Monday, October 3, 2011

No Carnival Job For Me: I Can't Read Minds

My upbringing was heavy on the estrogen. With 4 sisters and a strong line of women who were not afraid at any point in time to tell me how they felt, I was spoiled when it came to verbal communication. Over time I developed a knack for finding bits of conversation that I could work with to deduce what my sisters, mother, and girl friends were thinking. But I'm going to admit something here that men should hear. I will never get the job at the carnival that I've been hoping for. I'll be stuck cleaning up elephant poo, growing a beard, or putting back on some serious poundage. Why? Because tea leaves tell me nothing and I don't own any tarot cards. I have no Gypsy blood (I wish I did) and no crystal ball. I am also not a mind reader.

Believe it or not, it's pretty simple. I don't need you to get in touch with your inner anything, but if you're going to express some sort of non-verbal cues, how about a little heads up for those of us who aren't tuned into your brainwaves? When my friends have something on their mind, they say things like:
1. I am frustrated. 
2. I am sad. 
3. I am excited. 
4. I had a really shitty day. 
5. Something isn't right, I don't know what, and I don't know why. 

I don't have a single solitary clue as to what men are thinking at any point in time unless they are looking at my breasts or actually saying "Angie, this is what I'm thinking."  When I admitted this on Facebook this morning, I received a couple of comments from my guy friends, and one response that said, "Then your super powers suck because every other woman I've met has been able to tell what I'm thinking. Sometimes just based on the inadvertent direction of my gaze." I would bet that gaze was directed at a set of boobs or an ass. 

Funny, the guys in the office have been humming the Wizard of Oz song all day, "If I only had a heart/brain/nerve". Timely?  

Come on guys... tell me there's more to your thoughts than sex, food, drink, and sleep.


Jennifer Fabulous said...

I'm with you! I really have no idea what goes on in those strange heads of theirs! I grew up as an only child, so I really had no exposure to the opposite sex (other than my pops, who doesn't count, haha). Even now, after living with my boyfriend for three years, I still have no idea what he is thinking or how his mind works.

If you find this out, please let me know. ;)

Azra said...

haha, y'know what Angie, as much as men complain about women and what women "want", they're no better. In fact, they may just be even more complicated than we are - purely because they're supposed to be the non-complicated species.

Left Coast Guy said...

I'm still a little confused. Am I giving any non-verbal cues?

Why don't you just ask what we’re thinking or what we think about as it relates to your point of curiosity?

I wont insult your intelligence by saying men are simple but perhaps you presume from a false assumption. While I do have sex on the brain in cycles of about ten second intervals, I often think about the meaning of life or the nature of galactic expansion. Sometimes it makes me sad or sometimes confused or puzzled. My point is why would I burden you? Unless you ask, of course.

If we are having a discussion my state of mind usually mirrors the tempo and expressiveness of my words. I will grant you that people sometimes conceal what they are feeling and display a face more poised for their goal, whatever that may be. But this implies deception and its been my experience that this isn’t the majority of people. If your new neighbor pops round for sugar but you actually think he has the hots for you, why not ask? If you are discussing something you think a male coworker is not ok with but is even faced, why not ask him?

It is not by any means incumbent upon the woman to ask “what are you thinking” or “how do you feel?” But it is in the nature of the man to remain silent. It is sometimes necessary to pull it out of him if you are truly interested to know. Still, some men will talk and others wont. In that case any woman is absolved from the necessity of trying.

Its normal, even for me, to hold feelings in quietly. If there is something you want to know, you must ask. We are not usually trying to make you guess or exasperate you. Sometimes we don’t know how to climb out without a rope.

Becca (aka SMC) said...

There is more...but who can make sense of it... I will take superficial answers for $800. Saves me a lot of thinking.....

socialassassin said...

You forgot thinking about acts of un-necessary violence and stupidity. Which, in my case, is the same as thinking about sex....

wagthedad said...

You know what I hate? When women in my life assume they know what I am thinking. Oftentimes it's when I'm thinking about how I want to download a slasher film or something, i.e. something completely not related to my mood or relationship.

Then the assumption comes:

"What are you mad about?"
"I'm not mad."
"Yes you are."
"Why would I be mad?"
"You always say that when you're mad. Look, I had a hard day, too. You don't have to act like a dick."
"How was I being a dick?"
"You had that look."
"What look?"
"You know what I mean."

Then it goes on and on until I really AM mad, and have found something trivial to be mad about. Then there's a fight. Then I start assuming that my significant other just wanted to get into a fight to let off some steam, which is totally not what I am into.

For me, the appropriate question would be "Are you mad?" and then when I say "No" that the response be believed.

Men are into way more things than booze, sex, food, and sleep, it's just that there are a whole lotta women out there who don't want us to be into our own thing, or even something other than the holy trinity + 1, but rather, what most women want, when they want men to be "into" something other than those four, is that the man should be into exactly what the woman wants them to be into at that point in time.

If we're thinking about downloading a slasher film or how cool it would be to rearrange the furniture in the livingroom, and the woman wants to talk about what we should do on Saturday night, she could give a rat's ass about what I'm thinking, and even less about how I might want to express it.

Anonymous said...

Angie, of COURSE we think about more than sex, food, beer, and sleep. Sometimes we think about football and monster trucks too (often at the same time, or in any combination with the other four). And power tools. And sometimes construction equipment and how cool it would be to drive a bulldozer into that wall over there.

We're very shallow creatures, really. Most of the time we're not thinking anything important, so don't bother asking. And if, on a rare occasion we are thinking about something important, most of us will tell you what it is without you needing to ask.

Oh, and...what wagthedad said. That was a great answer.

Angie said...

I think you can see that most of us are admitting we DON'T know what you're thinking. I try not to assume anything about what is going on in your heads, but if you look perplexed, pissy, or sad... I'm going to ask. How about instead of "nothing" you could actually say... "I'm thinking how cool it would be to drive a bulldozer into that building over there, but I am unsure where I would get a bulldozer."

You'd be surprised how many times that would actually satisfy our question. Hell I might even help you with the plot. We're not that different.

Believe me... I'd like to talk about something cool once in awhile and while blowing shit up isn't probably going to be the first thing that comes to mind we enjoy the break from thinking about how our asses are getting bigger, what we're going to make for dinner, why little Johnny seems to be infatuated with showing his butt in public, and how to keep your interest in bed.

Juliette said...

I think where women will verbalise things they are feeling men don't necessarily feel they have to, or want to unless it's relevant or important.

I believe women do see themselves as mind readers to some degree, which is why we disbelieve the answer given to us when we ask.

What I really want to know is do men really have sex on the brain in cycles of ten second intervals? I thought it was a lot more than that.

Leauxra said...


Boyfriend looks pissy and sad. I sit next to him and snuggle up. "What's up?" I say.

Boyfriend, "Huh?"

Me: "Is something wrong?"

Him: "I don't know."

At this point I ask if he wants to have sex and everything is better.

Angie said...

I believe the 10 second interval thing, but I'd like to get some more feedback on that from them too.

LOL Yeah it usually works.

Gorilla Bananas said...

If men are keeping thoughts in their heads, that's probably the best place for them. 90% of all thoughts are fatuous, anyway. And curiosity killed the pussycat.

Paula said...

I have a hard enough time figuring out what I am thinking much less what anyone else is thinking, whether it is a man or a woman.

Angie said...

I might have always just been looking for some sort of conversation. Maybe I don't want to know the gory details of what's going on up there. :)

Same here... I suppose that's another reason I like to hear what's going on in other people's heads. It takes the pressure of figuring myself out!

wagthedad said...

The thing is, we don't mind talking about what we're thinking about. I just have had the experience often enough that what I'm thinking about is really not that interesting to a woman. Very often I get the feeling that I'm only being asked to be polite, and to open the conversation, so that SHE can tell me what she wants to say.

At least that's my justification for all the times I'm really enthusiastic about talking about something important to me and I either get cut off or she doesn't listen.

And I know a lot of guys like that. They don't always talk about their interests or thoughts or whatever because they don't feel they're being listened to. And when they complain about it they get told to suck it up, that they don't care about her thoughts/problems/issues (i.e. suck it up), that they're being aggressive (shut up and suck it up) or that they're being passive aggressive (shut up and suck it up).

I don't mean to be rude, but I have rarely been in a relationship with a woman where I genuinely felt like she was really interested in who I was or how I felt, as opposed to only being interested in who she is and how I felt about that.

See the difference? I know it sounds misogynistic, but I've been around for long enough to know enough men who really DO talk about their feelings A LOT.

They just don't do it as much with their wives/girlfriends because they don't feel that it will be accepted. It makes them vulnerable, because they're taking a big risk.

And when that thought/feeling is expressed, and ignored, or belittled, then you make that vulnerability go away because what the hell is a guy gonna do, cry?

Angie said...

I can see where that might happen. I've met a few shrews in my life that only ask what's on another's mind so they have a jumping off spot to talk about their own thoughts.

I can also understand why being vulnerable seems risky. And please don't cry... not unless you do the single tear man-cry with an emotive face but no sobbing. Man-bawling is as ugly as Woman-bawling.

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