Maybe you wanted a specific gift for your birthday, but didn’t want to come right out and say it. Or you were stuck in an awkward social situation, and wanted him to bail you out. Or you might have been upset, thinking he could surely tell something was off.
Sometimes he picks up what you’re laying down. Other times, he’s blissfully unaware.
There’s actually a good reason why he may not catch your subtle clues.
The reason has nothing to do with whether or not he genuinely cares. It’s not a gauge of his commitment. It’s not even an accurate measure of whether or not he’s the sensitive type.
Nope, it’s genetic differences, pure and simple. It all comes down to the way his brain is wired.
That’s because the male brain is not like the female brain. There are differences in our chemistry, activity, structure, and even blood flow. So how he thinks is sometimes different from how you think.
And sometimes that difference will make it really hard for him to take a hint.
One of the epic differences between male brains and female brains is how we use grey and white matter.[i]
Grey matter is for super-charged focus. It gives you the ability to block out distractions and stay on task. Guys’ brains are naturally good at this, but it comes with a downside.
As one researcher put it, “Once [men] are deeply engaged in a task or game, they may not demonstrate much sensitivity to other people or their surroundings.”
White matter, on the other hand, is for networking. I’m not talking about LinkedIn or Facebook. I mean networking within your mind.
This is where women have an edge.
The different parts of your brain “talk” to each other using white matter. Like, for example, when you multi-task. White matter also helps you notice other stuff going on, even when you’re focused.
You can see the potential problem, right? He’s great at maintaining a single focus, but he may not be as perceptive as you.
All those super clear signals you’re sending? Yeah, he’s probably missing a lot of them.
So one of the best things you can do for your communication with your guy is to stop dropping hints. Instead, TALK to him.
Here are a couple of pointers for making your conversations as productive as possible.
First, when you want to talk about something serious, make sure the conversation is the center of his focus. Don’t try to pull him away from something he’s already invested in. Wait until his mind is free.
Second, when something comes up in the moment, cut him some slack.
Here’s what I mean. Suppose the two of you are hanging out while he’s watching the game with some friends. A comment from one of his friends hurts your feelings. You don’t want to make a scene, so you don’t call attention to it directly, but there’s definitely a shift in your mood.
Because he’s focused on something else at the time – in this case, the game – it’s highly likely he won’t sense how you feel.
Rather than getting upset about his lack of awareness, remember how his brain works. Then go back to tip #1. Later, when there’s nothing competing for his attention, talk to him.
When your connection with your guy is strong, it can be easy to forget how differently the two of you think. But the difference is huge.
Chances are, you’re much better at picking up on subtle cues than he is. The easiest solution is to stop relying on hints. Just talk.
By taking into account how his brain works you can avoid a lot of common pitfalls, making good conversations even better.
[i] Jantz, Gregory L., Ph.D. “Brain Differences Between Genders.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 May 2016.