Men Are Talking
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus! An inocuous cliche meant to illustrate that men and women are different, or more specifically that we communicate differently! If only I had a writing partner of the opposite gender so that this blog post could compare and contrast! Alas, I’m just a guy and, in all fairness, I can only speak with any authority on the male half of this particular subject! So, if you will indulge, I’d like to explain how men communicate (at least in my experience). It boils down to this: Every man will communicate with other men in one of four ways; Concurrence, Argument, One-Upmanship and Insults.
First, Concurrence! This is the only time when the discourse between men is consistently civil. We agree with each other! Thus, we will offer, in turn, points supporting the premise upon which we agree or give our assent to the points offered by another! Allow me to provide you with some sample dialogue to illustrate this particular mode of male communication!
There’s not much else to say on this point! There are times when men agree! Conversely, there are times when men disagree! This usually begins as cordially as an agreement, and in good friendships or “polite company” will remain so. However, when the argument is heated, or the personalities of the men involved in the argument clash, it will usually devolve into another category of male communication, namely “Insults”… or into physical violence! But let us not assume that insults are exclusively the domain of men who do not like each other! Even between friends, it is not uncommon to hear a barrage of insults. For this example, I’d like to share a conversation that I will not admit to taking part in, but I will assure you that it actually happened…more or less! Well, the gist of it anyway… perhaps over the course of multiple conversations….anyway!
Now, let me be clear (to borrow a phrase), these three men are friends…and are still friends afterwards! Insults just seem to be a part of male communication. As much so as One-Upmanship!
One-Upmanship, for clarification, is the practice of a male telling a story about something he has done/witnessed or performing some physical feat of strength/skill only to be followed by another male telling a story of something more extreme that he has done/witnessed or performing a bigger/better physical feat of strength/skill. This usually goes back and forth until one male is unable to tell a better/more extreme story or is physically defeated or otherwise injured. Essentially, it is a slightly more evolved version of rams butting heads or lions roaring at one another or gorillas pounding their chests! It is the means by which a group of men establishes their hierarchy. This pecking order is often determined by arm wrestling contests and/or the telling of “drinking stories” or tales of sexual conquest! It is by these means that even the lowliest individual in terms of objective success in life can maintain his value and standing among his peer group! It is the equivalent of ancient man saying, for example, “Yes, my cave is small and smells bad! Yes my woman is larger and hairier than yours! And yes, my fire is small and weak! But remember, I killed that sabretooth tiger with my bare hands, ate all of its flesh in one sitting, and look how its hide makes a most elegant cape! Not to mention how its skull now serves as an awesome mug!”
Concurrence, Argument, Insults and One-Upmanship! All communication between men falls into one of these four categories! And if you think it doesn’t I challenge you to say so in the comments… where I will be more than happy to Argue with you…and probably Insult you while I’m at it!
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