Why Men Don’t Ask for Directions

(and other quirky male mannerisms)

The male mind. Women find it a strange phenomenon. They can’t figure it out.
Why can’t men ask for directions when they are lost?
Why can’t men read an instructional manual when they don’t know how to fix something?
Why can’t men pore over a self-help book when it might help them enhance their skills?

man looking at mapIt’s an old adage that women are emotional and men are logical. So how come men don’t operate rationally when they don’t know something.

  • Like when they don’t know how to get to where they’re going. What is the big deal about asking for directions?
  • Like when they’re stymied by a new tech gizmo? Why can’t they check out the manual instead of spending hours cussing up a storm, trying to figure it out for themselves?
  • Like when their relationship with that special someone is slowly slipping away, why not read a recommended self-help book?

Well, ladies, what seems illogical may actually be quite logical, if only you understand the logic behind it. So let’s begin with three major operating principles of the male mind.

  1. Men (who let’s not forget started out as little boys) prefer to learn by doing, not by listening to others. This is why boys generally don’t do as well in school as girls. They don’t want to sit still and listen. They want to experiment with stuff, move stuff around, find the solution for themselves. Grown men don’t readily give up this part of themselves. Hence, if they are lost, asking for directions is like admitting defeat. You had to ask for assistance. You couldn’t figure it out for yourself. How humiliating!
  2. Men want to win. They want to be victorious. They want to figure it out for themselves. They will soldier on alone, if need be. So, don’t disturb them by getting them off track. And don’t engage them in a discussion of the problem.  Especially, if you are suggesting a solution that seems perfectly logical to you but goes against their grain. If you pressure him to do it the ‘logical’ way (i.e. read the damn manual already instead of wasting so much time), don’t be surprised if he gets ornery and just wants you to leave him alone.
  3. Men want to be strong. To be dominant. To be independent. They don’t want to be told what to do. Read a self-help book? Nah! It will just make you feel vulnerable. It will tell you what you’re doing wrong. It will tell you how to do things differently. Who needs this? You’ve gotten along fine in your life up until now. Why change? Better to just suck it up, let her complaints roll off your back,  let time pass and things will get better by itself. Or so you hope.

The male mind. Does it feel a little less strange to you now? I hope so. For men and women really do think differently.

Has this article whetted your appetite for more understanding of the male mind?

If so, check out the self-help book
The Woman’s Guide to How Men Think by psychologist Shawn Smith.

© 2014

“The tragedy of machismo
is that a man is never quite man enough.”
Germaine Greer

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