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Bizarre Behaviour of Men Explained

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I apologize at once if the title of today's post gave you a huge burst of excited optimism, for now I must disappoint you. This is not the Post of Posts, the post that will explain all the bizarre behaviour of all men in general. It is merely a call for your stories of bizarre behaviour that the bizarrely behaving men themselves explained.

As I frequently observe, men are not women, and although they can reason as well as we can--they can do math and learn to read and grapple with philosophy and all those other intellectual things women can do--in some ways their thought processes, especially their emotional thought processes, are quite different. For one thing, most of them cannot read minds.

I find it very odd that most men cannot read minds, and I suppose I should explain that when I say "reading minds" I mean that most men are not as good as most women at interpreting silences and shades of tone of voice and reading micro-expressions. With most men, you cannot just think "I am angry at you" while smiling sarcastically, you have to frown. You have to actually pull your eyebrows down to the bridge of your nose and let the corners of your lips droop and either fold your arms or start waving them around. Otherwise, such men will not understand that you are angry. Sometimes you even have to say, "I feel angry now," like ladies who have been injected with Botox apparently have to do.

Because we so often talk to men as though they were women, with subtlety, meaningful silences, and micro-expressions, we often confuse them. But they often confuse us, too, sometimes by behaving in over-exaggerated ways. There is the man who, for example, drops into conversation the news that he has a girlfriend so many times that you wonder if he is under the impression you are about to grope him. There is the man who introduces you to all his friends, family and colleagues as "[Your Name], She's Just a Friend." There is the man who talks to you for hours and asks for your phone number and then never calls you. There is the man with whom you were always friendly who starts cutting you dead and leaving rooms as soon as you enter them.

Very often, you will assume a man's bizarre behaviour is your fault. I'm not sure that men assume that our confusing behaviour is their fault. I suspect that women are still more given to immediate self-blame than men are. But happy the woman who has the guts to ask a man why he has behaved in a bizarre fashion and gets an honest answer.

With young men, "I don't know" very often counts as an honest answer. At forty, a man should  know how he feels about something and why he does what he does. At twenty, he really might not.

I was going to ask for amusing tales of bizarre male behaviour but that would not be in the man-loving spirit of this blog. So instead I encourage readers to write in the combox of painful confusions that were resolved when the man was asked for an explanation.