2 December 2013
“Finally, I Understand Why!”
Have you ever had a conversation with your significant other and walked away thinking, “was he even listening to me?” or “did he hear a word I was saying?”. Have you ever experienced a confrontation with your boyfriend, because he swears you meant something you said one way, when in fact you meant something totally different? Has your husband ever been telling a story to some of your friends, and when you cut in to help him support his story, he looks at you like your trying to take over? All of these scenarios can be extremely frustrating. If I had a dollar for everytime it happened to me, I’d be ...view middle of the document...
”(143) While I was reading this passage, I was laughing, shaking my head yes, and pointing at my husband, who by the way still does not know why I was doing it. My husband is the “poster child” for the silently listening husband. While I’m talking to him, he will sit there in front of me, very still, like a statue and not say a word. At the end of our conversation, he will simple nod his head and I walk away thinking, “I bet he has no clue what I just said to him!” However, I don’t dare go back and quiz him on it. If I do that, I always get the standard answer…”Do I look like I didn’t understand what you were saying to me?” or the ever popular, “I only look this way, I swear I’m not a dummy!” After reading Tannen’s take on different listening styles between men and women, I now walk away from my conversations with my husband, knowing that he is the silent listener. That’s his style.
Another issue Tannen talked about was how because of men and women’s different conversational styles, a statement, comment or simply a word can be interpreted differently depending on how it is delivered, a metamessage. Tannen says, “in an expression of sympathy, how comments are worded, in what tone of voice they are spoken, accompanied by what facial expressions and gestures all determine the impression made. All these signals send metamessages about how the communication is meant.”(32) This has got to be one of mine and my husbands biggest problems. When I found out I had breast cancer for the third time, I was scared to death. My doctor was talking to me about maybe having to remove my breast completely. When I went home after the visit, I told my husband what the doctor had told me. He looked at me and said, “Oh honey, tell him to lop them both off, I’m still gonna love you anyway.” I remember running to my room, locking the door and making him sleep on the couch that night. I didn’t speak to him for 3 days. When I finally decided to let him talk to me, I ended up feeling worse then ever. My husband started to cry and he explained to me that he had no intention in hurting my feelings. I took what he had said the wrong way. He was just trying to be supportive and trying to let me know that no matter what happened, even if the doctor had to remove both my breast, it still wasn’t going to change how he felt about me. I had to take the blame for that one. I’m real good about jumping the gun and taking remarks and comments in a negative text...