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Subject: Why do some people want listeners instead of solvers? rss

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Celina
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I think a lot of times people just need to get the rant out, so they can move on and find a solution that works for them. Listening is a valuable skill.
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Billy the Hut
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Problem solving is a great skill, and a gift if you're good at it. However, don't underestimate the value of empathy, and what a gift that is as well.
One need not be exclusive of the other, but not everyone has each.
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Rich Shipley
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stpauler wrote:
The story went on, talking about overcoming Asperger's and how he did it. And in most instances, I totally agree about how socially problematic that would be. But I personally cannot wrap my head around a person who would chose to just complain as opposed to complain, be heard, and then be offered solutions on how to fix it in the future.


If we are trying to diagnose everyone, maybe she is a narcissist.
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CHAPEL
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Notorious "fixer" here. My wife hates it.

I figure, hey why cry over spilled milk, when the best course of action is to grab a towel and clean it up?
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Jasper
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Because complaining relieves stress, and it works much better when someone acknowledges that our frustrations are real? Jumping to solutions makes the complainer feel like their frustration was unwarrented, which only increases their fustration.
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J
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I think this is one of those common "men vs. women" things where we have trouble understanding each other. I am only just now starting to remember to listen and empathize first before offering solutions.
Afaik I don't have Asperger's but the anecdote in the OP could have happened to me just as easily.
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Empathy, listening skills, getting the rant out? Fine, fine. That doesn't change the simple fact that there is little that is more wearying than listening to endless, whiny complaints. The lady in the OP's podcast who "joked" about her husband's Aspberger's? What a crock, she's probably just as fucked up, if not more so than he ever was. I mean, think about it... she "joked" about this? All because he solved her problems when she whines and bitched?

Complaining is a lifestyle choice.If I hear a few complaints from a bride/GF/partner/lifemate/soulmate/etc I'm fine. Second complaint on the same subject and I solve it for her. Still complains after that I usually retort with something empathetic like, "Go tell it to the Marines fer Chrissakes!"

If a guy complains about something more than once I will usually ask him if he needs a Tampon and a Midol.

People who complain when they are younger become intolerable as each year passes. Each day becomes a constant stream of whining about every little fucking thing and a lifestyle complainer is deaf to anything other than nods of agreement and suitable frowns about how "everyone and everything else" is wrong. In addition, CCS (compulsive complaining syndrome) is infectious and will spread to normally well-adjusted men if they live too long with a partner who chose CCS as her lifestyle. The men, when infected, usually sit in webbed lawn chairs in small groups and wonder what went wrong with today's youth. And just about anything else handy to complain about. Just like a bunch of old biddys.
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DWTripp wrote:
Empathy, listening skills, getting the rant out? Fine, fine. That doesn't change the simple fact that there is little that is more wearying than listening to endless, whiny complaints. The lady in the OP's podcast who "joked" about her husband's Aspberger's? What a crock, she's probably just as fucked up, if not more so than he ever was. I mean, think about it... she "joked" about this? All because he solved her problems when she whines and bitched?

Complaining is a lifestyle choice.If I hear a few complaints from a bride/GF/partner/lifemate/soulmate/etc I'm fine. Second complaint on the same subject and I solve it for her. Still complains after that I usually retort with something empathetic like, "Go tell it to the Marines fer Chrissakes!"

If a guy complains about something more than once I will usually ask him if he needs a Tampon and a Midol.

People who complain when they are younger become intolerable as each year passes. Each day becomes a constant stream of whining about every little fucking thing and a lifestyle complainer is deaf to anything other than nods of agreement and suitable frowns about how "everyone and everything else" is wrong. In addition, CCS (compulsive complaining syndrome) is infectious and will spread to normally well-adjusted men if they live too long with a partner who chose CCS as her lifestyle. The men, when infected, usually sit in webbed lawn chairs in small groups and wonder what went wrong with today's youth. And just about anything else handy to complain about. Just like a bunch of old biddys.
Right on!
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Daniel Edwards
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I think an enormous amount of marriages involve this issue. I know mine does.

Its a stereotype, but one that certainly fits us, that a man's immediate response when confronted with a problem is to go through the solutions. When she presents me with one I start to rattle of what she can do it about. In my head I'm being awesome. I'm showing an interest and helping her out.

It annoys the crap out of her. She isn't dumb, she can work out her own solutions. 99% of the time she just wants me to stay "Oh sorry thats really crap" and thats the end of it.

Of course knowing all of this I still come up with the natural response more often than not. Then we fight because I think I'm totally awesome and she thinks I'm being a jerk.

Short version, men and woman are different and stuff.
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I think this manifests itself in different ways with different people.

For example, I'll 'complain' by making a joke about something. I'm not asking for a solution, I can do that myself. If someone starts looking for a solution, rather than sharing a laugh with me (and that certainly happens with men and women), I'll be slightly put out.

This seems to me to only be superficially different from complaining just to vent or get a bit of sympathy, and not a fundamental difference between the sexes.

People shouldn't take others so literally. It's not exactly a deep or complicated bit of human nature.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:


I think I've heard this kind of complaint before from you, do you need a tampon?


Hmmmm.... I think your English skills, while usually excellent, are lacking in this instance.

Complain - to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.

So, typically, a "complainer" is more or less constant. Complaining becomes part of who they are. My post was not even remotely Tampon-worthy. It was more like this:

humor - comical writing or talk in general; comical books, skits, plays, etc.

Actually, I was just fooling around a bit because I personally find the subject funny, but I see you, not being a native English speaker, missed the subtle bits of humor. Unless, of course, you were trying to be funny, in a recursive sort of way. If that was the case I understand. But it wasn't funny.

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True Blue Jon
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This thread is hilarious! What are 99.9999999% of the posts in RSP if not whiny complaints?

What percentage are solutions?
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DWTripp wrote:
Actually, I was just fooling around a bit because I personally find the subject funny, but I see you, not being a native English speaker, missed the subtle bits of humor. Unless, of course, you were trying to be funny, in a recursive sort of way. If that was the case I understand. But it wasn't funny.


Not that I don't appreciate the tips, but my native language is English.

But I assumed the the humour was in the idea of someone, with 90% of their posts here seeming to be complaints, complaining about people complaining.

See the joke I was making is using the idea in your post of hearing a complaint twice meaning someone should be offered feminine products.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Actually, I was just fooling around a bit because I personally find the subject funny, but I see you, not being a native English speaker, missed the subtle bits of humor. Unless, of course, you were trying to be funny, in a recursive sort of way. If that was the case I understand. But it wasn't funny.


Not that I don't appreciate the tips, but my native language is English.

But I assumed the the humour was in the idea of someone, with 90% of their posts here seeming to be complaints, complaining about people complaining.

See the joke I was making is using the idea in your post of hearing a complaint twice meaning someone should be offered feminine products.


Well yeah, but not American English I assume.

Okay, enough fun for me. Everybody is going to agree that forums like RSP are for complaining and it doesn't appear any women are going to show up and defend their virtue. Darn!
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Lynette
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jarredscott78 wrote:
I think this is one of those common "men vs. women" things where we have trouble understanding each other. I am only just now starting to remember to listen and empathize first before offering solutions.
Afaik I don't have Asperger's but the anecdote in the OP could have happened to me just as easily.


It not only can ... it HAS happened to me!

My most memorable recollection of this is a friend, who was stressing about a cross country move and kept listing all these worries that were driving her crazy. I kept offering solutions to every problem that I knew one for. After about the 4th item she broke down in tears and started yelling at me that I was as bad as her husband and just go away if I wasn't willing to be helpful!!

shake

She then gave me a lecture on listening. Which I quietly listened too, then apologized for not realizing what she needed. And noted for future reference that for her saying "I need your advice" really was code for shut up and let me rant at you about perfectly solvable problems but don't offer those solutions.

Ironically one of the things people often tell me is that I am a great listener, but that is when I am listening to oh I don't know... REAL PROBLEMS that don't have easy answers. laugh shake laugh

I have so many female friends who are also engineers I forget that we are a bit weird in some ways.

But when I am with non-engineering women who are bitching about their husbands and one of the women says... I am married to an engineer and all the other women go OH MY, we know how hard that is... and they are SERIOUS... I now have to bite my lips to keep from laughing.

Have I mentioned I hate artificial drama!?!

I find real life has enough real stress without making mountains out of mole hills or anticipating disastrous outcomes out of every possible bump in the road ahead.

In some ways, I am such a guy! whistle
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Lynette
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DWTripp wrote:

Okay, enough fun for me. Everybody is going to agree that forums like RSP are for complaining and it doesn't appear any women are going to show up and defend their virtue. Darn!


Well shit.. there I go not doing what I am supposed to yet again!



In some ways, I am such a guy! laugh
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True Blue Jon
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Meerkat wrote:
In some ways, I am such a guy! laugh


Now don't go degrading yourself!
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Scott Russell
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A better question may be, if you want empathy rather than solutions, why do you keep expecting a solver to offer empathy instead? laugh

(My wife and I have been together 25 years and we still expect that any time now, the other is going to change behaviors that have been very constant......)
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In practise these things can be very hard. But in theory at least, it doesn't seem as difficult as people here seem to be making it.

Put it this way; if some woman came up to you in a club after giving you the eye all night, leaned in very closely to your ear, and said something about how terrible the noise was in here, would you get out a map of the local area and start pointing out quieter pubs she could go to, and ask her why she thought this club was going to be quiet in the first place?

Of course not, because obviously that's not the intent of her question. It might be slightly harder to recognise the pattern in practise when someone just wants to vent about their day (and lets face it, there's probably less in it for the guy in this scenario), but it's not that different a scenario.
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Scott Russell
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It'll probably come as no surprise, but I was never very good at reading between the lines, either, especially in situations like the bar scene described above.
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Why do some people want listeners instead of solvers?

We call them women. Period. End of story.

As a nurse, I am a man in a woman's world. I know it is not PC, but I say this with sincerity. women simply get a lot of satisfaction from bitching. It matters not a whit that their problems are very easy to solve. They don't want their problems solved. It is more important to have a story with themselves as the victim, than it is to fix the problem.
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Lynette
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Koldfoot wrote:
Why do some people want listeners instead of solvers?

We call them women. Period. End of story.

As a nurse, I am a man in a woman's world. I know it is not PC, but I say this with sincerity. women simply get a lot of satisfaction from bitching. It matters not a whit that their problems are very easy to solve. They don't want their problems solved. It is more important to have a story with themselves as the victim, than it is to fix the problem.


Not ALL of us. But in general I am willing to concede the point.

Oh and FYI, I do know guys who behave like this.
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Rusty Blablabinger
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DWTripp wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
I think I've heard this kind of complaint before from you, do you need a tampon?

[...] But it wasn't funny.

I ran his post through a program I wrote for determining whether things are funny, and you're wrong--it was pretty damn funny.
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Clay
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
In practise these things can be very hard. But in theory at least, it doesn't seem as difficult as people here seem to be making it.

Put it this way; if some woman came up to you in a club after giving you the eye all night, leaned in very closely to your ear, and said something about how terrible the noise was in here, would you get out a map of the local area and start pointing out quieter pubs she could go to, and ask her why she thought this club was going to be quiet in the first place?

Of course not, because obviously that's not the intent of her question. It might be slightly harder to recognise the pattern in practise when someone just wants to vent about their day (and lets face it, there's probably less in it for the guy in this scenario), but it's not that different a scenario.


The difference between the examples is intention, which is also important to note. In the bar, they're suggesting a course of action that they intend to be favorable for both of you (unless you're about to eaten by a shapeshifter or whatever). Thus the subtlety can be excused because it's all beneficial. For the complainer, the intention is purely selfish. They don't want to talk to you, they just want to talk at you. The subtlety becomes obnoxious because it's just a way for them to suggest something negative without having to actually say it.
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