Showing Interest Do you sometimes feel that guys and girls, males and females, don’t show that much interest in conversations that take place in our daily lives? I once was kind of called out while talking with one of my female friends about making sure I was listening. I was giving short, simple, one worded answers while she was talking about something quite personal and important that happened to her. I was saying “right,” “yeah,” or “okay,” while she was talking, and I heard her slowing down her sentence before she asked me, “ya listening?”
Men Care All of us talk differently of course and handle conversations in the way that works for us, but there are some stereotypes associated with how males talk and listen to females. While having that conversation with my friend, I could now see how my responses could indicate that I was either not listening or showing no interest at all. This matters because I view not paying attention while anyone is trying to have a personal conversation with you as disrespectful. Being a male could possibly put me in that stereotype, when in reality I was in deep concentration with paying attention to her so that I made sure I understood the whole situation.
Connecting Communication This masculine communication pattern of how men talk comes from our Minimal Response Cues; which Dr. Julia T. Woods defines as “verbalizations such as “yeah” or “umhmmm” in the book, Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture. This theory informs us on why men respond in one word answers or phrases like this; it implies that we show no interest. When I have conversations with male and female friends, I prefer to make eye contact and to keep my responses short and simple, this could be misunderstood as me not paying attention. I do this because I prefer to hear everything that needs to be said before I say my full input about the issue. My talk with my friend, I even said “I’m listening,” a couple times as reassurance to let her know that she can continue her story without having to worry about me paying attention or not.
Always Interested It is true that some men don’t actually show interest in what females might be talking about, but that’s not the case with all of us. With gender, I know that there will be some stereotypes of how males give short verbal responses that can be seen as a miscommunication, then could lead to an argument within the relationship. Relationships will encounter different ways of talking and responding, so instead embrace these differences because at the end of the day, we all talk differently.
Standards of living We’re not born knowing how to survive or interact with others. In my eyes we learn how to survive from the knowledge we gain over time, and we understand how to interact to situations based on what our parents/caregivers have taught us. Surviving and and interaction are connected to how we choose to live our life. Learning how to live comes from how we are raised, but how we are raised is highly influenced by our gender.
Gender Living Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why have I chosen to live my life this way?” Were the choices we’ve made influenced by something in our past that we sometimes can’t remember, and now that something is forever instilled in our identity? When I was raised, my mom and grandma were the main ones I saw and interacted with the most. They took care of me most of my life and taught me some ways of how I should live and interact with others. I was a young male being raised by mostly females, my dad raised me as well, but was at work most of the time. Being raised however, didn’t seem gender biased in my eyes, to me I just saw it as them teaching me the tools necessary to survive on my own one day. In short I was just interacting with them and making memories. We’re all told that there are boys and girls, and then we’re told which one we are. Once we know that we start to live the life of that gender because that is what society says we should do. Be a Man or Act like a Lady, both sexes hear these things but we still don’t fully know what this means. Rules are interchangeable in this gender evolving world, so how do we chose how to live?
Living Social That’s just it though, we just live, and instead we choose our actions. Those actions/behaviors are considered “good” or “bad” based on what we imitate growing up and hearing the responses from the people around us; know as social learning theory. Learning how to live “properly” helped me a lot when my first set of roommates here at Longwood were three females. My way of knowing how to interact with others has always been to be honest and respectful to others. Males or females, it didn’t matter, being nice, respectful, and helpful were some of the main qualities I chose to act on when living and interacting with anybody. Knowing how to live with roommates of the opposite sex isn’t something that is gender based. Instead it is choosing how to interact with others based on our understanding of interaction, and how we were raised. Being social has no relation with femininity or masculinity with me. Just as living with three guys now, nothing is different, just the names and their character.
I Lived on Both Sides I’ve lived and interacted with guy and girl roommates, and honestly I still only see character, never really gender. Biologically I see what you are, that’s nice and all, but I rather know who You are as a person before I jump to conclusions on how I believe you’ll interact with me. I interacted and treated all my roommates equally and fairly because that was how I was taught to socially interact with people. I was taught discipline and respect, not gender and sex.
Hey there everyone, names Chris and it’s a pleasure to meet you all. I am a senior here at Longwood and I am majoring in Communication Studies with a focus in Public Relations. I am member of Longwood PRSSA and I originate from Arizona, but live in Danville, VA. I’m a simple, polite, easy-going guy who enjoys good music and running. Growing up with scouts and wanting to be active, I’ve come to love running and being outdoors.
With communications, I’ve grown to see that I do pretty well with critical thinking and going with the phrase, “work smarter not harder.” My first job working at the cleaners, I saw that a good majority of people constantly enjoyed getting their clothes nice and clean. I worked the front desk when I had to, and later on I was in the back doing the pressing. On the busy days I would have to help out the desk while also doing my job in the back. If customers had a question or a specific way they wanted their clothes dry cleaned, I would have to make sure to tell my boss what they said, correctly, so there wouldn’t be any confusion. Doing my job and doing it right so that everyone is satisfied was probably my main focus when working, as is with anything I do. Can’t have miscommunication in the working world because the consequences can sometimes be too great.
Honestly the only experience I have with gender is just learning about the events I see on media outlets, and then just accepting the fact that, “this is a thing now and it probably won’t go away.” This is my first gender class so I am open to any and all new ways of seeing how others view gender. Gender itself has never really been a problem, issue, or topic with me, simply because it doesn’t really bother or affect me. Hearing things about people and gender, I just take it as them wanting to do what’s necessary so that they feel comfortable with who they are, or want to be. I’ve never had a major problem with feeling comfortable with who I am. I know growing up people, mostly female friends, would compliment about how long my eyelashes were, and that they wish they had them. In short I would sometimes here, “you have girl eyelashes” or “you have pretty eyelashes.” None of this bothered me simply because it wasn’t something to worry about, and so I would just smile and say thank you.