If she’s clearly saying one thing (No) and meaning another (Yes), take her at face value and let her clarify herself.

How exactly would she clarify herself if she said no and the man isn’t allowed to say another word? Or if he turned and walked away? If you’re saying that she would suddenly change her method of communication and be more direct, I have my doubts. If we assume her intent was “yes,” then she’s must be hoping the guy pursues her. But if he accepts her “no,” and goes to talk to someone else, then she feels like he wasn’t really interested? These issues are too nuanced to apply a single stamp to every single person and every single encounter.

What I find horrifying is how easy it is for some people to ignore what Julia B wrote herself. She said she had a problem giving mixed signals, so that’s what I was trying to address.

I’ve written thousands of words about differences in communication styles between men and women, but you chose to focus on one phrase and parse it to fit your personal agenda. Did you even read the whole thread before reacting? This is not an article about rape culture; it’s about better communication.

For example, many women say “I’m cold,” when they really want their partner to close the window or bring them a blanket. Instead of men saying that women are indirect and manipulative, they should respect the differences between the sexes and learn this language. But it works both ways. If a woman see a man doesn’t understand her language, she needs to respect the differences in communication styles and learn to speak his language.

I’m afraid too many people of either gender labor under this illusion that their limited world view is the only one that can exist and everyone else must bend to them. If you can’t see that, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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