My older son’s friend, Jake, who’s 29, and a good guy was talking about what he’s still learning: “When a woman says yes but really means no; when she says no but really means yes; and when, when…does she say yes or no but not expect you to read between the lines?”
Here’s the example. Jake had asked his girlfriend if she minded if he went surfing one day. She said, No, and he went surfing. When he came back, however, she was angry because she couldn’t believe he didn’t really understand what she wanted.
“It sounds a bit manipulative…” I speculated.
“No,” my son interrupted, “Women are like that! They say one thing and mean something else and then get angry we don’t understand!”
That got me thinking about things. Maybe we expect people to read our minds. Maybe we say, “I don’t mind,” when we mind dungloads! Maybe we’re even thinking, “How does he even think I don’t mind?”
Your mind is your mind. Nobody can read it. (Thank goodness!) And you have to say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it meanly. But say it whatever it is. Don’t give the answer you think is right and then get angry because it wasn’t what you really wanted.
The guys are right this time, I’m sad to say. I think because women are not leaning in to stand up for their truth (see an article about Sheryl Sandberg’s fascinating book here). All too many women want to play goody-goody (see my post on that here) to please other people (to avoid the discomfort that comes with not getting approval) and then get upset because they don’t get what they really want.
Think your thoughts through. Then know what you want and say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes. That way people really understand your yes and your no. Don’t speak with hidden meanings–that’s manipulation.
Don’t let your mouth say one thing when you mean the opposite. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it meanly. But say it whatever it is.