Men hate to be wrong. They hate being told they are wrong. They hate even to suspect that they might have been wrong. And most of all, they hate it when a woman knows that they are wrong before they know it themselves. And the most interesting of all is this : Men feel that they are being “made wrong” or told they did something wrong when you are not telling them at all.
To understand this mystery of men, we need to look back to men’s upbringing. Men were trained to feel that their role is to accomplish and master the action around him. His inner world of thought and feeling are often neglected. Since little boys, he is taught that their value is determined from his action and achievement. So the boy is brought up with the conclusion that “in order to be good, I have to do it right all the time”.
Little girl are taught as women – to make things better in life, to improve for better. Her job is to make herself more beautiful, to make the house neater, to make a friend more comfortable. Making mistakes is acceptable. She will feel upset when she gets negative feedbacks; but she will work on improving herself as soon as possible. Suggestion and advice are welcomed. That is why so many women like to get involve in self-improvement activities such as reading self-help books, going for counselling, attending seminars and so on. Man, on the other hand, finding the self-improvement activities as admitting that he is not doing something right, and therefore is not good enough.
Men often equate their self-esteem with accomplishment.
When a woman challenge a man’s ability to do something well, it switches on his defensive mode. He interprets her feedback as criticism and judgement, no matter how innocently a woman offers suggestion to him.
Woman asks :
“Why don’t you stop and ask for directions?”
Man hears :
“You are not good. You have lost your way. I can’t depend on you at all.”
Men often have problem apologizing. To them saying “I’m sorry” implies that he has done something wrong and is bad.
Since men often should know what to do, they interpret woman’s feedback or advice as indication that he doesn’t know what he is doing and therefore she doesn’t trust him.
To overcome such misunderstanding, man and woman should sit down and be honest about their feelings. The woman needs to be careful with what she said and re-assure the man that she is not judging him like he thought.
1) Avoid using words that makes a man feel wrong.
Don’t blame, don’t condemn, don’t name call, don’t generalize, don’t make value judgements on his characters or abilities. Just tell him how you are feeling.
Avoid saying something like :
This always happens ! You never know where we are going.
Say something like :
Honey, it makes me nervous when we drive around like this. I know you are doing a good job, but the street address is confusing. I would feel much better if we stopped to ask for some directions.
Don’t say :
You are bad for doing this.
Instead, say :
I feel sad (or hurt etc) when you do this.
2) Sit down and talk
Men love to feel understood. Give him chance to express his feelings about the issue. Let him know that you are not judging him or correcting him, and you want to work together with him.
3) Give him plenty of encouragement and praise
Man likes to be acknowledged and appreciated, much more than we expected. He may deny that he needs it, he might act that he doesn’t care, but he actually secretly likes it.
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.
© 2011 Ingenira
Nessie Swan on June 08, 2019:
WTF. Why do we have to coddle these men just so they don't get their egos hurt. Your tips are ridiculous. If you can't handle being wrong then there's something wrong with you. You should not have to be praised by your significant other or having to avoid words that will make them feel like their wrong. Ladies, if you are dealing with a man that can't handle being wrong, LEAVE.
charlene on July 05, 2015:
i don't think these are good tips
unless, when i as a woman do something wrong
you guys give me the same, praise me and reassure me that what you say don't judge me
it is unnecessary
a man has to know assuming he is right hurts others a lot too
Logan on March 31, 2013:
Men hate it when they are wrong, women throw a fit when they are wrong.
Imelda on January 22, 2013:
I found this article very informative and assuring. I'm glad to know that my boyfriend is not the only one like this. However, I do hate the example of how we should act when we're lost: "Honey, it makes me nervous when we drive around like this. I know you are doing a good job, but the street address is confusing. I would feel much better if we stopped to ask for some directions." Umm, I don't want to sound like some scared little woman (when I'm not) and act like an airhead (which I'm not) just to save his feelings. I know it's just an example, but I couldn't help feel irritated by this.
move2move on February 11, 2012:
I am going to put it that way.
Take your partner the way s/he is instead of constantly wanting to have him/her YOUR way, no matter how "Legitimate" that might sound or appear at 1st for you.
When everything becomes a Men vs. Women and their differences, that actually just shows that those involved have no clue about the mechanism and just badly need the fight to learn. Unfortunately, most people just don't get it and are in an eternal "Men vs Women" Duel!
My girl-friend and I, we are listening each other and do not correct each other on every step of the way as we also have to learn stuff on our own. We leave each other the space that also allows it to work and I can guarantee you, that binds way more than giving constantly energy into a constant "Fight 2Be Bound"
Most people just fail as the indeed, just don't know any better than what they're taught about this.
For my girlfriend and me, it never is about who's right. It's about what's going on and how do we grow here, what can we learn?
Being right ...lol...?
Everything can be proven to be true, you can make/find proves for all & everything and yet be totally Off-Page, not being even close to the truth!
If you have to search a way how to say what you think and feel ... then you're not! And from there, you should not wonder that s/he doesn't get you. Who could s/he?
That might work in TV shows but in real life, another Bell's ringing!
In 4 years of relationship, we never had a fight because we "REALLY" can talk about everything without becoming judgmental to each other! Sure we definitely disagree on many things but we don't strive to agree on everything.
Why should we anyway? Just to "Please" each other? That's what I call not being truthful. And a woman can't be exactly that has nothing to do by my side, same the other way around.
Of course, nobody should take my word for it about my answer! I might be right for my girl-friend and me but that mustn't be the case for you reading this and actually be ... totally wrong!
But it's open to be taken to the test ;-)!
4 year is not a lot of time, but what does the number 4 really mean when you experience your relationship as if you just have met each other yesterday, with the main difference that you know her/him (that's for us now..lol.. :-P..) now a lot better then at the beginning? Some are like you describe, but unfortunately .. so do some women. And on a scale of 100% of what someone can be ... that's a pretty low 1%, at least in my experience. So I can only talk for myself here but know for sure that I am not the only one.
But personally, I rather be totally wrong then pushing on the wish to be constantly right all the time.
Before I'm right, I must have been wrong somewhere ...
And the situation doesn't give a crap about if I'm a man or a woman. And as long I don't get it, slaps keep coming ;-)!
mrrayellis from temple,texas on October 07, 2011:
I really don't think that most of that is true.I.mean for a female to have to search and choose when and what to say just to please our male ego.naw, I feel like as a man we should learn to know when our mate is being helpful. If a man is truly a man then there is no way that he gets upset are even think his mate is putting him down. See, that is part of our problem as men.putting the blame of our faults on women. A true man is able to accept the times that he is wrong.
d.william from Somewhere in the south on August 15, 2011:
Interesting hub. I thought it was kinda cute, but obviously others did not. LOL. As an older person who has observed both sides for many years, those observations and tips you offered can, and should, be used by both men AND women. I liked the premise of the article. Good one.
WMASAW on August 15, 2011:
I have yet to hear a woman confess that she has EVER made a mistake. Maybe one day that will happen. I have my doubts. Meanwhile we have the endless whining of women complaining about men while at the same time time they cannot deal with marriage (instigate 70% of divorce) or relationships(prefer bad boys). Who has the major problems again ?
anglnwu on August 13, 2011:
Great tips. I agree with you on the 'direction" bit--they would rather drive in circles than stop to ask. Rated up.
Rooskaya from USA on August 11, 2011:
I fully agree with you that men really hate to be wrong. This hub relates to the real life. I wonder if this will ever change and if they will ever accept their mistakes. Great tips to avoid such situations. Thanks for sharing with us an excellent hub. I'm voting you up.
Mcham Law from Round Rock, Texas on August 11, 2011:
No one likes to be told they are wrong. Man, woman, child or even the pet dog. The first thing we all need to do is think before we speak. Ask ourselves if the comment we are about to make is useful or helpful or is it hurtful. Just because it is true doesn't mean you should say it.
Alexander Thandi Ubani from Lagos on August 11, 2011:
I pray that i become a good husband in the future and i believe the right path is understanding that you can never be right all the time. Accepting the fact that good understanding and communication is essential is a step in the right direction. I hope to follow your advice. Be blessed
Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on August 11, 2011:
"I may not be right but I am never wrong" Not sure where that came from.
Daniel Boone when asked if he ever got lost in the woods replied"I've never been lost but I was confused for three days."
I am not against asking directions but I usually find that the person I ask is new in town of commutes from somewhere else.Also I usually forget the directions by the time I get back to the car. I am grateful for my GPS although that is wrong a fair number of times.
kalixao from desert on August 11, 2011:
Either let him be in error in silence or take initiative to do it the right way without soliciting his participation, If you tell him how you feel, expecting him to make magical corrections, then he'll start to feel that you're putting him "under pressure", that he doesn't "know what you want". You tell him directly, he thinks you're saying he's doing it wrong. You don't tell him directly, then he claims you're being vague. It's pointless, once the defensive ears are operative in his mind. You're walking into an old argument that doesn't belong to you or to your relationship.
Not all men are this way, and conversely, plenty of women ARE this way, as well. Don't generalize these attitudes to genders; that's how the problem got started in the first place - by associating performance with gendered identity. The risks to face value are exorbitant when you teach your son that if he makes mistake, he's somehow less of a man, for instance. How can he learn, if he can't make mistakes? This is way way too much pressure for anyone.
Many people who have this horrid identity complex about "getting it right" do best by observation, where they can learn at a safe distance and save face. In other, words, they learn better by the examples others set, and not at all by direct intervention or correction. If a person is defensive, the minute you point out any discrepancy or potential error at all, the walls go up. The minute you suggest a change, an improvement, they begin to worry and blame and stall. you say you want to try something different for dinner, they start breathing hard, thinking they don't cook well or they failed to satisfy you. It's ridiculous. And no one wants to admit feeling like this, no one, at any age of any gender.
Give a defensive person space and time, and gradually, those walls may come down and they may finally realize you are not holding them up to some impossible invisible standard. God forbid they actually relax and enjoy their ordinary human fallacies for once. God help them to learn to laugh at their mistakes and accept acceptance of less than perfectness.