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He can't stop saying «You should try this!» or «You should add this» !

Published on May 19, 2013 by saffron

Everytime I talk to my boyfriend about something, for example, notes for class that i'm taking, or something i'm making, or something i'm working on (physically or mentally), HE KEEPS ADDING HIS OPINION IN THIS VERY PARTICULAR WAY! And that way is by saying «you shouldn't do that» or «you should try this», or something that'll sound almost exactly like this. How do i make it stop! I don't want to hurt his feelings or make him feel like his opinion doesn't matter, but i need to give the message that he can't keep this up.

ANSWERS

Dear Saffron,

This is one of the most common complaints from women. It truly comes down to how differently men and women view communication.

From your point of view - Sounds like you want him to listen to what you're saying until you’re done talking and then if you want to hear his opinion you'll ask. Very normal woman behavior. 1. We talk to people to feel connected to them. 2. We feel cared about when we know they're listening. 3. We know they're listening when they don't interrupt and when they validate that we know what we're talking about. Your girlfriends automatically know how to do this with you because it's what they want too.

From his point of view - When men talk it’s usually to either; 1. Share information -- the news, accomplishments, scores, etc. 2. They have a problem they've attempted to solve on their own and they need a solution. When they ask someone for a solution they expect an answer right away. Other men automatically know how to do this because it’s what they want too.

I understand how frustrating it is when he tells you how to do something differently. You probably feel like he’s saying you don’t know how to do it yourself. And I’m sure it feels very disrespectful and uncaring.

What if his intention of offering you a solution was to show you how much he cares? How would that make you feel? Differently?

continued in my second post

Continuation of my post Here’s the scoop. When you tell him about something that sounds like you have a problem to solve he says to himself, “I hear her problem and I’m going to come up with the best solution for her so she’ll know how much I care.” And by offering you a solution you’ll be happier and think he is great for helping. And when it backfires (and you get mad) he doesn’t understand why.

So, the solution for you is to create a conversation “sandwich.” The next time you want to ‘just tell him about something and you don’t need/want his input.’

First piece of bread - Tell him that you appreciate his solutions. Tell him about solutions that have been helpful (I can imagine there have been a few.) It’s good to come up with these ahead of time so you don’t have to think on the fly.

Insides – Say, “I have some classwork I want to tell you about and it would make me so happy if you would sit and listen while I tell you. I don’t need a solution I just really want to tell you about it.” This is going to be a very foreign concept for him (remember when he talks he expects to be offered a solution) so be patient of he forgets you’ve asked him to just listen. If he starts to interrupt then patiently say, “Thank you for offering me your solution. It would make me feel cared about if you would listen until I’m done.” See new behavior for each of you.

Second piece of bread – Say, “Thank you so much for listening. It made me so happy.”

And a bonus (not necessary if you don’t need it) is when you’re done talking and you do want to hear a solution tell him. “I’d really like to hear what you think.”

I have found using this technique will help you feel cared about and less frustrated.

Let me know how it goes.

Coach Christine

I think you may need Anger Management skills; Here is why i say this: Ten years ago I took a class and we had a female instructor and she said this: "WE WOMEN LIKE TO DUMP ON MEN THEN GET UPSET WHEN YOU GUYS OFFER US SOLUTIONS"- she said "Dumping" is when women just babble on about irrelevant B.S just to hear themselves talk and this is so selfish because dumping has no regard for holding the men hostage , so when the men tone them out then the women turn around and accuse the men of not "hearing or listening to them." After women finish dumping they can go to sleep while the guy sits up trying to find a solution for all the issues the women expressed but the women don't want solutions they just want to dump and judge. Basically your boyfriend is damned of he do and damned if he don't because your unable to shut up...(no disrespect) but men's brain are taught to find solutions and right now your making him sound like he is TOO OPINIONATED and its you who talk to much. Get a therapist and/or talk to a counselor at school. Your boyfriend just got caught up in a drive-by because he was being thoughtful in what he perceived as a "TWO-WAY" conversation but your dumping has blindsided him and now your acting moody when that crap your taking about put him in this position for you to judge him for being kind,considerate, and trying to assist you if he feels you are indecisive about things. I find what your doing quite insulting and condescending. I agree with Coach Christine in suggestion that you should FIRST ask a permission to dump on them and they have to agree that your allowed to do this while they be totally quiet. Agree is the operative word, the other party in the two-way conversation should have been told your unloading and dumping, not aware that is all about you. Gee! Speak when spoken to and not before and not after" is an old adage .you spoke to him, but you didn't instruct him to just be your dumping ground, so if your mature enough you can apologize for transfering all that negative animosity and hostility his way and pray for God to forgive you for trying to sully his image like he's annoying you when your the one who talks to much and is inconsiderate

Hi Saffron!

You should definitely tell him that you don't like the way he talks to you. Most possibly he is trying to help you/he would like to be seen as someone clever you can turn to for advice, etc. Use non-violent communication so that he really gets the message instead of getting offended. 1. step: Share your feelings with him: why does it bother you what he is doing? How does it make you feel? Focus on your own feelings instead of blaming him for anything. Talk about yourself. 2. step: If he does not understand what the issue is, repeat 1. step with different words. 3. step: Offer a solution to him. How would you like to take his help/advice? 4. step: Say him thanks next time he is giving you his opinion in a way that you like.

Good luck!

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