Sometimes I feel really bad for men. Let’s face it — we set them up for failure. We ask guys what seem to us to be simple questions, even though we know they’re loaded ones. If they don’t answer the way we want, we use it as an excuse to get mad. But what did we expect? Guys, if you’re struggling to come up with the right answers to these questions, here’s some help.
Tips for fostering better communication with women
Accept that women communicate differently.
Guys may not ask tons of questions or want to get into the nitty-gritty of things the way women do, but that doesn’t make one communication style better than the others. As dating coach Connell Barrett says: “Men want to solve problems, and communication is a means to that end — put out the fire, patch the hole, save the kitten. Women prioritize exploring and sharing emotions. They see the connected conversation as the goal. For women, emotional communication is an end unto itself.” Acknowledging that you’re probably starting from different places will help you find common ground more easily. Women ask questions because we want assurances from guys in many ways. Throw us a bone sometimes.
Tune into your feelings.
While men are often encouraged not to delve too deep into feelings, women are often naturally more emotional. That’s why tapping into this side of yourself will definitely foster better communication — it will allow you to respond with kindness, which is a great baseline. “Kindness is a prerequisite of relationships of all kinds,” explains author and Whole30 founder Dallas Hartwig. “Kindness is not weakness, submission, or giving up. Kindness is just a way of being and relating to people where you can both be strong, present, attentive, and thoughtful.” Guys could stand to ask themselves some questions about their feelings so they’re in tune with them before embarking on deep conversations with women.
Learn how to be a good listener.
Oftentimes, women just want someone to hear us out, and we get frustrated when guys tune us out or clearly don’t bother listening to or absorbing anything we say. That’s why developing great listening skills is so important. “Just listen. Hold off on offering solutions until she feels heard. Ask empathetic questions. Let her know you understand,” Barrett suggests. You’d be surprised just how much of a difference this can make.
Don’t try to fix things.
We’re begging you here, guys — unless a woman directly asks you a question that needs answering, try and avoid giving advice or offering solutions to problems. It’s not that she probably wouldn’t be grateful for your help, it’s just that if she hasn’t asked for it, she doesn’t want it right now. She likely just wants to vent and get her frustrations out of her system, and you can help by using those listening skills we talked about above.
Tap into the subtext.
When women ask guys questions, we’re usually asking something different than the actual words we’re saying. That’s why being able to read subtext comes in handy. Relationship therapist Jor-El Caraballo uses “does this make me look fat?” question as an example. “If that happens often, you could respond, ‘Are you really asking me if you look fat or are you looking for a different answer?'” he advises. “Odds are, she might want to feel seen and attractive to you in that moment, and you wouldn’t necessarily know that without asking the more outright question.”
With that in mind, here are some other questions guys are often asked and some suggestions when you’re struggling to find a response.
How to answer these 10 questions women ask guys
“Does this make me look fat?”
Guys, this is one of those trick questions we can’t help but ask. A guy’s first thought is probably something along the lines of, “Can’t she look in the mirror and see for herself?” When a woman asks this, she loves the outfit but is paranoid that it might show off the wrong kind of curves. First of all, “yes” is obviously the wrong answer. “No”, “Absolutely not!” or some other variation is good. If the clothes really do look bad on her, tell her she looks great, but you just don’t think that style suits her as well as another outfit. This is a good time to point out an outfit you know she likes. She’ll love that you’ve noticed what she’s wearing and forget the initial question.
“Do you think she’s prettier/hotter than me?”
This is one of the most common questions guys get asked and it never gets any easier to answer. The answer is always an obvious no. If you get caught looking at another woman, don’t worry. Fix the situation by telling her you were just thinking about how lucky you were to find such a beautiful woman and were just noticing how no other women can compare. We know it’s BS, but we appreciate the effort.
“Am I like my mother?”
This one is really tricky. It depends on why she’s asking and whether she likes her mother. Basically, if it’s a bad thing, say no. If she loves her mother and wants to be like her, say yes. Think it through before answering, but think quickly. Of all the questions on this list, this is the one that should be easy enough to navigate if you play your cards right.
“What are you thinking?”
Strangely enough, I’ve had guys ask me this more than I’ve asked them. It’s definitely a deer caught in headlights moment – the moment she asks you, your mind will probably go blank. Unless you’re thinking something horrible about her (and why would you be?), just be honest. If she hates the answer, she might just stop asking. On the other hand, it could just help her find out what a fun, goofy guy you really are. Guys aren’t very forthcoming very often, so we have to ask questions to try and figure you out.
“What don’t you like about me?”
This is a trap. It usually comes up before or during a fight. Resist the urge to go down the list of faults, because it doesn’t end well. My advice is to either refuse to answer or give a compliment. One of the best responses I’ve heard (yes, I was stupid enough to ask this) is this gem: “You’re perfect to me and I love everything about you.” It’s sweet and arguing with it just makes the girl look like an ass.
“How do I look?”
This isn’t so bad. Just make sure you actually look at her before answering. A simple “Great!” tossed over your shoulder while watching Sports Center isn’t good enough. Take 10 seconds to give us that up and down look you used to give us and tell us we look hot. Try to use more than one or two words once in a while, though.
“Did you notice anything different?”
Welcome to pure panic mode. Yes, we see the gears starting to grind as your eyes get wide, trying to take in every minute detail at once. And yes, we do like to watch you squirm. We also expect you to notice what’s different. I’m sorry, but there’s only one real right answer. Guys, you should notice the difference and answer these questions correctly.
“Are you listening to me?”
There are only two right answers to this one. A) Say yes and be able to back it up by repeating back her last few sentences. B) Say no, but have a damn good reason why you weren’t. More often than not, it should be A. If this is one of the questions you get asked the most, guys, you need to make a change.
“Do you like my friends/family?”
We all imagine our significant other will absolutely love our friends and family. Of course, sometimes we can’t stand our family and friends either. I highly recommend being as honest as possible without being rude. “Hell no” is not an appropriate answer. Just say you like them= but you just don’t have much in common. We know the code, it’s okay. When guys get asked questions about the other people we’re close to in our lives, we expect a bit of support in return.
“Where is this going?”
Of all the questions women ask, this may be the one guys dread most (or look forward to the most, depending on the circumstance). Congratulations, your woman is ready for the next step. The question is, are you? Don’t lie on this question. It will come back to bite you in the ass. Be honest. If you’re not ready to move in together or get married, say so. Give her valid reasons. She’ll either like it or she won’t. Either way, don’t lead her on.