Last week I had lunch with one of my good friends. We talked. And talked. Talking…we ended up spending at least two hours hunkered over a table at a fast casual restaurant and it didn’t take us that long to eat our Israeli specialties. Then we walked around and window shopped, and talked. Then we went for hot beverages. And talked…

Is it stereotypical to say that women talk more? Or is it just a fact? Even introverts will talk on and on given the right parameters…

Hold that thought…

What did we talk about, you ask.

Movies, books, plays, art/museums. We are both really into all of these things, so there was much chatter about what we’ve done and what we think. My guess is we talked about clothes and beauty products. And we also talked about our families, friends, thoughts and emotions and feelings.

Is it stereotypical to say that women talk about feelings more?

At one point in the conversation, we actually talked about men and talking about “things”. We are both married to guys are similar in certain ways (there jobs are even similar, which given that it’s sort of a niche thing, it’s just sort of bizarre) And neither of our husbands is big on the feelings conversation. My Husband can spend a night out with friends, and learn absolutely nothing personal about the guys unless you consider their opinion on seasonal sporting events personal.

My friend had remarked: “I think it’s changing though. My nephew seems to be more able to discuss feelings and emotions.” She stopped for a moment. “I think.”

So- our first talking point of the day:

Are women naturally more emotive than men?

Which leads us to:

Does society still expect men to be MEN?

and…

Are the young men of todays generation more apt to be more feelings/emotion driven?

Nature vs nurture: Are feelings based people just born that way, or are parental/societal expectations the driving force for what we think, say, act and reveal?

Can we fairly say that one sex is better than the other at emotions?

Can someone be a “feeling” type of person, but still have no desire to discuss it with anyone?

So I’ve thrown a lot of questions at you today. What do you think about any, or all, of what I’ve touched on?

Discuss…

71 thoughts on “I second that emotion

  1. Gotta go with the social influence on this one LA. Prescribed social roles, expected/assigned gender norms = women feel, men think.
    I will never generalize this notion to a clear “all women” or “all men” because change is occurring, but at a slower rate than the established norms we have held for generations. I suppose I would say that many/most humans do not let go of ideals very well which makes most of us stuck within outdated social rules that perpetually get reinforced.

    On a side note, the nature versus nurture concept is such a fascinating one to debate. Does biological sex have any place in determining male/female traits, other than the obvious reproductive ones? Are gender roles determined by sex or are they assigned by society and then reinforced by that same society?
    Oh, the research papers I wrote on this topic. Good times 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I really do love the nature/nurture argument. And I have a lot of thoughts on these topics that I haven’t figured out how to broach delicately so that people can have a reasonable and thoughtful discussion that doesn’t evolve into name calling. But a few people mentioned that my blogs often call for introspection, so I wondered if that was the big difference between male written and female written blogs…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Interesting. I believe that the male-written blogs I follow are not shy about discussing who they are and how that makes them respond to the world. When there is emotion written about it is tempered somewhat, perhaps presented more factually than emotionally??? But they at least don’t shy away from stating that they do FEEL things 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I think women in general talk more easily than men. However, on the other hand it depends on the man. I have two sons. My oldest son, (who is the father of 3 and in his 40’s) can discus a variety of topics but he isn’t someone who enjoys “small talk.” My younger son who is 31 is very talkative. He and I can go on forever about any topic under the sun. He’s a writer and director in the film industry so it’s quite natural for him to be expressive. I’ve had two husbands. First one a theatre major who was more open and 2nd one, a history professor who was not as able to pontificate About every day matters. So I think it depends on the person rather than their gender. I also have female friends who can chat for hours and others who can’t. It just depends on the person.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed that it person specific, because I’ve know men who chat and women who don’t. But…they seem to be the exception. I’m back to the nature/nurture argument though we’ll never have a good answer to that. On a totally emotional side note, how are you feeling?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for asking. I’m just coming off my last chemo and today I’m not nauseous, thankfully. I have one more chemo in a few weeks and I’m hoping I’ll be in remission after that. The goal is that once I’m within normal blood numbers that I begin a lifelong program of medication to prevent the cancer from returning. Ovarian cancer is not curable but it is treatable. I had the BRACA 2 mutation in the cancerous tumors that were removed, which qualifies me for a study to have a pill to treat it in the future. So that is a plus. I still have a long road ahead of me but I am very hopeful. I’m alive, my hair will grow back once chemo is done and then I’m hoping to get back to a normal life again. It’s been difficult and challenging, but I have a fabulous oncologist who I trust. So all things considered I’m very lucky. My youngest son was with me all weekend, my older son takes me to all my doctor and chemotherapy sessions because he lives locally . And my sister spends a couple nights helping me during the worst days after chemo. So I’ve had a wonderful support system. AND my friends have stuck by me bringing me beautiful chemo hats and scarves, some adorable nightgowns to wear after surgery, and send a constant flow of cards and gifts to help keep my spirits up. I’m humbled at how wonderful everyone has been. As soon as chemo is over and my immune system is not so compromised, I can’t wait to meet friends for lunch again! All things considered my treatment is progressing nicely. Thanks again for asking. **Words of advice for women over 50. Ask your Gynocogist to give you a ca-125 blood test with your yearly checkup. It’s not generally covered by insurance but without that test I’d never have known I had cancer. My paps were normal. But by the time my cancer was identified it had spread like crazy. Ovarian cancer is more prevalent in women over 50. At my last chemo session all the women were over 50 and said the same thing. If they had been given that test their ovarian cancer would have been detected early before it spread to other parts of the body. So just a heads up to others out there. ASK for that blood test at your next yearly exam. It could save your life!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I admire your gumption…I love that word and rarely get the opportunity to use it! I know you have tough days, but your general outlook is positive! Sending love!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your last comment there really made me stop and think. I’m pretty sure I’m one of those ppl who feel things deeply and yet have no desire to discuss them. Oddly, it was my husband who kind of encouraged/ forced me to try more…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unreservedly imo women can talk ! Women (some) seem to be able to connect while talking about mundane things. I can chat fairly well, but I like also the long quiet pauses while visiting with my son also. Also I cull alot. Even on my blog, I write and then cull 25 to 45 percent out. I do that with comments especially, I will write a paragraph and then decide TMO and cut it out.
    I say Fabutastic that women can chat for hours but imo don’t want that, and the emotional stuff is shared briefly, in small bursts, and then it is out there but not talked about.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I play it pretty close to the chest on most things, so I really can’t speak on the sharing of feelings. But I think men can be surprising in what they talk about. I don’t have many guy friends, but truth be told, in between the sports and nonsense talk, they actually can dish up substantive conversation about life and love.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I think men gossip often as I noticed in the military and in group settings, they can be downright scary with their observations. I try to be careful with my actions so as never to be misconceived as a female. I have listened to a group of police in the schools and elsewhere and men overseas and I am …hmmm….

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh, yes, I thought you mentioned gossip and I was thinking of a school situation and the culture and was…oh my goodness…and then I thought when I have been the lone female in some pro testerone situations. Perhaps another blog for you. I hope I didn’t get you off track with my gossip.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. In some settings, you never want to be conceived as a loose woman or a woman looking. It doesn’t matter the culture, ethnic group. politics: it is all the same. Not something my girlfriends and I would even contemplate but men in certain groups, yes. What do you think?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think it really depends on influences and exposure as well as what one is like naturally. I’ve always felt like my Hubby is on the more sensitive side and is willing to talk and share without much prompting (usually). He seemed to be much closer to his mom than his dad growing up, so I think that had a huge impact on how he is as an adult. Our son is showing that he is very much like his dad and will be the same, if not more so, as he continues into adulthood. He is pretty quiet naturally, but is willing to talk when he feels he needs it.

    As for all the men that I’m blood related to… forget it. If it doesn’t revolve around sports, random useless facts or somewhat caustic ugly humor, then it normally doesn’t get discussed. The only one that comes even close is my much younger brother and he was raised a little differently than my older brother and I were because of the age gap. Even then, it really isn’t much of an improvement.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I asked husband and he said “90 percent sports as we don’t get women.” Hmm, I have been in some testosterone driven areas, so I will concede with this!In my opinion, some cultures are more blatantly outspoken about women and it is what it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Since my son s in Social Work, he has had to face the fact that men are not considered nurturing or help in any emotional type of situation. People think it is weird that he loves little babies and dealing with young kids. He has been told he wasn’t suitable for jobs because he was a guy etc. So as you said it is person specific, but I still think society has a long way to go and I mean especially women.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Nice to know there are young men like this nowadays. I work part time with at risk young adults. I am shocked at the way they refer to one another and to women. I am finding the job challenging. Until the end of the school year…luckily I like my other gigs. Admittedly, they are termed at risk for a reason.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I think we’re hardwired to notice patterns, and thus use patterns to explain behavior…. And it doesn’t really matter if those explanations are true or false. I guess another way of thinking about it is, we’re lazy thinkers and don’t have the bandwidth to constantly reassess ALL the people/patterns we encounter. So we take shortcuts.

    So yeah, there are prob some differences, but society has prob exaggerated those differences.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I don’t know why they say women talk so much. I literally struggled to get a word in edgewise with Sunshine. He never stopped making words come out of his mouth. Mr B is almost as bad. And I’ve been to 12 step meetings where I was the only female and could not get a chance to share. Men talk a lot around here.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I think talking about feelings involves a great deal of trust and confidence with whomever you are talking with. I have very little of that with people to allow them into my inner most circle.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I think this is the way most men are hard-wired. They’re generally more physical and relate to other guys though sports, etc. If you doubt me, go to a public basketball court some day and watch the number of guys in pick-up games with strangers. I doubt most women would be open to such things. Most of us have to know people before we invite them to do things.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Although I do think women, on the whole, are more chatty, I know a number of men who talk on and on about how they are feeling emotionally. Is it because they are talking to me, a woman as opposed to talking to another man? I don’t know the answer to that one.

    Now, with that said, do men talk more about their emotions while women talk in general about emotions or the emotions of others? Yes, I believe so.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. From personal experience, my sons are more likely to talk about personal feelings than my ex ever was. In fact, ex wasn’t a fan of sharing feelings and even though I tried to help him so that we could communicate better, he’s gotten even more distant and angry but that’s another story.
    My sons and their friends willingly sit and discuss all kinds of things with me about life, love and feelings which thrills me about this generation. But I think there are only pockets of these types of people so far because the masculine power stereotype of old remains. But they’re branching out which is good.
    In conversations with my sons friends though, they complain about the girls of their generation who are acting like the typical guys and not sharing feelings when they are. Interesting isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Omg.yes. I’ve been thinking about how women and heart issues have increased due to women shutting down, and how virtual communication is going to further crush us. I’m still mulling this over but I’m going to write about it soon

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is all generalization of course but I think women have an easier time opening up to other women than men to to other men, especially when it comes to feelings. I’m more of a listener and I’ve always had an easier time communicating with women than men, maybe because I’ve lived with four women most of my life. Generally speaking, most men tend to speak more superficially where women get down to the core of a discussion. It’s an interesting question and I think it depends on the person. I cry at the end of movies, at stories I’ve seen and read, even with some music. It doesn’t bother me And I’ve never been afraid to tell people I love them or show affection, even with other men. Maybe it’s the Italian in me. Interesting post and responses.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Hi LA !
    In general, girls learn to talk earlier than boys, and yes, generally, women do talk more than men.
    Since 1995, the study of EQ began, formally. Lots of books are available on it now.
    EQ, the study of recognizing, tolerating, and modifying emotions, is an intelligence that is taught.
    Ideally, mothers who bond well with their babies become very skilled at recognizing their babies ‘ emotions, and can train their children to be experts at emotion expression and regulation.
    Hopefully, soon the importance of EQ (Emotional Quotient) will be well-known to everyone. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve made me think. Both my daughter and I were early walkers and late talkers (we know that reversed) and my daughter and I tend to have a more “male” reaction to things. I wonder if there’s some genetic proponent to that?

      Like

      1. Hi LA – yes, for sure. These are only generalizations, and many of us don’t fit into those categories. For example, we generally think that men have better spatial skills than women, but then, there are women pilots, engineers, etc.
        And some men talk, and talk…..think of male politicians. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s