One of the walls to relationships is communication. Depending on who you are, you may find your significant other opens up too much, not enough, doesn’t really listen, or just complains all day. This is especially an issue with guys, who are stereotyped as being poor listeners. But hey, a Japanese idol offered some help during an appearance on Music Station.
Minami Takahashi is a former member of AKB48, and was a part of the group’s signature lineup for singles and performances. She also decided to lend a helping hand to guys that are having a tough time talking to women.
Takahashi said there are three simple phrases that will help guys get popular, especially when a girl is talking about her problems.
- “I see.”
- “That sounds like a really difficult situation.”
“When a girl is talking about her problems, these three phrases are all you need.” Takahashi explained, “While it’s a good thing to have empathy for a girl, haven’t you noticed how guys say what their take on the situation, their conclusion is? Why do they do that? I think that’s why they’re not popular with girls.”
If this sounds a little odd or far-fetched, just know that science and sociology are on Takahashi’s side. In a poll of 1,000 women, 53% of them said “listening” was a desirable practice trait in men. Unfortunately, a separate poll revealed that 33% of women think pets make better listeners than men.
And it’s not just women, even men agree that they are terrible listeners. A 2014 study of 2,000 men revealed that men just don’t care about listening to a woman’s problems. The study showed that men will listen to a woman’s problem for 6 minutes before tuning out, but will spend at least 25 minutes talking about sports, entertainment, and sex with their guy friends.
A lot of this is cultural. From an early age, boys are taught to communicate about doing things and less about talking about problems. Girls are the opposite, and view talking about problems as a way to bond and to get to know someone.
It’s because of this that men tend to score low on emotional intelligence tests, which shows how well a person can navigate emotions. For example, if your girlfriend approaches you talk about her problems, she may not be looking for an answer or a plan. She’s just looking to let of steam and for a listening ear.
In fact, that’s one of the tenants of being a good listener. Often times, people will take harsh answers or anything other than a calming “I see” as patronizing and uncaring. It’s as if you are treating them as an annoyance and another task on your “to do list.”
So, if you are a guy and having some lady problems, you might want to take Takahashi’s advice. It’s only back by professional sociologists and scientists.