Interpreting Women – Guest Post by Sid Balachandran

Today I’m fortunate enough to showcase a guest post by Sid Balachandran who blogs at I Wrote Those, someone I used to read on Parentous and later on became friends with and shared parenting woes. Sid is a newbie Daddy who has relocated to India after a 7 year stint in London. He is a self-confessed techie, will-read-most-things-er, photograph-anything-er, love-to-travel-er and wannabe masterchef-er. He is the “carefree, relaxed and spontaneous” yin, to his wife’s “meticulous, practical and perfectionist” yang character. Though academically an engineer and a product manager by profession, he strongly believes that eventually at some point his “creative” side will lead him to his true calling.

Though Sid is an expert at humor, he recently wrote a beautiful novella, Harry’s HutThis novella is available for free download at I Wrote Those. Don’t miss it! It has the right dose of all emotions. 

Sid is famous among bloggers for his sense of humor which was clearly represented in his post What Guys Want. This post is an extension of it and his effort in interpreting women. Go on, read and enjoy the humor. 

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I’ll be honest. I am still kind of basking in the “accidental” success of one of my previous posts “What guys want”. So when Rekha kindly asked me to write a guest post for her amazing blog, I was excited to say the least. And a bit tensed. But mostly excited. And it got me thinking, what could I follow-up that post with. And then it struck me (Actually it was a pillow that my wife threw at me, that “struck” me; but it did make me think about something else). Today’s post is a kind of follow-up to that original post.

Whilst my previous post was an attempt to give you all lovely ladies a brief peek into the pretty uncomplicated workings of an average guy’s mind, this post attempts to do the opposite. Yes indeed, we’re going to look at a few examples that women want us men to know, but they hardly say. Once again, I am no expert on women (or men), but these are just the result of some observation and research. And of course, heavily generalised. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Do not venture to be the fixer

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Guys, when a woman is going through something (no, not that…bad guy), more often than not, she’s not really looking for us to offer a fix. She’s just looking for someone to listen to her completely and help her through her emotions. Constantly offering solutions can sometimes make her feel like she’s not competent to arrive at a solution herself. So just give her a shoulder to lean on, and let her vent it out. Yes, I know. We men are solution-oriented and tackle problems head on by trying to fix them. This is one of those instances that can bite us back.

Oh yes, and one more thing. Never, and I repeat, never, ever call her dramatic or crazy when she’s venting out. Yes, they do tend to overreact occasionally, but it’s simply because it bothers them. Think of it like us shouting at the TV when we’re watching a game and our favourite team/sports person is screwing it up. They don’t call us crazy do they? So neither should we. 

The “Word” conundrum

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I’ve previously briefly touched on a similar “word conundrum” on my previous post. It was called “Nothing”. Fine is another such word. Chances are that the majority of times when they respond with “Fine”, it doesn’t mean that. Also beware; it is usually used in the context “Don’t worry. I’m fine”. Do not take the bait here. They are not fine and they’d like you to ask them what’s wrong and insist that you are there to discuss it and give them your undivided attention. This particular word can also be used in a different context such as “Fine. Whatever”, which often either signifies the end of an argument, or means, “You go ahead. I’ll bring this up when you are doing something important”. Oh, that reminds me, there are few others too. If you’ve been in a meaningful relationship with a woman before, chances are that you would have already encountered these previously. 

 So the other phrases/words to look out for are:

Nothing – I’ve already addressed this. But as a refresher course, here goes. When a woman usually says “Nothing”, kindly translate it as : “There is something wrong, but if I have to explain it to you, then you’re not understanding enough.” 

Wow – Chaps, do not take this as a compliment. Well, at least not on most occasions. What it simply means is she can’t really believe how foolish or naive you are. It’s sarcasm dressed up in dinner jacket.

Go ahead – We naive guys often take this as an approval or consent for something, especially when it involves us doing or buying something that she’s less likely to agree with. But the reality is that it’s a dare. Translate it as “If you go ahead and do/buy it, you’ll pay for this later, because I don’t think you should”. But then again, occasionally, and I mean, very very occasionally, they could actually be consenting. In which case, stop reading this post and do or buy it now!

Oh, before I forget, while we are on the topic of “Fine” – When she asks you how she looks, “Fine” is NEVER an appropriate answer. You can be honest or you can be supportive. Fine is neither when used in the context of dresses/make-up/hair, literally anything.

Mr. Chivalrous, meet Ms. Independent

man-pulling-chair-out-for-woman-23You should already know this. The modern woman is fiercely independent, and rightly so. They should be. But remember this. As independent as they are, they also secretly like it when you are a chivalrous gentleman. Of course, they’re not going to tell you this, because they’re worried about how it makes them sound. So yes, do keep chivalry alive and continue to pull out their chair for them (not when they’re sitting on it of course), hold the door open (make sure you read the Push/Pull sign) and if still in the dating phase, pay for the first couple of dinners. And no, it’s not because women are incapable of doing any of these. They definitely are competent to accomplish these and more. It’s just a way of showing that you know to treat a woman the way they need to be treated. With respect.

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Take the lead

Women generally do not think highly of men who don’t take the lead. And no, I’m not talking about just in the bedroom (There, I said it. Stop squirming). As self-reliant and individualistic as they are, women prefer men who take responsibility, make decisions (after consulting with them of course), can be strong and show some leadership. I know it sounds like the job profile for a Manager, but this is a fact. So the next time, she asks you “Where do you want to go for dinner?”, it’s not because she doesn’t know. She’s giving you a chance to take the lead. Of course do keep her in the loop and take her choices into account. You can’t be autocratic. She’s not an empire and you’re not her Emperor (Well, Prince Charming, maybe)

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Yes, it’s a joke that’s been recapitulated from time immemorial. Women take forever to dress. Yes, because they usually dress to impress. Even if they’re married to you. Let’s be honest. As a general rule of thumb, women do have better grooming habits than us men. Though they may not say it often (well, some are definitely more vocal than others), they will adore you more if you groom yourself well. Why do you think women of all ages are still gaga for people like George Clooney and Richard Gere? Aside from being reasonably good-looking chaps, they also carry themselves well. Oh, and yes. Shoes. Believe it or not, women (and sometimes other men) judge a man by his shoes. So do yourself a favour – pick up those smelly sneakers that you wear over and over again and bin them.

Don’t just be nodding like Noddy

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It’s a well-known and documented fact that we men are good “nodders”. And no, I’m not talking about nodding to sleep. Which we are good at too, by the way. Once you lovely ladies do manage to get our attention, most of us tend to nod to show that we’re listening intently. But here’s the thing guys – nodding can only take you so far. Once again, as a general rule of thumb, most women like to talk to their partners. The topic is irrelevant here. Sometimes they’re complaining about a problem, sometimes they’re just venting it out, sometimes they’re just excited about something. “So what’s wrong with nodding to acknowledge the conversation?” I hear you ask. Nothing. It’s good. But as I said earlier, it can only get you so far. In order to show your support, you do need to offer some words of support. Even if it is the occasional “I understand” or the “I’m here for you”, it shows that you are truly interested in what she’s talking about. Just get involved in the conversation. If not, just be honest and tell her that you’d rather discuss it later. But tread with caution. That can back fire too.

The Simple Romance

This particular point is slightly more applicable for guys who are either married or in a relationship. So singletons, feel free to either tune out, or maybe listen in. This might be what you really need to know. Now, I need to come clean about something first. I don’t do a lot of this particular point. Or rather I haven’t in the past. Once I realized this (of my own accord of course, and maybe some romcoms..shh….I shouldn’t have told you that), I do try to do this a lot more often.ID-10076998

The ugly truth here is that after a point in a relationship, things change. And not always for the better. And unfortunately, it’s mostly with men. Women, listen to me on this one. It’s not that you’re now married to or in a relationship with a man who has changed so drastically from the one you used to know from your “dating” or “early marriage” days. It’s simply because, we tend to take you for granted. Yes, men – I know you’re coming to get me for this one. But it’s the truth. For the lack of better analogy, we men think of it like a conquest. So we still love you, but we sometimes don’t want to take the extra effort. I mean after all, the dangers of you leaving us are…well, reduced. However women expect it and secretly want you to be an “impromptu romantic”. No matter how much a woman vehemently protests against this point, they do. I even dare you to find me a woman who doesn’t expect or want this.

So to cut a long point short, do something special or spontaneous even when it’s not a weekend/ birthday/ anniversary. Do it on a normal day, when she’s least expecting it and she will really appreciate it. Sometimes it could be as extravagant as planning a getaway without telling her, or just buying her favorite popcorn when you go to the movies. Or for some of us married-with-kids kinds of couples, just have a late dinner and movie at home after the kids go to bed. Forget your schedule for once. It’s the small gestures that count.

(Phew. That point almost makes me sound like a relationship counselor)

Look into her eyes

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Fear not, I’m not revealing a hypnosis technique here (Do email me if you find an effective one though). This is something that we men tend to take for granted at times. As a species, we men often enjoy having a conversation side-by-side rather than face-to-face. But it’s the complete opposite for women. For them, the first sign of you being interested in listening to their part of the conversation is making eye contact. It shows them that you prioritize them over whatever else may be going through your head at that point. I know. I’m one of you. (Men, I mean – just to be clear)

The Last wordID-10092343

Let’s move onto a less mushier and a lot lighter note. Acquaint yourself with this fact. Women get the last word. Don’t bother with ifs and buts. Yes, there are some exceptions. But consider the alternative if she doesn’t. Trust me, it’s not worth the hassle. And what do you know, they might be actually “showing you the right path”. And if you do want to get out of it with less “injuries”, “Yes, Dear” works well. Mostly anyway.

The Lie(s)

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This point isn’t just restricted to women. All of us, irrespective of gender, hate being lied to. And it’s kind of a given fact that we men tend to lie a tad bit more than women do. Now I personally don’t think the men “love” lying. But we find it rather difficult to not use a “white lie”, especially when it comes to women and some of the questions that we’re asked.  I know this is going to sound like a Moral Science lesson, but lying is bad. Period. It might get you scot-free a couple of times, but once they catch onto it, you’re going to be in crap-town. But then again, sometimes your can’t help but fudge the truth a little bit. So I suppose the suggestion is, “Choose your lies wisely” 🙂

The “Love” expression:

ID-100194923Guys, women want us to tell them that we love them. Well, the woman that you’re in a relation with definitely does anyway. And yes, they need to hear the actual words. And as frequently as possible. And not just that. They need us to match our actions to the words that we uttered. If not, consider your declaration false. Time to get a bouquet and some chocolates I say.

And finally, as I mentioned earlier, this is in no way a comprehensive listing. No man can ever write a thorough account of what women want or mean. But nevertheless, before I wrap it up, I do need to add this last piece of advice:

Warning: Never, ever, touch that last piece of chocolate. Ever. That’s theirs. Feel free to substitute chocolate with “your woman’s” favourite piece of confectionery or food

Oh, and before I forget.  Do kindly bear in mind that whilst for the purposes of the post, I (as a man) have had to assume some common traits that generalize womenfolk, I (and all other men) do understand and appreciate that all women are individually unique with your own personal feelings and tendencies. So power to you (and some to us).

Image credits freedigitalphotos.com/vectorolie|stock images| David Castillo Dominici | Imagery Majestic | Sixninepixels| Ambro  & Google Image Search

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36 Replies to “Interpreting Women – Guest Post by Sid Balachandran”

  1. Wow! :P…. na not the naive type wow… the real one… I was initially smiling and later on laughing out aloud. How perfectly you know women. Kudos to your wife and the ladies in your life. 😉 ….
    “Nothing” is the perfect solution to make the opposite sex to shut their mouth gulping all those questions and queries… 😀
    Loved this post! 🙂

    1. Sheethal – Even if it was the “typical WOW”, I can’t complain. Oh no, I don’t know women at all. These points are mostly from experience, and I’ve learnt them the hard way. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Well, I’m glad at least you see the humorous truth 🙂 I’ll just wait for the brick bats to follow for the generalisation.

  2. Sid you said ………. Once again, I am no expert on women (or men), but these are just the result of some observation and research.

    But that’s not true. You are an expert on human observations and analysis. Today’s post is a big hit.

    1. Kalpana, if only 🙂 The ironic thing is that it really isn’t rocket science, but rather something due to lack of communication at times. Glad you liked it and ever more glad you see the humorous side !

  3. And I loved it! Made husband read in train (which is right now 😀 ) All points of course are absolutely correct. In fact at home my husband has a custom made poster hanging on top of the bed which has quite a few of these rules with the name Richa. Like “when Richa says go ahead, it is more of a dare, don’t do it” 😛

    He was nodding his head on quite a few. And the one which was my personal favourite was the chivalrous point 🙂

    Richa

      1. I will be back in a week’s time home. Will surely send it across 🙂 Will try and search if I have a pic somewhere on hard disk 🙂

    1. Diwakar, the one thing that I’ve learnt from years of observation (and experience) is that we can never predict how women react. As for writing this on a woman’s blog, there are still plenty of women who can still look past the pettiness and see the humor in some of their mannerisms. Rekha is one of them, and I’m honoured that she agreed to go ahead and post this.

  4. This is yet another Home Run, or as the Indians say “a DFL Maximum”. You literally hit the ball straight out of the park with this one. If people thought you were good with the What Men Want post then Interpreting Women takes you to an all new level my friend.

    Your observations of human nature, and in this case, that of the fairer sex (not the color, but the overall demeanor) are spot on, and if you say that this is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’, then for sure, you can write a book (or two) with the rest of the iceberg. Loved how you managed to combine humor with deep insight into each and every one of the points that you have mentioned there. For sure, more men will treat this post as a pointer to deal with wives, girlfriends, even mothers maybe 😀

    Rekha, thanks a lot for bringing out Sid’s creativity, although I am sure you didn’t have to push him too hard, the enthu cutlet that he really is 😀

    1. Lol, Jairam 🙂 Thank you. Of course, there has been some discontent too, as you can imagine and as Rekha forewarned. So unfortunately, everyone hasn’t been able to take it in the same spirit as you and the rest of the lovely ladies and gents who’ve commented on this post. But then, it’s not really rocket science. A good Google Search will probably reveal most of these points plus others. I’ve only “rehashed” it and included my own experiences 🙂

      Once again, thank you buddy.

  5. The Fixer! I can never understand why every man sees our cribbing as a request to fix things – and when they can’t they yell at us – at least my husband does! 😉 And I don’t agree with the taking forever to dress – doesn’t apply to me – as is obvious!

    1. Oh Corinne, the “fixing” thing is in our genes I suppose. As for the dressing bit – few are blessed with the natural beauty and elegance that you are. So for you it’s just a matter of minutes probably. Of course, there is a lot of “generalisation” for this post

  6. great research.but i think you left out one important thing.Women always search for a friend in her male partner who is completely non judgemental.When this aspect is clearly understood by men,I think there won’t be a big deal

    1. Clearly, Rachna. I am incapable of thinking up original stuff (except when writing Fiction maybe). Everything else is “inspired” and “re-hashed”. The writing style’s all mine though. So if you will give me credit for that, I will gladly take that pat on the back 🙂

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