I was browsing some of my old archives and I found a few items I thought would be helpful. RPW is all about providing you with RP relationship tools to understand how men actually work (rather than how BP society wishes they worked); if you don't understand how men actually work, you aren't going to date one successfully. So I'm providing some snippets on the topics of Shopping, Problems, and How to Listen to Men.
“Shopping” is a fundamentally different process for men and for women.
For men, “shopping” is akin to hunting–you plan for the prey you wish to kill, decide where you can best locate it, go there, kill it, and return triumphant.
For women, “shopping” is akin to foraging–you go into the woods looking for items that are in season, ripe, and desirable, not knowing exactly what you’ll find but putting in the effort to search for what’s good.
The problem is, we call these two fundamentally different activities the same thing, which confuses people enormously. If a man is reluctant to go shopping with you, understand that how he sees it - and how you present it - matters, and are likely different.
When men talk about a problem, we’re looking for solutions. ADMITTING we have a issue that we can’t resolve is actually loss of face or status (hence the famous stereotype of not stopping and asking for directions). We’re giving up status to find a fix. (Of course we gain status by providing a fix when is why men are frequently eager to help…)
When women talk about a problem, they’re usually looking for comfort. Attempting to provide a fix just gets men in trouble. Problem is, most men have to consciously change mental gears to “Poor Baby” mode; it is not very easy to do. Men are usually insulted by “comforting” and, naturally, we don’t want to insult a woman. We have to work pretty hard to understand that this is not the case with women.
How to Listen to Men (from Alison Armstrong)
To create the kind of situation that enables men to communicate fully, remember this:
Make sure it is a good time to ask a question. This means when he is not doing anything else (including things you don’t think are important). To check, you can ask, “Is this a good time to ask a question?” Don’t take it personally if he says no and try again at a later time.
After you ask the question, give him time to think before he responds. He is not taking the answer off the top of his head, he is really thinking about it. That is the respect he is paying to your question. Just wait patiently while he thinks. If you prompt him, or rephrase your question, that will interrupt his thought processes.
Once he starts talking, don’t interrupt him. This includes a comment, objection or another question.
Watch nodding your head excessively, or agreeing verbally. This can also be an interruption.
When it seems like he is finished, listen “one minute longer.” Do this until he says he is done. When he takes a breath, don’t jump in. While men are accused of being “shallow,” they are actually the opposite. They are like deep, deep wells. If you don’t give him a chance to draw up another bucket, you will only get what was on the surface.
Make sure you are safe to talk to — this means that you can’t have a “right answer” in mind. If his answer will get him in trouble with you, he can tell this and is likely to not answer at all. The odds of him answering the question the way you would are slim, be willing to be surprised and learn something from him.
Appreciate him for answering your question. Even if you didn’t like the answer, he honored your question with a response.