Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.
Make Them Suffer
Why Did I Say That?
Women (and men) can say the stupidest things. Neither men, nor women, have an upper hand, when it comes to saying stupid things. We all do it. We say things we don't mean. We say things we wish we could take back. Sometimes we just say things that make no sense. Everyone miscommunicates, misspeaks and says stupid things. Why do we do this, and what do we really mean?
Women are at a disadvantage. Women speak about 20,000 words every day. Men speak about 7,000. Women have nearly three times more opportunity to say something stupid than men. Unfortunately, many women take the opportunity to all new levels.
Following are some of the stupidest (or misleading) things women say, what they really mean, and how to best respond.
You can also read some of the Stupid Things Men Say
Nothing is Wrong
If you've ever talked to a woman you've probably found yourself asking the question, "What's wrong?"
Usually, you aren't asking the question blindly. If you are asking a woman what is wrong, it is because something appears to be wrong. She may look angry. She might be crying. She could be throwing your stuff out on the front lawn.
Whether you are a man or a woman, and whether the woman in question is your daughter, your best friend, your wife or your mother, if you know a woman, it will happen to you.
You see a woman in distress. You ask her what is wrong.
One of the stupidest things women say is,"Nothing." As in,"Nothing is wrong."
This is clearly a lie, and often a manipulative statement. Of course something is wrong. She wouldn't be stomping down the side of the road, if nothing were wrong. She wouldn't be curled up on the couch crying, if nothing were wrong. She wouldn't be slamming cabinets and throwing things around the kitchen, if nothing were actually wrong.
Clearly something is wrong. People in general, and women, more specifically, often do themselves a huge disservice when they are not honest. When a woman says that nothing is wrong, it can mean several things, the least of which is that nothing is wrong. That is not usually the case. If you can see that something is wrong, then there is probably something wrong.
She might mean that she is upset and she doesn't know why. Perhaps something upset her, and she can't put her finger on it. Maybe she had a bad dream, or remembered something upsetting, or saw something that triggered a negative emotion. This is the closest to nothing being wrong. She is upset, but she doesn't really know why. There isn't much you can do, in this particular case. An upset woman, who doesn't know why she is upset is nearly impossible to console. Your best bet in this instance is to ask her if there is anything you can do to help. She might just want a hug. She might want you to make dinner. She might want you to go away. Ask her what you can do, and then try to do that thing. In the least, you could give her a hug and say, "I understand." Even if you don't understand, it might help ease her mind.
A woman might say nothing is wrong, when in fact, everything is wrong. In this case, she probably doesn't even know where to begin. She might just be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster that is her life. When you ask her if she wants to talk, be prepared to be inundated. In this case, she might be more communicative, as she begins describing a litany of things that are actually wrong. Be careful not to take it personally, even though you might be on the list of what's wrong. She probably just needs to vent, so letting the venom erupt is the safest course of action. Just listen. If you try to offer any suggestions, you might find yourself on the receiving end of the tirade. Let her talk, cry, shout and rail against heaven and earth. After about two minutes, her emotional tirade will slow and the tidal wave of emotion will ebb. Do not offer suggestions or help. This will only make things worse. Listen, nod and say nothing.
A woman who says nothing is wrong might mean that there is a lot wrong, and if you were really a good friend, or a good husband, or a good boss, or whatever your relationship with her, then you would automatically know what was wrong, without having to ask her. You cannot win, when someone expects you to be a mind reader.
Although this behavior is unfair in relationships, it is not uncommon. The answer, "Nothing," in this context, is usually manipulative and immature, at best. A woman who answers in this manner knows why she is upset, but doesn't want to communicate it. She may be dishonest with herself. She may be trying to manipulate you. She may be playing games. In this instance, the more times you guess, and are wrong, the madder she will get. Unfortunately, it is not usually easy to determine if a woman truly doesn't know why she is upset, or if she is just trying to manipulate the situation.
When a woman says that nothing is wrong, and she refuses to communicate further, but she becomes angrier with your inquiries, the best thing you can do is to ask if there is anything you can do to help. When she says no, then flee the situation. She will likely erupt on any unfortunate soul who wanders into her path.
Nothing is wrong
Do I look Fat in This?
"Does this make me look...?"
The question comes in many, varied forms. But beware. It is all a trap. Women are very sensitive about their appearance, even when they say they don't care what they look like. They care. Women want to appear attractive. Even when women say they don't care, they care.
So when a woman asks you if her pants make her butt look big, or if her shirt makes her boobs look too big, or too small or lopsided. Or if she asks if her new haircut makes her look old. Or if her new outfit "works." These questions can all be traps. They must be answered with sensitivity, compassion and not a hint of humor or sarcasm.
When a woman asks if her pants make her butt look big, it is because she is feeling fat. It doesn't matter if she is fat or thin, muscular or skinny. It doesn't really matter if you are her main squeeze and you love her butt. She wants reassurance that she doesn't look as bad as she feels.Even the most beautiful and shapely women have moments of insecurity.
When a woman asks you any one of these questions, regarding her appearance, don't be brutally honest. It is not advisable to say, "Actually, those pants are way too tight, and your ass looks huge. I'd wear something else." This is not what she wants to hear. If the pants, or the outfit, or the haircut looks okay or flattering, then reassure her by saying, "You look great."
If, on the other hand, the pants really do make her butt look too big, or the shirt is too tight or the haircut looks terrible, then you must employ a great deal of sensitivity and caution. Honesty is usually a good policy, unless you are talking to a woman about her appearance. Self-preservation demands tact over honesty.
So if a woman in your life asks your opinion on her appearance, and she really looks bad, then proceed with utmost caution. Tell her it looks good, but suggest a better option. As in: "Babe, you look great. But I really like your blue jeans better." Suggest an outfit that makes her look hot or something you know she's comfortable in.
Whatever you do, be gentle and tread lightly. The minefield of a woman's appearance is dangerous territory, and joking has no place there.
Does this make me look fat?
Do You Think I'm Pretty?
Again, the question comes in many forms: Do you think I'm pretty? Do you think she's prettier than me? Do you think I'm smart? Do you like me?
The question reveals the inner insecurity that most women live with, but not every woman voices. Women want to be valued. They want to feel special. They want to feel smart and pretty and funny. In fact, the woman you are with, whether she is your friend, your girlfriend, or even your employee or boss, wants to be the best damn woman you've ever met.
She wants to be the smartest, the prettiest, and the funniest woman you've ever had the pleasure of hanging around, working for or being married to. Whatever your relationship with a particular woman, she wants to be the best one in you life.
When she feels like someone in the vicinity is cuter, or funnier or smarter, then her discomfort and irritation begin to take on a rough edge, and you could be in for a bumpy ride.
Women want to be reassured that you value them. They want to feel special and different and just a little bit better. Even if it isn't true. Even if you aren't interested in her, or you don't work for her, or you don't want to be friends, and even if, (and maybe especially if) she isn't interested in you, she still wants to feel special. She wants to be the best damn woman who has ever rejected you.
So when a woman asks if you think she's attractive, or smart or funny, your best bet is to tell her that she is beautiful, a genius, and hilarious. If she comments that she is plain or boring or dumb, correct her with the same comments. Sure, it might be disingenuous. But you will make her feel better.
And before you get all offended about honesty and communication and telling the truth, remember. This is an article about the stupid things women say. Many of those stupid things are the result of deep-seated insecurities that are held over from the past. If you don't really think she is smart, pretty, funny or whatever, you don't have to lie. But you should figure out some other way to get yourself out of the situation alive.
I'm Just Fine
It's fine. I'm not mad. I don't care. When a woman says any of these things, be wary. Usually, these words are code for, everything is not fine, I'm pissed off, and I care very much. If you are having an argument, or are making weekend plans that don't involve her, chances are, you are hearing code words.
Sometimes, however, when a woman says she's fine, she actually is fine. Or when she says she's not mad, she really isn't mad. Or when she says she doesn't care about something, she really doesn't care. Once again, the wisest course of action is to tread lightly. Pay close attention to her body language and facial expressions.
When interacting with a woman, you must be situationally aware when these types of phrases emerge. What is happening between you and does the air feel charged with electricity or is everything feel peaceful and calm. Pay attention to the signs. Heed her body language.
Does she look angry when she says, "I'm fine?" Are her arms crossed, her brow furrowed, or her jaw clenched? If yes, then she is probably not fine. If she says she doesn't care, but she is crying, then she probably does care, very much. If she says she isn't mad, but she is throwing things or stomping or otherwise physically expressing frustration, chances are, she's mad.
How does one react when faced with those, and similar statements from a woman? The first step in responding is to be aware. Be aware of the conversation you were just having. Be aware of her reaction. Be aware of her unspoken communications. Once you are in the present moment, and aware of her true, although unspoken feelings, then you can respond appropriately.
Next, assess the relationship. Is she controlling you with manipulative behavior, or are you planning to spend another weekend, hanging out with your friends and ignoring her? If she says she's not mad, when you've decided to hang out with the guys, playing poker and watching basketball, make an honest assessment of where you are. Maybe she wants to spend time with her girlfriends or her family over the weekend, and she really isn't mad. Or, maybe she had planned a fun weekend with you, and now she has to cancel. Maybe you have an open relationship, and she doesn't care if you text old girlfriends because she still talks to all her ex-lovers.
Be honest with yourself, and be honest with her. A woman deserves your honesty, and it will help her feel secure in her relationship with you, whatever that is.
Not Tonight, I Have a Headache
I have a headache. I'm having my period. I don't feel like having sex/hanging out/talking. Some women use those excuses to get out of things they don't want to do, but sometimes, it is a legitimate complaint.
First, consider if the woman in question is actually on her menstrual cycle. Hormones can wreak havoc on an otherwise sane female. It's not just the hormones either, although in and of themselves, they are sometimes devastating in their assault on the female psyche.
There is also the mess of the cycle itself, along with the fact that it's just plain tiresome to deal with.
But, that singular excuse aside, if a woman in your life is acting bitchy, or doesn't want to be intimate, and she blames her menstrual cycle, then consider for a moment that she might be telling the truth. Maybe what she needs is a hot bath and a glass of wine. When you provide her with what she needs, she'll be putty in your hands later on.
If, however, this is the second or third time you have heard this excuse in the last month, then there is probably something more going on. You may need to take a different approach.
If she is blaming her bitchy behavior on her cycle, but she never gets over being nasty, then perhaps she isn't being honest with herself. This sort of passive aggressive behavior is seen in women who are afraid, for whatever reason, to be honest about how they feel. So they are mean, and then they apologize and blame it on their "Aunt Flo being in town for a visit."
The woman in question might just be an immature bitch. Or, maybe she's tired of you and she doesn't know how else to communicate.
If she doesn't want to have sex with you, and keeps bringing up her period, then maybe something else is going on. Maybe she is tired of you asking for sex all the time. Could it be that she is tired of you jumping on, getting off, and forgetting about what she likes? Maybe she needs more intimacy before or after the act.
If you have had an intimate relationship with a woman, and things suddenly change, then it's time for a conversation. There. That's it. You both need to be honest about what you need and want. If you or she aren't mature enough to have an actual conversation about what you want and need in bed, then maybe you shouldn't even be having sex.
The Bottom Line
There is an old joke about a man who rubs a magic lamp. When the genie appears, he offers the man a wish. The man wishes for a bridge to Hawaii, so he can drive there whenever he wants. The genie explains that the magnitude of such a bridge would make it impossible to build.
"Okay. Then I want to know how to understand women," the man responds.
"Exactly how big would you like that bridge?" the genie asks.
Women are not easy to understand. Women aren't always deliberately trying to be deceptive or manipulative creatures, they are just exceedingly complex. Anytime you deal with a complex system, wires are bound to get crossed, misunderstandings are likely to take place, and frustrations are sure to grow.
Sure, some women are bitches. That's a fact. But for the most part, women try to be as sane as possible, given all the complexities that come along with being female.
Perhaps the best course of action is to not control the woman in your life. Let her grow and flower and flourish. And when she says crazy, stupid stuff, just ignore it. Don't take it personally.
Above all ask for and give honest communication. If you expect her to take responsibility for her emotions and words, then perhaps she will be more honest and responsible. Or, maybe she will move on, to someone who lets her get away with saying stupid stuff.
How to Understand Women
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Deborah Demander
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 22, 2020:
Thanks for your comment Carrie.
I've learned, over the years, to be quiet when I'm really angry, or I will definitely say something I regret!
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on April 18, 2020:
Thank you for sharing :) I, for one, am famous for saying "nothings wrong " or I am fine. It has nothing to do with manipuation on my end, maybe some other women do. I can get so angry and if there is no reason I usually just fess up that I am upset and I dont know why. If there is a reason and I say I am fine, it means I am so angry that if I speak I will say something I will regret. My husband knows this by now. Also, I do ask my husband about dresses, but I just ask does it fit me well? God knows I have to shed weight and my husband is honest about how something looks on me. But you right :) It is almost always a trap.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 12, 2015:
Thanks for that, Pop.
And I agree with you. If something is wrong, talk about it.
breakfastpop on April 09, 2015:
You are very wise and honest. My advice is simple, if something is wrong talk about it. It doesn't mean you have to be a psycho, but talk about it.Up, useful, interesting and awesome.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 08, 2015:
You are a smart man. And she is a lucky woman.
Thanks for reading.
Deborah Demander (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on April 08, 2015:
Thanks for the thorough comment. I appreciate your feedback.
And I think you are correct. Many people get pissed off when they have to ask for what they want. And then they are resentful when they get it.
Thanks for the insight.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 08, 2015:
There are some questions that are best left unanswered.
One of the joys of being with a person for a number of years is the ability to read between the lines and understand the real question behind the question. It's a talent I am slowly learning and it sure helps. :)
dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 08, 2015:
Comedian Sam Kinison once said: "The truth ain't never kept a couple together. It's lies that keep people together!"
Do I look fat in this dress? No way! You look hot!
Not tonight, I have a headache being said over and over again could also mean she's cheating on the guy.
Some women find it difficult to have sex with two guys. If they're cheating they'll gradually stop having sex with their mate/spouse.
You said: "Women aren't deliberately trying to be deceptive or manipulative creatures." However I suspect (some) women are!
The stereotype we see portrayed in soap operas and reality shows must have come from somewhere! I've personally known of one woman who determines whether a man loves her by how many hoops he's willing to jump through or do things (he doesn't enjoy) just to please her!
Another characteristic common for both men and women is being resentful after getting what we asked for!
It's a cliché to say: "Ask for what you want."
However deep down we're angry because we had to ask! Therefore our getting what we asked for his bittersweet. It wasn't (their) idea and therefore it didn't come from their heart. It was done to simply "appease" us.
If you told your man this morning that he never buys you roses and he brought you home a dozen after work this evening it's unlikely you'd jump for joy. We want (them) to come up with ways to please us.