Michael and I went for a walk in the Bosque on Friday and it was wonderful. The weather was perfect…..no wind, the temperature was cool and the sun was shining brightly. The trees were changing colors and everything was so beautiful. It was a great time. 

During our walk, two older men on bicycles passed us. I overheard their conversation as they were approaching us and as they went past. It was a very deep conversation about their lives and dealing with the disappointment of things that had happened.  I remember saying to myself, “Wow, they are really being very open and honest with each other; something you don’t always see men do.” Then I realized as I saw them disappear ahead of us that they were side by side in their conversation. I looked at Michael and said, “That’s really interesting.” He said, “What?”
 I said, “That those two men would have such a transparent conversation while on a bike ride. You don’t always see men doing that. I wonder why they don’t go get some coffee and sit down and talk for a while about their lives.” Michael said, “That’s not what men do; that’s what women do. If you want to get a man to talk, the best way to do it is by getting him involved in an activity where he is side by side not face to face.”

That’s when I realized that he was absolutely right. I started to think about all the times when he and I would be in the car (side by side with him driving) and he would share all kinds of things with me; deep, intimate things. If we go out for dinner, he likes to sit beside me instead of across from me. This makes perfect sense now.

You see, when women want to talk, we go out for coffee and sit, face to face, and stare at each other and tell each other all of our secrets. This is comfortable for us. We like seeing the emotion in the other person and connecting with that. Men don’t feel comfortable seeing emotion in another person. Because emotion is an electrochemical reaction to a stimuli and surges through our muscle mass, men feel it in their body more intensely than women because they have a larger muscle mass. Doing an activity of some kind helps to dissipate the emotion so it doesn’t feel as intense. This allows them to become more focused on solving the problem instead of just talking about it.  That was evident in the two men who were on their bike ride.    

If you want to see the men in your life talk more intimately, try the side by side method while you are involving them in doing something. You might be surprised by what happens in your conversation. Men and women are different and that’s a good thing…..

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