Sweet Talking Women

 

One of the main differences between men and women is how they communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, in the Gender Communication – PpD – (Personal and professional Development) these “styles” are described thus:

 The styles that men and women use to communicate have been described as “debate vs. relate“, “report vs. rapport, or “competitive vs. co-operative“. Men often seek straightforward solutions to problems and useful advice whereas women tend to try and establish intimacy by discussing problems and showing concern and empathy in order to reinforce relationships.”

 The above quoted passage is superficially correct, especially with regard to “women tend to try and establish intimacy by discussing problems and showing concern and empathy in order to reinforce relationships” what this article fails to address though is that, this “style” of communication has a purpose that is a bit more calculating that simply to “reinforce relationships” for positive reasons – women do this to gather around them a buffer, a human shield of gallant protectors.

The object is to flatter, to stroke the ego’s of men and present themselves as empathetic and sympathetic, so that in the event they commit a faux pas, or the mask of sweetness and light slips, they will be protected from the consequences – because – look at how sweet and sympathetic she is.

 A caveat regarding this article, it is replete with assumptions, with stereotypes about men, and why men communicate or rather appear to communicate the way they do, but it does a not half bad job of analysing how women communicate, even though the conclusions reached by the author(s) of this article are eyerollingly absurd. Its usefulness is in more what it gets wrong than what it gets right.

For example this passage.

 “No matter what the topic, girl talk entails the rapid disclosure of details, with the expectation of immediate and enthusiastic reciprocation. The male verbal strategy is to divulge as few personal details as possible, while assiduously avoiding all expressions of emotion that could be interpreted as weakness.”

 The important point to note here is the expectation of “immediate and enthusiastic reciprocation” not in the sense of divulging personal details, though that is important, but to understand the deeper and darker purpose behind this.

First – I’m female, and “girl talk” bores the knickers off me, second because “girl talk” isn’t as innocent or altruistic as it is presented here – garnering personal details is a female strategy for garnering ammunition – to be used judiciously in the event that the hapless fool who fell for the sweet-talking doe eyed and sympathetic new “best friend” falls out of favour with this new “best friend” who will then use said ammunition to subtly and maliciously undermine a rival, or cast aspersions on someone who seems to be becoming “more popular” or in some cases – just for the hell of it.

There is an interesting passage in this article, which touches on some communication errors that females make, and gives some advice as to how to correct them to be a more effective communicator, but of course barely skims the surface of what is really going on.

The following points are adapted from The Androgynous Manager, by Alice G. Sargent, Amacom, 1981:

• Learn to state exactly what you want and face the risk of being cut down or wrong, especially at meetings. This is not a “safe” position, but it is an honest one. Be concerned more about stating your own position than about how the other person is reacting to you.

This is interesting because it does almost get to the heart of how women react to criticism, and how men react to women being criticised. Women expect that everything they say, in their “gosh golly” way will be immediately greeted with parades and balloons – and get snippy and defensive when it is not – this is when they resort to that age old tactic of making snide underhand little comments designed to undermine their opponent.

MRA’s know this one all too well. This is also the point where the gallant knights rush in to protect the poor maligned sweet talking girly girl and almost comically take on all comers in defence of this poor misunderstood damsel – because you see – saying things in an ambiguous and vague way is a classic tactic of women to absolve themselves of the consequences of being caught out.

State your own needs and do not back down even if the immediate response is non acceptance.

Ah yes, perpetuating the universal belief – among women that is – that their “needs” are of paramount importance, ergo refusing to accept – well being refused – this is euphemistically called “being assertive” but is actually just being a nagging whining twat.

• Stop self-limiting behaviours, such as allowing interruptions or laughing after making a serious statement.

This “self-limiting” behaviour the article talks about here and again misses the point by a million miles is that other age old tactic of women – play the helpless damsel in distress and someone else, usually a man will come to your rescue and do the task you really actually DON’T want to do – it’s the “I’m just a girl” thing. The laughing is an artefact to reinforce the “just a silly little girl” pose.

• Practice taking risks and overcoming fear.

This one made me smile – because you see if women actually did this – they would also have to take responsibility for those risks they took – and this is NOT in the female playbook at all – there always has to be someone ELSE to blame – preferably a man.

• Learn to focus on a task and regard it as at least as important as the relationship among the people doing the task. This is particularly important for women.

Again, expecting women to actually DO the job they are being paid to do, and cut out the chit chat and gossip and endless mindless pointless “girl talk” or “man flattering” requires much more than an incredibly naive “how to” article from well-meaning but clueless communication experts.

Stop turning anger and blame inward. Stop making negative statements about yourself. Make positive statements. Another point particularly relevant to women.

Sigh – another tried and tested tactic of women – which relates to next point as well.

• Stop feeling comfortable with being a victim and suffering.

Both these pieces of advice ignore the purpose for which women do these things – that purpose is to get someone to “rescue them” to coddle them, to drop everything and focus attention on the poor poor girl who feels soooooo bad about herself. That and to get someone else to do their dirty work for them.

• Deal differently with women: If female yourself develop an “old girl” network, working more closely with other women. If male be prepared to listen and forthcoming with information.

The only “advice” I would give any woman entering a nest of vipers, such as this quaintly called “old girl” network is this – watch your back.

The other communication “style” of women is the non verbal one, which this series of slides seeks to address – How does Gender Affect Non-Verbal Communication?

Naturally enough it starts off with some tried and tested stereotypes and myths to get the ball rolling and set the stage for analysing non verbal communication.

Robert St. Estephe over at The Unknown History of Misandry  has a positive wealth of historical information on ALL these “female behaviours” and “styles” of non verbal communication utilised by women – to get away with murder that is.  Literally.

You might want to check out this and this to start with.

Moving on, with the typical “myths” encapsulated in this statement.

“Attributes that women in Western Culture are taught -politeness, deference, humility-and the way they are projected through our gestures, gait and self-presentation communicate subservience and meekness.”

“…Tilting your head—submission/flirting”

If you’ve gone to take a look at Robert’s excellent site, you will now realise that this tactic is akin to the alluring and intoxicating but deadly false face of the Venus Flytrap – rather than “submission and flirting” this is baiting and springing the trap.

Folding your hands on your lap–untrustworthiness or submission

For women – this is more likely a non verbal way of showing disapproval and sulking when not getting one’s own way – if accompanied by a superficial demeanour of “submission” it is classic passive agressive behaviour.

Crossing your legs—resistance or anxiety or smallness

Oh pluuuuuuuuueze – depending on how short the skirt is – its bait.

Excessive smiling–lack of seriousness

Sigh – tactics – flattery – ego stroking – creating the illusion of a sweet natured and passive little girl who just wants to “please you”

Crossing your arms in front of you–insecurity or defensiveness

Hmmm, maybe – but for women – more likely to be the prelude to a full blown tantrum, a mark of disapproval – a way of letting you – a man know, in no uncertain terms, that you are now on the shit list – and then some.

Playing with or tugging at your hair, jewelry or clothes–distress or flirting.

Bait.

So, for all those that actually think that “sweet talking women” are always – well just “sweet talking women – I hope that you will at least think twice before falling for this shit.