5 Biggest Mistakes Men Make in Arguments
Society has rapidly changed in recent years, with women now having similar rights as men. While this may be the case, at the core level, women and men are wired differently down to our wants and needs, even how we perceive the world.
This is especially evident in how we handle our relationships, specifically, in our communication.
Which leads us here.
When things are great, there is patience, empathy, and understanding – the ideal recipe for support and reciprocation.
When things go awry like a heated disagreement, that tends to dissolve.
We struggle to communicate effectively as our genetic differences surface and affect our behavior. This can result in misunderstandings, resentment, and possibly, a breakup.
From my research, personal experiences, and from the work I've done with my coaching clients, I saw a pattern in some of the most common mistakes both men and women make in conflicts due to the fundamental gender differences.
Today I will be sharing part 1 - The five biggest mistakes men make in arguments with their partners. And in the next blog, I'll be sharing the most common mistakes that women make in disagreements.
Although I have curated the most common mistakes that men make, it doesn't have to apply just to men! It can be applied to both men and women so pay attention to the patterns of your own relationship
Let's get into it!
1. Dismissive Comments that Invalidate her emotions
"Don't worry about it."
"It's not a big deal."
"You shouldn't feel this way."
(with a tone of annoyance or a tone of "why are you feeling this way")
This is contextual.
I'm not talking about the times when these words are shared in a reassuring, kind or loving way.
I'm talking about the times when a woman has just shared her thoughts or emotions with her man and they jump straight into these sentences with an annoyed tone.
If spoken with a "why are you feeling this way?" energy, these words can feel dismissive, even if wasn't intended that way.
A woman can feel invalidated because these words are energetically telling her "what you shared with me isn't correct, so it doesn't deserve my time and energy right now."
As a result, she feels judged for sharing her thoughts and emotions:
"See? What's the point? It's silly and not important." which can slowly lead to unhappiness.
A core need of a woman’s being is feeling heard and understood. So, in a conversation, this is the biggest gift you can give her.
When she is sharing things with you, give your fullest attention and your genuine desire to hear her out. Take the time to listen, reflect and ask her more questions to gain a deeper understanding of where she is coming from.
Help me understand this better.
What happened that made you feel this way?
Tell me more about that.
If the annoyance is the result of constrained time or unavailability to have a conversation, consider this:
"I understand you feel/think XXXX - I hear you. I do want to continue this conversation but right now, I'm not able to give you my fullest attention because ______. Could we continue this tonight?"
It’s important HOW this is said. If a woman feels the warmth in the tone, she will understand and actually look forward to when the timing is better. Sometimes, this instance of genuine communication may lift her and feed how she receives you when the conversation takes place.
2. Jumping too quickly to solutions
Men are amazing because they love fixing problems and find fulfillment in being a genuine help for people - especially when it helps their lady.
And yes, women love and appreciate this help. But sometimes, when it isn't what she needs, even the best solutions and ideas may not do anything for her.
Ask her what she needs from you BEFORE jumping into the 'Fix-It mode'.
"So that I can best support you, do you want me to listen or give you my input?"
If she doesn't need the solutions, then it would mean a lot to her if this request was honored.
Oh and just because she doesn't need solutions, it doesn't mean that she doesn't want the support.
In fact, she wants to be listened to because when a woman feels heard and understood, her stress hormones go down! The best gift that a man can gift their woman when she wants to share is by asking questions similar to above that will help her to open up more.
Want to earn even more brownie points?
Want to help make your partner feel cared for?
If so, end the conversation with this powerful question:
"Is there anything that I can do for you right now that'll make your day great?
Is there anything that I can do for you that'll make it easier for you in the future?"
3. Belittling Her Desire to Talk
"Are we talking about this AGAIN?"
"Why do we have to go over this again and again?"
Shutting a woman down when she wants to talk about something that's bothering her can be detrimental because it can lead her to share less, feel dismissed or worse, resentful. Even if she’s bringing up a topic again, chances are it's because it wasn't solved properly the first time.
There is a saying that explains how when a woman stops talking, that's when you should really be worried.
So, see it as a good thing that a woman is bringing something up again - it means that she still cares about the relationship enough to want to work on it.
If you have concerns, lean into it with curiosity instead of frustration.
"It think we have talked about this a few times before. Why do you think it's still happening?"
"How could we prevent it from happening again?"
4. Shutting Down Without Explaining
While this approach can be helpful for the man processing the information, it can be destructive to a woman who has just shared her emotions.
You see, men go into fight or flight mode when things hit a peak. It is a mini-emergency in his brain where his testosterone automatically rises to solve the problem and his estrogen temporarily goes down. Due to this hormonal change, he temporarily disconnects from his emotions to think analytically about the problem.
Often, all this is happening while their lady is sitting there wondering what's going on and this increases her stress hormones and anxiety causing a greater imbalance between you two. It can even provoke more dialogue from her as she tries to regain the connection.
If you need to be alone to think about it in your own time, show her that you've heard her and explain your need to reflect as this matter is important to you.
"I hear you. And I want to talk this through and want to get to the bottom of this but right now I need time to reflect what you've shared with me. I'm not mad. Can we talk in ___?"
Again, HOW you leave the conversation is really important - give her a kiss or a hug to reassure her that everything is fine and that you are wanting to figure things out. You just need some time to get centered again.
5. Giving in With a Passive Aggressive Tone
"Fine, whatever. I don't care."
"Are you happy now that you got your way?"
Giving in, to end the argument. This is never a healthy route.
This is not ideal because:
1. You will feel resentful later
2. You are energetically telling her that even though she might be being unreasonable, as long as she keeps arguing for it, she will eventually get her way. You are lowering your boundaries and it can be detrimental in the future.
If you feel like you are hitting a brick wall, here are two options:
1. Acknowledge her perspective AND explain your perspective, without the need to pick a side. This is coming from an energy of,
"I hear you and can understand where you are coming from. AND this is what I think and this is where I am coming from. We are both right in our own ways so can we respect each other with this?"
2. If you are having trouble getting anywhere, continue the conversation another time.
"I hear you, but I feel like we aren't really getting anywhere today. I do want to resolve this - I think we need more time to reflect. Why don't we come back to this another time?"
A lot of the times, emotions are running high in an argument which might be blinding the both of you from seeing things objectively or compassionately. So, cool down and get back to your center first before continuing with the conversation.
Now, I'd love to hear from you.
What's your biggest takeaway?
Do you have a tip on how we can overcome conflicts in a relationship? What has worked for you?
Stay tuned for my next post about the five most common mistakes that women make in arguments!
Thanks for your time - until next time!