MAN-TALK AND WOMAN-TALK

Men are building; women are stroking.
Man-talk is linear; woman-talk is circular.

Man-talk is aimed and orderly;
Woman-talk is open-ended and order-less.

Men move from specifics to generalities,
                   then talk in generalities.

Women move from generalities to specifics,
                         then talk in specifics.

                         Man: "Do you like blue?"
                         Woman: "Which blue?"

Man-talk is objective and detached.
Woman-talk is subjective and personal.

Man-talk is based on deductive thinking.
Woman-talk is based on intuitive feeling.

Men look for differences;
         they tear things down.

Women look for similarities;
               they smooth things over.

In man-talk, Reason is King;
                     men fear feeling.
In woman-talk, Feeling is Queen;
                          women fear logic.

Man-talk is studied; woman-talk is spontaneous.

Men tell;
         they orate and use words to achieve.
Women talk;
         they converse and use words to reveal.

Man, orderly,
         goes from specifics to generalities,
                   from data to conclusions.
Woman, chaotically,
                goes from generalities to specifics,
                          from conclusions to data.

                He aims at something,
                      seeking closure, the point.
               She aims at nothing, 
                       maintaining openness, avoiding points.

                       He avoids open-endedness;
                       She avoids closure.

                       He says: "Let's decide now."
                       She says: "Let's wait and see."
                               He doesn't want to wait and see.
                               She doesn't want to decide.

                       He tries to exclude irrelevancies
                             so he can reach a decision.
                       She tries to include everything
                             so she can avoid closure.

Man-talk is like a hunting expedition,
         aimed at capturing the game
                     and ending the hunt.
Woman-talk is like a soap opera,
         aimed at going nowhere 
                     except perpetuating itself.

         Man rejoices when the hunt is finished;
         Woman laments when the story is over.
                        Man has regret when the game eludes him;
                        Woman rejoices when it gets away and the drama goes on.

While hunting for a conclusion
           man-talk is destructive;
           men look for flaws in each comment,
                            for differences and errors.
           Disagreements elicit sharp attention;
                  they whet the blade of truth, 
                  calling for finer conclusions.

While enjoying a story
          woman-talk is supportive;
          women look for connections in each comment,
                                for similarities and agreements.
          Disagreements are ignored or smoothed over;
                    they interrupt the flow of encounter,
                    defeating the harmony of union.

Men make points to exclude all others;
Women draw circles to include all others.

Man talk is basically verbal fighting,
                   a game of one-ups-man-ship,
                   (Mistakenly seen as "bragging")
                   "Mine's bigger than yours."
Woman talk is basically verbal stroking,
                   a serious form of intimacy
                   (Mistakenly seen as "gossiping")
                  "You should have heard them."

Man talk is competitive;
Woman talk is cooperative.

Men are looking to disagree
Women are looking for agreement.

Men: to correct errors and
         go you one better.
         "My fish was bigger than yours."
Women: to cover errors and
                to share your worst.
               "My husband does that too."

Men are striking;
Women are stroking.

Men are trying to make points
                          to win
                          to come out alone on top.
Women are trying to make pats
                                to lose
                                to come out together on bottom.

If a man sees a flaw in what another says,
      he points it out.
If a woman sees a flaw in what another says,
      she ignores it.

Men are focused on facts--words, ideas;
                                   feelings are incidental.
Women are focused on feelings--anger, grief;
                                         facts are incidental.

Man: "Your car's a wreck; I wouldn't have it."
Woman: "Your cake is wonderful: I want the recipe."

Men strive for separation,
                   to come out apart, on top.
Women strive for union,
                         to come out together, in harmony.

Men get worked-up, emotional, when they talk.
Women get smoothed-out, relaxed, when they talk.

Men are super-sensitive to flaws in thoughts;
        they seek mental mistakes in others and
                worry about being wrong.
Women are super-sensitive to signs of feelings;
               they seek emotional sensitivities in others and
                       worry about disturbing them.

Consequently:  He listens to her head while                                                       while
               she listens to his heart.

   He is sharply alert to any errors of hers;
   She is sharply alert to any emotions of his.

    He is relatively inattentive to her feelings;
    She is relatively inattentive to his ideas.

(From: Poems on Man/Woman Talk)

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