Whether you’re dating or in a relationship, at some point you’ve probably said something that made a woman angry. From your standpoint, you were only being honest—honesty is good, right? Or, you were simply trying to make a point—after all, your opinion matters, too. Or, in some cases, you were actually trying to help—isn’t it chivalrous to offer help? But unfortunately, your good intentions went awry. You pissed her off.
Conversation is tricky business. Conversation with women can be even trickier. Why is this? As a man, you have a communication style that you’ve learned and honed over the years, one that works reasonably well with other men or in your everyday life. But when you converse with a date or partner, you’re not only communicating with the other sex, you’re communicating with someone who will assign more weight to what you say. Which means it’s much easier to get into trouble.
Many men think success with women is about one’s job or income. Sure, these things are attractive to many women, but they don’t even come close to ensuring success with them. What does? How you make her FEEL. Do she feel respected and understood when talking to you, or does she feel disregarded and talked down to?
There are many conversational ditches one can drive into when talking to a woman, but most of them fall into three categories:
1. Criticizing Her Tastes or Beliefs
Clearly, openly criticizing a woman is a good way to piss her off. You probably already know that. But there’s a subtle, indirect form of criticism that can also get you into trouble: dogging a woman’s opinion.
For example, a woman you’ve begun dating believes in astrology. You think it’s stupid and tell her so. You gotta be honest, right? And your problem is with astrology, not her, right? Not quite. When you say, “Astrology is stupid,” you’re effectively telling her, “You’re stupid.” Likewise, if you deride her shoe collection or her love of Justin Bieber, she will take it as a personal insult.
Did you ever see the episode of Big Bang Theory where Leonard, a scientist, got in a big fight with Penny because she wanted to see a psychic? He mocked her, surprised that she would trust a psychic. The problem wasn’t Leonard’s skepticism over psychics (not unusual for a scientist); his mistake was mocking Penny for her beliefs.
“So what’s the solution here … never state my true opinion?” you ask. Not at all. You have every right to your opinion; the trick is how you express it. For example, it’s okay to admit you don’t believe in astrology or don’t get her obsession with shoes. But you want to show her that you don’t judge or knock her for being different…
Read more: Dr. Christie Hartman, Good Men Project