Why Should I Listen?

So what does it mean to “Listen” to a woman? How can I possibly do it as nothing they say seems to interest me? What’s in it for me if I were to become a better listener? And why do they need me to listen to them in the first place?

Listening and being listened to for women is an ancient survival mechanism. When all of us were members of a hunter-gatherer society, there was never a guarantee that when a woman’s man went off on the hunt that he would ever be heard from again. So men were a very iffy source of security for a woman, who needed security in order to raise her children.

The survival mechanism that women created was to get in tight with the other women in the community. They did this by doing things together: cooking, gathering, grinding the grain, and gossiping and sharing food. They were doing all of the basic things necessary to create interpersonal relationships. If they hadn’t done all that, there wouldn’t even be anything called civilization because it was women that created all of the interpersonal skills. Talking and listening became their thing. They had to be good at it in order to survive.

What they did was build up a deep well of good feelings among the other women through their talking and sharing. Then, if the dreaded day came when their man didn’t come home, they could draw on that good-will by going to the other women for what they needed: food, shelter, clothing and protection.

So if it weren’t for talking, listening and feelings, none of us would be where we are today. The chances are good that we wouldn’t even have survived as a species. In other words, all of this is good, not negative. Since talking and being listened to represent security to women at a very primitive level, and since security is their “prime directive”, needed for raising their children which guarantees the very existence of the human race, it makes sense for every man to learn how to listen.

For men, I think that our prime directive is to have “peace and quiet” in our home lives. We hate the moods, the sarcasm, the arctic temperatures and the icy silences. So you want to learn how to listen because, “If mama ain’t happy – ain’t nobody happy”.

We men can focus on a goal. We’re the hunters remember? We’re good at locking in on a target, blocking out everything else and zeroing in. So now that you know what the goal is, a little sanity in your life, you can use all of your hunting skills to become a world-class listener. A hunter focuses on the target, he doesn’t allow anything to distract him, no superfluous thoughts enter his mind, and he can remain still for long periods of time. Nothing else matters except the goal. That is a description of an excellent listener.

The rewards are phenomenal: A happy woman who is more than glad to share herself fully and completely in every way. This is the women that most men dream of, and it’s all within your reach.

©2010, Irv Engel

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One's life has value so long as one attributes values to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion., - Simone de Beauvoir

Irv Engel is a successful salesman, builder, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loves to sing, dance and is currently taking an art class to learn water color painting. He is the creator and coordinator of the Relationship Training Course for Men. This book, The Real Deal: A Guide to Achieving Successful and Real Relationships, is the result of hundreds of hours spent writing down the lessons learned in a lifetime of marriage, divorce, re-marriage and raising four kids. He hosts free telephone conference coaching sessions in the evening or on weekends.The conference is a good way to find out about relationship coaching and to ask any personal questions around your own relationships without risk to your money or your privacy. E-mail him for phone number, access code and schedule. Irv and Monica live in Lake Forest, Calif. They have eleven grandchildren. They have celebrated their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

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