If men don’t listen how do we tell ’em it sends us nuts

Listen to this...” I say.

“Mmm,” he glances up from the comment page of the newspaper.

“You are listening, aren’t you?”

“Uh-huh.”

“There’s a new study out listing the things that drive men and women up the wall about the opposite sex.”

“Right.”

“And what really gets to women...”

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“Yes.”

“...is that men don’t listen properly.”

“That’s nice, Lynne.”

“Have you listened to a word I’ve said?

He does that soundless sigh that men do and puts the paper on to his lap to indicate I have his full attention.

“Yes, I have,” he assures me. “It was something about a new study, sex and walls. Sounds really interesting.”

To be fair, his version did sound more exciting. (Note to self: Must read that book a number of female friends have recommended called Fifty Shades of Grey. I imagine that would be about painting the study walls)*

“So,” I plough on, “What did you find interesting then?”

“Er... Sorry, Lynne, I wasn’t really listening. What was it again?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Oh, go on, tell me.”

“No.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t listen. It is well-documented that men can only do one thing at a time and you talked to me when I was reading the paper.”

He looks at me: “Are you angry with me?”

“No. I’m fine,” I reply tautly.

“Well, something’s the matter, what is it?”

“Nothing. I told you. I’m fine.”

“No you’re not. (pause) Cup of tea?”

“No. (pause) Thank you.”

“Let me make you a cup of tea.”

“I don’t want a cup of tea. (pause) Thank you. I’m fine.”

By sheer coincidence, the thing that sends men barmy about the fair sex, according the study by Dr Beckmann, the laundry people, is women saying: “I’m fine” when they’re not.

I can only comment: what do men expect when they don’t listen to a word we say?

More than four out of every 10 men (42%) pinpointed “I’m fine” as what drives them mad the most. Meanwhile more than a third (37%) of UK women claim men not listening is the most annoying male attribute and this is made worse when men repeat the last sentence they heard back to their female partner parrot fashion.

The second most annoying female habit, according to men, is talking too much. Almost a third say women talk non-stop, especially when they’re trying to watch their favourite TV show, and it drives them nuts.

Apparently recent research reveals women are reckoned to say an average of 20,000 words every day while men utter just 7,000. In response to which, I should just like to point out much of this imbalance is because men don’t listen the first time.

Now I have enormous respect for men, I married one for goodness sake but he does have his idiosyncrasies. And he alleges I have mine. (He’s right, Lynne. Ed). The top five results for each gender are as follows:

Women, according to men

• Saying ‘I’m fine’ when they’re not

• Talking too much

• Constantly asking what men are thinking

• Winning arguments by crying

• Never saying ‘sorry’ even when they are wrong

Men, according to women

• Not listening properly

• Not putting the toilet seat down

• Toe-nail clippings and beard shavings casually left where they fall

• Their friends

• Hogging the TV remote control

Speaking as a woman – I have no other option – I seem to be one of the lucky ones who always finds the toilet seat down, does not encounter abandoned toe nails or beard clippings, likes his friends, and (except when remote control freak daughter Ruth is with us) has primary access to the remote.

My husband is one of the lucky ones whose wife does not talk too much (My husband asked if he could say something here. I told him not to interrupt); who never asks what he’s thinking – I can usually tell; who doesn’t win arguments by crying; and who would be quite prepared to say sorry if she was ever wrong.

“So we’re both lucky, aren’t we darling... aren’t we..?”

“Uh-huh.”

n I understand Fifty Shades of Grey is not a DIY book at all.

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