while but I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t going to die from not drinking immediately and I trusted that if it wasn’t working, he’d switch to plan B. Anyway, his sister happened to visit him at that moment, and she said all of the things:

“Why would you buy wine when you don’t have a corkscrew?”

Implication: You’re careless.

“How long have you been working on that?”

Implication: I don’t trust that you have time management skills or common sense.

“Just go back and buy a twist top instead.”

Implication: I don’t trust your problem-solving skills. I have better ideas than you.

“They sell corkscrews at the nearby grocery store.”

Implication: I know my surroundings better than you.

*Note: I know we often don’t mean to imply these things, but men often hear it anyway. Men and women generally view respect very differently. For example, I can question a girl friend’s actions 20 times (would that diet really work? Why are you going for it?) and she’d still feel like I respect her. Men aren’t the same. In general, if you wouldn’t say it to your boss (not counting the lovey-dovey stuff, of course), then it probably isn’t respectful. That doesn’t mean that you can’t warn your boss that something’s a bad idea, you just have to be tactful.

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Post Information
Title How really to STFU (with examples!)
Author LeilaintheDark
Upvotes 185
Comments 23
Date December 17, 2019 12:18 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/RedPillWomen/how-really-to-stfu-with-examples.300722
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/RedPillWomen/comments/ebns5h/how_really_to_stfu_with_examples/

[–]Kissy123424 points25 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I really like this, I never understand STFU before and the title did make me skeptical. But this is such a good idea. Try to speak positively to everyone in your life not just your husband. Words, and how they're said, is very important!

[–]Taters029015 points16 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Good reminders! I’ve been working on my communication skills for so long. I tend to be the blurt-it-out type. My husband is far more sensitive and tactful, which goes over my head. We’ve both had to adjust our communication skills. That’s been a good growing experience for both of us. I’ve had to learn to be more tactful, and he’s had to learn to be less tactful.

[–]macedude7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you so much, this is so spot on.

[–]LeilaintheDark2 Stars[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Now about criticisms, which is when these issues most frequently pop up, for example if your partner is doing something in way A bit you think way B makes much more sense. We all know not to say “way A is stupid,” but a lot of people might say “why would you do way A” (justify yourself to me) or “have you thought about way B?” (I assume you haven’t thought about way B because you’re not as smart/creative as me.) Instead, perhaps say something more along the lines of “when I saw this problem, I immediately thought of way B. Would you please tell me more about way A?” Here, he has either thought of way B before and will happily explain why way A is superior, or he hasn’t thought of it and might divert to way B on his own terms.

[–]gscheit20 points21 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think I already do all of these, how reassuring.

[–]ItWasBrokenAlready12 points13 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Very true. And although I believe there are emotional gender differences between men and women, STFU goes both ways in my opinion and I greatly appreciate my man for his ability to do so as much as I do it for him. It's about not kicking your partner at their lowest although you might get a point/be right in that instance. No second guessing. Trusting the intention of someone you love. It's greatly rewarding, especially when later on they see your point and feel grateful that you didn't push it in a obnoxious way.

I mean it for slight differences / not being petty, not ignoring catastrophies. When someone trusts you, it inspires to grow to match that trust. Constant critisism breeds resentment.

[–]Theendisnearornot9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This sounds a lot like the book Love and Respect. Also For Women Only. I can’t remember where I read it, but saying “why” tends to signal disrespect. Like “why are you wearing that shirt to dinner?” It’s putting yourself husband/partner on the defensive so they have to answer to you for the choice they made.

[–]LeilaintheDark2 Stars[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yes! “Why” is great when you’re genuinely trying to understand someone, not when you’re using it as a softer way of saying “I don’t agree with that shirt.”

[–]WhisperTRP Founder6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I know we often don’t mean to imply these things, but men often hear it anyway. Men and women generally view respect very differently. For example, I can question a girl friend’s actions 20 times (would that diet really work? Why are you going for it?) and she’d still feel like I respect her. Men aren’t the same.

Girls tell each other what to do, and push each other around, and it's all good. Among men, this is a mortal insult.

Well written in general.



[–]durtykneesEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

OP definitely deserves a +1 for her post (great general advice). If you've not mentioned it, I would've.

What's interesting to me about your comment:

For example, I can question a girl friend’s actions 20 times (would that diet really work? Why are you going for it?) and she’d still feel like I respect her.

Girls tell each other what to do, and push each other around, and it's all good.

Is this considered the norm? I can't relate, since I have zero respect for any woman (/man) who badgers me with questions about actions that do not affect them (other than maybe deprive them of things they feel entitled to as my "friend").

The questions themselves (the very act of asking them) tells me she has no respect for the choices I've made for myself, and it'd be illogical to worry about "feeling respected" at all, because that ship has sailed. (Don't worry about that vase, Neo, because you've already broken it. Have a cookie!)

An observer may assume "it's all good", based on observation alone. When female friends are being pushy and demanding, I don't react negatively in any way, mainly because doing so won't get me what I want out of that particular interaction.

Most women only want consensus, validation, and reassurance from another woman. When I give them what they want, I get what I want. Respect is irrelevant.

Men (who are good friends) can insult each other ("playfully"), and still be friends. Based on observation alone (without considering the underlying contexts) it won't seem all that different for same-sex interactions, regardless of gender.

[–]LuckyLittleStarModerator | Lil'Star0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Congrats /u/LeilaintheDark , you earned a star! Keep up the good work.

[–]jessica_31123 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you! I really needed this :)

[–]oooKenshiooo3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

My fiance have establishes some rules early on in our relationship that revolve around this kind of thing.

  1. Realtalk always.

Always say straight up what you want, what you feel and what's on your mind. No power talk, no nagging, no nudging and especially no lying hiding of relevant information.

  1. Always assume the best intentions of your partner.

If there is two ways in which to interpret what your partner said or did, always pick the one that indicates the best intentions.

  1. No abuse of rules 1 and 2.

That means not saying or doing things that indicate you are violating rules 1 and 2, whilst relying on your partner to stick to them to cover your tracks. That means no huffing and puffing, no passive aggressiveness and no snarky remarks and then playing innocent about it. ;) (or being a real shit head under the pretense of real talk.)

[–]phylez2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Good set of rules for establishing effective communication. For point 1, I've found that there are many times where I'm receiving a message very differently from its intent. The reasoning is often, "well, it's (this or that) implied." Although I don't believe there's any intent in purposefully hiding relevant information, there's too much ambiguity or simply not enough information to come to the intended message. And thanks to point 2, the situation is hopefully diffused, often by asking for clarification.

[–]oooKenshiooo0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Usually, if someone hears something that was not meant to be implied or misses something that was meant to be implied, it's not a problem of communication, but a problem of a missing vibe between two people.

In that case, they need to speak more plainly until they vibe better.

If people vibe, they "get" each other. But sometimes they don't, maybe not right away, maybe just not right now... It's good to have contingency for said situations if you are a couple.

To many couple rely on vibe alone.

[–]Lethal-Procedure4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This is a much deeper insight into the perception that women generate with their words than it seems most women have. And most of the time most men just let it go even though it annoys them because it is either laborious or argument causing to explain that no, we don't see it the same way. A little diplomacy and tact go a long way with anyone. It seems like most men these days have become accustomed however to not getting that. STFU in many ways is meant to prevent a lot of these things from happening, though also it is not completely about phrasing and also is meant to give you time to process things and decide how you really want to approach something instead of going with the instant gut reaction and rationalization.

[–]LeilaintheDark2 Stars[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah definitely don’t go around copying phrasing. One can say something with perfect phrasing but still have disrespect oozing out of their tone. It’s more like, before saying something, think about whether there are any implications. Are the implications disrespectful or vile? If so, don’t say it. What are you trying to get out of saying it? Do you want something? More dates? More attention? Great, now straight up communicate your desires. Learn to say “I want” instead of “you should” with genuine vulnerability and hope instead of expectation and entitlement :)

[–]Sobinia1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The last two sentences are gold.

[–]Throwaway2303061 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is very helpful, not just in romantic relationships, but in helping develop social tact overall.

It confirms my belief that a rpw should be a bit of an actress when needed. You can say "I like the pink rug more" calmly and indifferently (even when you really like it more) or you could bring a shade of irritation or sarcasm to the same words. The delivery matters.

[–]Pola_Lita0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

The sort of man in your example is real. I know some and I even have some in my family. But whenever possible I avoid them because, while I do understand the points you've made, it's still draining and unnecessary. My husband trusts that I will speak plainly to him, not saying less than I mean, meaning more than I said, or hiding something fractious underneath so I can deny I said it later on. And why would I even want to? He's the most important person in the world to me.

[–]LeilaintheDark2 Stars[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I feel what you said, though there might be a slight misunderstanding. I feel like this isn’t just for men’s pride, but for women too. Communicating with so much vulnerability and honesty really builds intimacy over time. If I want something, I just express my desire or form a request. My partner will meet it if it’s within his means and I assume your husband does as well :) There’s no need to guilt or shame him into doing something.

This method is not about censoring or obfuscating but about being even more honest, more straightforward. If he hurt you, say it. If you dislike his shirt, say it. Say what you want and don’t want instead of talking around it. The only thing one shouldn’t say is “I don’t trust you” or “I don’t respect you,” but those aren’t hard things to avoid since we shouldn’t feel that way towards our partners more often than rarely anyways.

[–]seahawkguy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

These are some good examples. I definitely would react negatively to the worse examples and react positively to the better ones. Nobody wants to hear comparisons or negative comments.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is interesting bc my husband tells me I should talk more. He is definitely the one who needs to think before he speaks. I always assumed men were worse at tactfulness because women tend to be more people oriented and therefore develop better people skills. I've noticed our relationship is a lot better if neither one of us is walking on eggshells and instead speaking directly. Sometimes the sensitive person needs to learn not to take everything so personally (me in my relationship, but it sounds like a lot of men according to this post). I would encourage you to be tactful, of course, but also don't enable overly sensitive responses by curving your vocabulary. One last note, tone speaks louder than word choice. A loving tone will go a long way without forcing you to compromise your position on things.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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