What he really means when he says nothing
Posted December 14, 2016
Communication issues between men and women seem endless, but one of the most often discussed communications problems is what a man means when he says nothing. The spoken word, “nothing,” usually does mean nothing is wrong, or that he’s not thinking about anything, but what about when he is completely silent? We women, are always thinking about 20 things while simultaniously chatting about her day, but men don't operate like that.
When men say nothing, it is usually for one of the following four reasons.
1. He doesn’t want to make it worse
Our men love us and when we are upset or sad, all they want is to make it better, and sometimes they don’t know how. Their greatest fear in those moments is making us feel worse and so they may shut down and say nothing at alll. Women often perceive a man's silence as a rejection or disagreement, but most of the time, those are not his intentions. If he is silent when you are upset, give him a minute to sort through his feelings and figure out his response, or simply tell him what you would like him to do to help you.
2. He doesn’t know what he wants to say
This can be baffling for women because we tend to have opinions about everything and form them quickly and easily, but men not so much. They take longer to think through everything and so it may take some time for him to figure out his actual opinion. Chances are, he is thinking much more deeply about the situation or the conversation than you are, so just be patient. He will express his opinion when he is ready.
3. He doesn’t know what you want him to say
Most of the time he wants to say the right thing, and if he doesn’t know what the right thing is, then he will not say anything at all. In his mind, it's better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing. If you are looking for a specific answer, then it is best to cue him on what you want him to say, but if you really don’t care, then let him know you sincerely want his true, unfiltered opinion and he will open up to you. If you receive his opinion well, then he will probably be more open to sharing them in the future.
4. He really isn’t thinking about anything
Again, this is hard to believe, but often times men really do sit and think about nothing. This is not a dig at men. We can’t understand this phenomenon because women are always thinking about something, even when we claim that nothing is on our minds. This is a real talent most men possess, so if he says nothing, it is not a sign that he hates you, he probably means that he truly has nothing to say.
Next time your man is silent, don’t jump to crazy conclusions. Instead, help him out, give him time to think and take what he says into consideration. He will be grateful for your understanding and your relationship will not come to a halt because of miscommunication.
Kelsey is a student at Brigham Young University studying to broaden her horizons through the written word. She loves the outdoors, family, car washes and punny witticisms.