‘Don’t try to fix it. I just need you to listen.’ Every man has heard these words. And they are the law of the land. No matter what. From “It’s Not About the Nail”
Jason Headley wrote, directed, and stars in a brief spoof about “fix-it” communication called “It’s Not About the Nail.” Watch below:
To fix or not? The stereotype, of course, is that in communication between heterosexual mates, the man tries to fix a problem, while the woman just wants to be heard. But did you know that sometimes it’s the other way around? Or that in same-sex couples, there is still often a fixer versus a processer?
Some possible solutions to this predicament:
- If the party who needs to talk starts off by telling the other what he or she is seeking, things have a better chance of going more smoothly. For example: Okay. I want to talk to you about something, but I don’t want you to fix it.
- If you’re the other party, however, and you find yourself facing the highly challenging (though less than usual) circumstances of absolutely knowing that there is a fix, e.g., there’s a nail in your head, ask if it’s okay to offer your solution before proceeding. Maybe you’ll get a go-ahead—especially if you and your partner aren’t already burdened by a history of unproductive communication.
- If, on the other hand, you’re not permitted to point out “the nail,” your partner will have to accept responsibility for remaining unnecessarily oblivious.
- And at some point down the line it might be your own turn to initiate a talk. Honey, it bothers me when I see you in pain and you’re unwilling to work on solving the real problem…I want you to listen to me about this—and I want you to fix it.