How To Talk to a Woman: 2 Easy Steps Men Need to Know

Are you frustrated by trying to talk to a woman?  Does your honest attempt at communication end up with her being angry with you? Have you tried to communicate, or tried counseling, but it makes things worse? Ready to give up? Have you decided women are irrational and too difficult to understand?  Knowing how to talk to a woman can change your life.

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Problems arise because women and men talk for different reasons.

They are like two computers operating on a different data base: Apple and Microsoft. The bad news is that you can’t change your operating systems. The good news is that you only need to develop strategies for dealing with the differences. Men use talking as a way of solving problems and communicating ideas. Women use talking as a stress reliever, a relationship builder and a way to sort through ideas.

Problems arise when men don’t understand why women talk!

My dad was a mechanical engineer for the Northern Pacific Railway. His job was to keep the railroad functioning correctly. With steam locomotives, the engineer was in front of a large boiler. It had a release valve to release excess steam if the boiler became too hot. This was essentially a large tea kettle. The release valve also made a noise like a tea kettle. The problem for my dad was the engineers hated the sound and they would stuff rags into the valve to quiet it. What could be the result? The engine could be destroyed, and the engineer could have been killed!

Most women are like steam engines. Talking releases stress. Talking makes a lot of noise.

Most men do not understand this dynamic. They listen to what the woman is saying and try to come up with logical, sensible ways to solve the problem. This seems perfectly sensible to them.  This would be sensible if they were talking to another man, but this is a woman!  She operates differently!

Remember the goal: relieve stress.

More talking=less stress

Less talking=explosion

When you make a suggestion on how to solve the problem, it stops conversation.  It is like putting a rag in the release valve of the steam locomotive.

Here are two easy steps for getting the woman to talk.

Step1. Set up a good atmosphere for talking.

  • No distractions like kids or phones.
  • Make a soothing atmosphere.  Light candles, make a fire in the fireplace, serve a favorite beverage like hot tea or wine.
  • Sit side-by-side and make contact by holding her hand or putting your arm around her.Make eye contact as she speaks. Be interested. Nod your head.
  • Make eye contact as she speaks. Be interested. Nod your head.

Step 2. Encourage her to talk.

  • Don’t be too concerned with exactly what she is saying. The purpose is get her to talk, not to run problem solving techniques. Use phrases like:Is there more to the story?Do I completely understand what you are trying to tell me?

That’s it!!!

Caution: Be very cautious about giving advice.  It is probably not needed or wanted.  Only give advice if you have completed Steps1&2. Then you might say:

  • Did you want my input on the problem, or are you good?
  • What she really wants most is reassurance:  you are a good daughter, wife, mother, etc.

REMEMBER: She is like a steam engine. All the talking will be annoying to you, but it is releasing excess steam.

DANGER:If you don’t do this, her steam will build up and later explode.  A woman’s explosion might be a silent treatment, “fine!” or telling you how insensitive you are. This will release the excess steam, but it will damage the relationship.


When should a man give advice?  One man said to me, “It sounds good, but when do we actually get to solve the problem?” I told him the problem with life is that so much of it, especially for women, has no solution. For example, my mother had dementia. She didn’t know I was her daughter who lived two blocks away and I visited almost every day. I understood she had dementia. I understood that the workers had good ways of dealing with her. The problem, as I finally realized, was that I was her daughter and I would never get over my mother not knowing who I was. My husband’s solution of visiting less seemed irresponsible to me.

I finally decided on frequent, short visits when I usually played my accordion. That made both my mom and I happy.

Despite my plan, some days I was upset.  Fortunately, my hubby has learned to live with me in an understanding way.  He seldom gives me solutions.

I remember one day when I came home upset.  I talked for a while as we sat by the fire and drank a glass of wine.  He put his arm around me, smiled, nodded his head and looked into my eyes.  I said, “It’s makes me sad.” What did my hubby say? Not much.  He nodded and he smiled at me.  He gave me a big hug. It was perfect.


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