Friday, March 13, 2009

Do Women Listen Better Than Men?

They say that women talk more than men and we are stereotyped for our supposed love of gab, but without making too much of a generalization, I would like to propose that women are better listeners than men. Maybe women's' brains are wired differently when it comes to speech and vocal recognition skills (I didn't know what else to call it so I just made that up!)

We live on a street that has two parts, both are dead ends, and there is a house that sits in the middle of the sections so you can't pass through it. If you take a left turn off the main road you will never find our house, but if you take the right turn on the correct street you will find it with no problem.

We have had the opportunity for several servicemen to come and visit our house, from the electric company, a washing machine repair man, plumber, the telephone company, etc. On all of these occasions we have carefully given the men directions on how to get to our house, explaining the difficult circumstance surrounding our street and how you must take a right turn, etc. Usually about an hour later they call, telling us that they cannot find our house and there is no such number on our street--like we are crazy, and we must have given them the wrong number--or said it wrong at least. Some get down right mad at us, then when they find us they realize what they did wrong--and are usually a little embarrassed--but always have a good excuse for why they couldn't find it.

Last Friday a woman from a company was going to stop by our home to pick something up, and I gave her very specific instructions about how to get here, warning her of the potential mix up. Much to my surprise she showed up in less than 15 minutes. I told her that she was the first person (and she happened to be a woman) that ever found our house without getting lost. She very meekly replied, "Well, I just did what you told me to, and paid attention to the details you gave me."

Now I am assuming it is because first of all, when you try to give a man directions, something in their brain automatically shuts down, because they think they already know where they are going. Secondly, when they are lost, they are too proud to admit it, and would rather blame it on some one's poor directions (in our case they probably blame it on the fact we are foreigners).

Which brings me to my last point--I have noticed that whether the person is a man or woman, there seems to be a certain type of person who can understand everything we say, or at least try and figure it out when they don't. But I have noticed that there are some people that if you don't say it EXACTLY how they are accustomed to hearing it spoken in their particular dialect, they have no imagination or no desire to even guess at what you are trying to say. They just stare at you like what in the world, totally clueless.

It has taught me to be a much more patient listener, especially when I call a business 800 number only to find I have been connected with a foreign answering/phone center. I recall on a few occasions asking them for a person who spoke English. Now I know exactly how they feel.

1 comment:

arielle said...

LOL I enjoyed reading that.... !!!