Women, they are everywhere. From our mothers and sisters and daughters to gal pals and love interests, there’s no escaping them. You may love them, can’t live without them, but ever feel like you are walking on eggshells around the leading ladies in your life?
The words you choose may have something to do with it. That’s right – certain terms and expressions have negative connotations that trigger emotional reactions from women for reasons men simply cannot fathom. We decided to give you guys out there a break, so you don’t have to keep playing guessing games. As the saying goes, when the words are in your mouth they are gold; we hope these insights will help you choose them more wisely!
You’re Crazy: Let’s stop beating around the bush now and call a spade a spade. Men have been calling women insane since ancient Greek times. In fact, hysteria was a once a malady, exclusive to women, fabricated by men and later disproved by Freud. What you may not realize is that saying things to a woman like “you’re insane,” “you must be dreaming” or “that never happened,” even if it’s in jest, is invalidating on many levels. Essentially, what you are suggesting is that she is a less intelligent, less rational and less well-grounded individual than you, which will automatically put any woman on the defensive.
Why Do You have to Be So Dramatic?: Seriously folks, when was the last time you saw a topless grown-up woman painted purple and wearing a Viking hat while cheering for her team in the bleachers? And you call her dramatic!?!? We are ALL guilty of ASB (attention-seeking behaviour), so don’t blame women for all the histrionics when you’re the ones who wail at the first sign of a paper cut, gush over gadgets and lose your cool every time a hat trick happens on ice.
You Must be Getting Your Period: The average menstrual cycle lasts between 3-5 days, so shame on any one of you who pull the hormonal card the whole month through. Yes, women’s emotions may be heightened during certain key times, but there is no such thing as being too sensitive. If you don’t believe us, just take one look at corporate America in the past two years. The recent financial crisis has proven that those allegedly female qualities, like being intuitive, insightful and compassionate, are more valuable in business than ever before. Now there’s one to grow on.
You Look Fine: There is nothing worse than being told you are mediocre and that’s what this four letter word insinuates. If you really want to compliment a woman, raise the bar a little and be specific about what it is that you love about her. “That dress makes your ass look perfect,” "the colour highlights your eyes," or “those boots show off your incredible legs.” Of course, if that is not the case, be honest (gently) and not fearful of the reaction. Good or bad, both are better to women than being plain, old and average.
You Analyze Everything to Death: Yup, it’s how we deal with things, which is a heck of a lot better than living in a constant denial bubble. All kidding aside, women process things differently than men and our way of dealing with difficult situations is through careful analysis, communication and lots of input from those around us whose opinions we trust and respect. Go ahead, give it a try. You might just like it.
Finally, unless you are given the green light in advance, never refer to any woman in your life as Baby or Buddy. We are not your boy toys!