It seems that men don’t listen to women and that this might have an explanation. One of the most difficult situations to deal with in an interpersonal relationship between men and women, is that apparently men do not pay attention to what women say.

If there is not a good ability to listen to the other, communication becomes complicated and creates problems.. If this causes so many conflicts, why don’t men listen to women? Apparently, there’s a powerful reason behind this.

The scientific reason why men don’t listen to women

In any interpersonal relationship it is important to listen to the other. In relationships of friendship, partnership, work or family, we know that communication must be two-way, that is, one speaks while the other listens, deciphers the message and sends a response.

When one of these points is not met, communication is ineffective and lends itself to misunderstandings and frustrations of all kinds. That’s why it would be important for this to stop happening, but It’s very common nowadays for men not to listen to women.Why is that?

Possible causes of why men don’t listen to women

This is one of the most complex issues in relationships. If on the one hand it is said that women speak a lot and on the other they speak little. How are we going to communicate? If in order to fix our problems we have to talk and listen and they don’t do it, how are we going to solve all those conflicts?

This topic has been the subject of several studies. Many of them from psychological, neurological and social perspectives. It seems to be one of the most complex situations and one that has taken the most time for scholars to try to come up with a definitive answer. To try to clear up this dilemma, these studies have asked men what their reasons are for not listening to women.

1. Women talk a lot

It is well known that women speak more words than a man in a day. In various studies where men have been asked why they do not listen to women, a high percentage of them have replied that it is because they speak very much and very quicklyso in a few minutes they stop paying attention.

2. They feel attacked

Men often feel that they are being scolded when a woman speaks to them. Although this is not necessarily the case, the men stated that the tone of voice, the themes and the way of speaking, make it seem that what is being said to them is a reprimandso they feel attacked and one way to protect themselves is to stop listening.

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3. The subject has already been spoken about on other occasions

When asked why men do not listen to women, they have answered this. They state that when the topic is first addressed, they pay attention. However When they come back to the subject, they tend to lose attention very easily.because they have the feeling that it no longer makes sense to continue the discussion.

Scientific theories about why men don’t listen to women

Despite these possible reasons, there are some scientific studies that attempt to explain this problem in greater depth. This is one of the most common problems in the proper process of interpersonal communication.so social scientists, psychologists and neurologists have been concerned to investigate this phenomenon in depth.

There are basically two main theories that address this situation. It seems that this has finally shed light on why men do not listen to women, which may be reason enough for women to become less frustrated with this situation and for this to lead to fewer problems in relationships.

1. The woman’s voice timbre

The most popular study on the subject talks about the timbre of a woman’s voice. The University of Sheffield in the UK did research into this and explains that humans decode sound emitted in different ways according to sex. Men’s Brains Decode Women’s Voices Like Music.

This means that the voice of women vibrates in a wave frequency very similar to those of music, resulting more complex to decode as it has more nuances. This involves more work on the brain which, after several minutes, ends up exhausting it because it is not only decoding the message, but also the sound itself. This ends up making it difficult to understand the whole message.

2. Fewer social skills

Another theory about why they don’t listen to women has to do with social aspects. Due to biological issues, men are predisposed to have less language and communication skills. In general, they have less capacity for empathy and social skills.

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This generates a reluctant and distant attitude towards discussions and conversations with a woman. After a few minutes, your attention is scattered because your brain abilities can’t get enough attention for too long. Usually what they want at that moment is to end the conversation.

What do you do to make a man listen to a woman?

Once we have understood the possible causes, we can act. This must be a commitment on both sides. The goal should be to improve communication between the two and that the talks lead to problem solving.. This requires effective communication and an effective approach to situations.

On the one hand, women may be more willing to have less extensive, i.e. concrete, conversations. Think and plan a little beforehand what to say and do it in short, direct and clear sentences. Search for a time and place with few distractions and create an atmosphere of calm and relaxation.

At the same time men must have a greater willingness to listen. First, the ability to be empathetic must be developed in order to understand that what is being said is important. Ask questions if something is not becoming clear, look her in the eyes, look for a comfortable position, but not too relaxing and eliminate distractions in general.

Another attitude to develop is to be open and honest.. If at any time the conversation is going off course, you should resume your course calmly. Sometimes we must have the diplomacy to ask for time to clear up, get up, take a break, so that when we return we have the initiative to take the subject.

If both of you are willing to do your part and change certain attitudes, you will surely get better communication. While the causes of why men do not listen to women may have a biological and neurological origin, an open and willing attitude can greatly contribute to alleviating this situation.

Bibliographic references

  • Anthony Mulac, John M. Wiemann, Sally J. Widenmann & Toni W. Gibson (1988) Male/female language differences and effects in same-sex and mixed-sex dyads: The gender-linked language effect,Communication Monographs, 55:4, 315-335, doi: 10.1080/03637758809376175.
  • Lim, J. W., Paek, M. S., & Shon, E. J. (2015). Gender and Role Differences in Couples’ Communication During Cancer Survivorship. Cancer nursing, 38(3), E51-E60. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000191.