How to Understand the Meaning of a Man's Silence
Why Is He Silent?
While some men are considered to be 'talkers', many men tend to be less talkative than women, especially when it comes to particularly emotional issues.
A man's silence may puzzle a woman to the point where it may drive her crazy.
Due to this mystery, she may interpret his silence based on the common reasons that would cause her be silent. One such example is a case where she is upset with him for some particular reason and gives him the silent treatment, perhaps to passive-aggressively punish him.
What a woman may need to understand, however, is that he thinks differently than her.
Although there are a number of issues and situations that would cause anyone—regardless of gender—to be verbally non-communicative, there are two dynamic reasons that can result in a man's silence.
Reason 1: He Processes Information Differently
She may process things within through verbal communication, whereas he may process things in silence within his 'psychological cave'.
This simply means that to work things out mentally and emotionally, women may prefer to "talk it out" whereas men may prefer to "think it out" and "work it out"—alone.
This is the instant in which he may withdraw in silence. These things that he wants to work out and fix can range from planning the supplies he needs to fix the roof, to how he can satisfy his woman who isn't happy.
Silence doesn't necessarily mean disinterest, indifference, passivity, insensitivity or being upset (sad, angry or depressed).
Reason 2: Sharing Feelings Is Hard
“Women often don’t understand how very hard it is for men to express their feelings. It’s very important for a woman not to come to any firm conclusions about a man’s motivation for what he is saying until she discovers what he is feeling.”
—Myles Munroe, Understanding the Power and Purpose of Man
Men can jump out of planes, wrestle with crocodiles and drive at amazing speeds without a hint of fear. But it's a different matter for a number of men when it comes to sharing feelings.
From the perspective of a man, sharing certain feelings may give him an unwanted sense of vulnerability. He doesn't like the idea of giving her the upper hand psychologically.
What Does This All Mean?
With the knowledge of how men process information, and the challenge they have with sharing feelings, women can exercise more patience through understanding.
Some basic ways in which a woman can understand what is beneath his silence is to:
- Ask him what he is thinking and feeling.
- Give him time to share at his own pace.
- Avoid giving him the dreaded ‘silent treatment’.
- Let him know how important his feelings are to you.
- Continue to share your feelings with him, so as to encourage him to do the same.
A man can make it easier for a woman to understand his silence by letting her know a little of what is happening on in his soul. His blank silence can frustrate her need to communicate with him. No doubt, his silence can be deafening.
From her perspective, she feels close to him not only when she hears his logical thoughts, but his feelings as well.
Questions & Answers
© 2010 Shane Brown-Daniels