resolving miscommunication: “nothing” girl edition

yesterday this happened in the comments from one my of female readers:

When I say “nothing,” it means I don’t want to talk about it. Plan and simple. Maybe I’ll want to talk about it later. Maybe it’ll still bug me while I’m not talking about it. But “nothing” means that, for whatever reason, I’m not ready to talk about it right now–or that I know it’s just going to blow over in a few hours and I won’t care anymore.

that is straight up honest and i understand the intent behind it.  lord knows, we’ve all been there.  and by we, i mean i gold medaled in the delivery of “nothing”.  however ladies, if you want to drive your man Silence of the Lambs crazy, then say “nothing” when he asks you what is wrong.

he knows something is wrong, you know something is wrong, everybody within a quarter-mile radius knows something is wrong.  with guys, “nothing” is usually nothing.  with girls, “nothing” is almost always something.

withholding communication has no place in a healthy relationship.  even though your “nothing” means “leave me be for a while” to you, it’s actually a passive aggressive tactic that is completely unnecessary.  it will cause frustration for your man every time.

every.  time.

if you are okay with that, then you need to look a little deeper at why you feel the need to make a power play like that.  because that’s what you’re doing.

saying, “i really can’t talk about it yet” or “give me some time to chill out” is more effective and easier on the relationship.  just make sure you let him know that it doesn’t have anything to do with him.  trust me, guys are more than willing to back off when they think an emotional outburst might be in their immediate future.  but it’s just cruel to leave them hanging with a “nothing”.

if it is a problem you have with him specifically, you are going to have to tell him.  maybe not right that second, but within the hour.  you can use the same phrases from above, but you need to set a timer on your down time.  do not, do not, do not, do not let it go on indefinitely.

a guy would rather be punched in the face with unreasonable, than be left twisting in the wind while you won’t talk to him.  if it’s a legit gripe, he’ll respond…and being freaking relieved he can apologize and make it right.

moral of the blog, when asked, “what’s wrong?”, don’t ever use the word “nothing”.  it’s a lie and it really is passive aggressive whether you mean for it to be or not.

guys, if she will talk but starts devolving into a pile of emotional rabies, do not panic.  read these two past posts for advice on how to handle that:

it starts early

don’t be mr. fixit

ladies, have mercy.  guys have a hard enough time figuring out what you are trying to communicate to them without you lying and refusing to speak to them.  again, have mercy.

guys, how do you feel and what are you thinking when you know something is wrong and she throws out a “nothing”?

ladies, what are some other alternatives you think you could use instead of “nothing”?

what size shoe do you wear?