So you’re pouring your heart out to the man you love or maybe just a guy you’re interested in. He’s listening to you intently as you share more and more and more. Everything you mention has significance to you because you’ve live it.
Your boss who is always making impossible demands.
Your mother who for some reason wants to treat you like a child and remind you what to do.
Something you saw on TV that you thought was funny.
But here’s the problem.
While your sharing all this information do you realize that it’s the first time he’s hearing it? He doesn’t have all this information stored in his mind and when you share it with him he’s got a choice.
He can listen to what you’re saying or he can focus on remembering it – but he can’t do both.
For him to remember it – in case you want to get his opinion, he has to make a mental “note” in his head…while you’re still talking. He has to condense it and remember “Mom upset with her,” while you add even more information for him to consider.
He can listen intently without having to remember all the details. He can give you his undivided attention and enjoy what you’re telling him, without having to take “mental reminder notes.”
But He Can’t Do Both
…because he’s a guy. He isn’t just going to “jump in there” while you’re talking like women often do. (Men call this talking over each other, women call it sharing).
I remind my clients about this every so often. It goes like this. A client starts our session telling me all the details about her past week. Sometimes talking for 15 minutes without interruption from me. Then when she’s done she says, “What do you think?” My response is typically this, “About which part?”
Her reply, “Any of it?”
Then I remind her of what I’m sharing with you.
“What you’re sharing is too important for me to listen and guess what is most important. I heard what you said, but I didn’t want to interrupt you by asking questions because you said you just wanted to finish. I honestly can’t remember everything you just told me. What parts of what you just said are the most critical?”
Now, I have to know them to say something like that and the truth is that after years of practice, I can remember almost everything they have said. But I’m trying to show them that just because they share something with a man…that’s important to them, they can’t expect him to remember all the details if they give it to him all at once. If you want him to be involved with what you’re saying, share what’s in your heart in smaller segments.