Taking things at face value: Why is it so hard to do it? Are women talking in code themselves?

Lately it's seemed pretty apparent, increasingly so, I might add, since coming to this site, that women do have this nasty habit of reading too far into things. They see things that aren't there, they assume things that aren't true, and they ask questions like "what could that mean" when it can be taken entirely at face value.

To give some examples of what I'm talking about I'm going to list off three answers I've given on this site. There are more and there are many more of the one's I didn't answer but in interest of keeping this somewhat within the allotted 3000 letters, I'll limit it to the three I did answer and maybe toss out a link to the search engine after I'm done.

Q: What does it mean when a guy says "You're looking pretty good"? ( link )

A: It means, "you're looking pretty good". He paid you a compliment.

Q: What does it mean when a guy asks "what are you thinking right now?" ( link )

A: It means he wants to know what you're thinking about, especially if you're cuddling.

Q: What does it mean when a guy says "I feel happy when you're around"? ( link )

A: It means that he feels happy. Specifically when you're around.

These are pretty open and shut cases. They really are. But this is only a sample of three. There's plenty more questions equally bad or worse. Granted the search engine doesn't pull up just the idiots but this will help you find them and see my point. Point being, it seems that women just can't seem to grasp it when we say something direct and straightforward. We pay you a compliment, and you analyze it to death, dissect it and pick it apart for any hidden meanings, secret codes, insights or covert messages when the truth of this is very simple; THERE ISN'T ANY!

This behavior is simply neurotic and obsessive and it makes me wonder some important questions about the women who do this.

First off; Why? Why do you do this? Why do you do this to us? Why do you do this to yourselves? Why can't you accept a compliment a question, or a comment for what it is at face value? Why do you so frequently feel the need to assume that we mean something else by it? Why can't you assume it is what it is?

Secondly; What should us men take away from this? What should we be thinking? That we should now assume, that women think this (men being so complicated), because everything THEY say actually DOES mean something else, and that we should start treating them like everything THEY say actually IS in some code? If so where would that get us?

I don't want to believe that, so why not explain it to me.

Oh here are two search results. Give it a try to see what I'm talking about.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Hi Toban. I have an answer to your question. I am a girl. I am open and honest myself, and as a result I take other people at face value. In other words, I trust people to be honest and open with me (as I am with them). 9 times out of 10, this backfires in some way to the extent that I gradually trust people less and less. The rare 10% are my closest friends, and even with them, there are hidden agendas. It is a common human trait to cover up true motives with more noble ones. I think everyone is a little bit afraid of what people would think of the 'real' them. (i.e. imagine if everyone could read your mind...think how many people would still be friends with you).

    The short answer to your question is this: most girls don't take what men say at face value, because most men (not saying all, not sure what proportion, but definitely the majority) will psychologically influence girls to sleep with them by either lying about themselves (making themselves seem nicer/nobler/stronger/etc.etc. than they actually are) to attract the women, flatter the women to make them feel good about themselves so that they will let down their defences, and generally say things to influence the woman to make more effort so that the man remains in power.

    The reason I am so sure about this is because it's happened to me before. Several times. And I always think it's never going to happen again. But it's always nice to believe that someone likes you for who you are, rather than seeing you as a challenge - something to be achieved. It's only afterward when you go through all of the little things that were said, the looks that made your stomach turn that you decided to ignore, the warnings of your friends, that you realize you have been played. Sometimes a guy will even go the effort of fabricating an entire 'friendship' in order to attain his sexual goal. Even if you're in a relationship, you can't guarantee that your boyfriend isn't cheating on you - you might just be his safety net. Really, is that so difficult to believe, Toban? I know plenty of guys who have cheated on their girlfriends because they wanted some sex, essentially because they wanted to groom their ego. It's a pretty widespread phenomenon. And they will lie, make excuses and point the blame anywhere else but themselves.

    I know a couple of guys who are different, one of them being my brother. So I know that there are men out there who are confident enough in themselves not to have to resort to such petty psychological games to boost their fragile egos. I hope that you are one of them, Toban. But then again, I always do.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 5

  • I'm in a listy mood so...

    1. They come here to get advice, because they don't want anyone that might know the guy to tell him she has been asking questions about him.

    2. They've asked their friends what it meant and they told them not to think too much about it, but they really want whatever was said to mean something. And they can come here to get the answer they really wanted to hear, hopefully.

    3. They're boarded and just want to ask something.

    4. They are, in fact, neurotic and/or obsessive.

    5. There is something the guy did along with whatever was said that made them wonder. So they really want to ask about that, but only address the comment for whatever reason.

    6. Why do any research about what guys might say and do when they might like you, when there is a forum like this.

    7. They have done research on what guys say and do when they might like you and they want to make sure that they aren't misinterpreting it.

    8. Puberty can be confusing and people here might be the key to understanding boys.

    9. They don't really have a good support system, so this is where they go or all their questions.

    10. They think about asking a parental figure, but decide against it because they don't want to have "the talk" or they live a strict household.

    • 1: Fair enough.

      2: Still, why do that to yourself? Why not accept it?

      3: Cheap excuse.

      4: Plausible.

      5: Done something like what?

      6: Still falls short of explaining why can't she accept it at face value.

      7: Yeah like we're that hard to understand. (sarcasm) so complex.

      8: Again; because we're so complex.

      9: How sad is that?

      10: Friends, co-workers, therapists, school counselor, spiritual figures (I.E. a priest), bartenders, siblings, whatever...

      (to be continued)

    • Show All
    • Honestly, that is what I can gather from what I have experienced or could imagine. People are strange and if anyone can give a really good answer to why some people over think straightforward comments, they should get a prize. It should also be noted that people lie about how they feel and there are people that make their living off explaining what these fibs really mean. Example- if a guy touches your shoulder or leans into you when you're talking to him, he could like you. continued

    • Does that mean he in interested in you if he does those things, no. I have told guys that I only liked them as friends because I would rather keep a friends than lose a lover. So, I'm sure guys have told me they just thought of me as a friend, but had stronger feelings. In conclusion, it is really hard to take something at face value, when not everyone is telling the truth and we are taught that actions speak louder then words. I hope that makes sense.

  • I don't think it's only about women, I think this site just makes it so convenient for people to not think for themselves.

    • Interesting. Do elaborate on this further.

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    • I fail to see the impending and damning rejection in being complimented. I especially fail to see the rejection in a guy asking to be more intimate with a girl. If a girl sees rejection in this, perhaps this is a statement about how girls think.

    • They're looking for certainty. Some compliments are simply compliments, not flirtation. In the event that they read the situation wrong and put themselves out there, they would be faced with rejection. If someone has a great enough fear of rejection, they're probably going to want reassurance before going forward.

  • Well I have a couple of thoughts you could say.

    I think women over analyze such questions and compliments simply because women are told "men think differently"

    Of course,alot of girls speak in "code" or hints,they'll say one thing,but it means something else,so they assume men do the same.I myself,am pretty outspoken,I don't do "hints" I just speak what's on my mind.But I happen to hang out with a lot of guys,so I don't necessarily go through the crap other girls go through,with over thinking dumb things.

    I also think those girls are maybe hoping for more meaning in way.Possibly.

    I have no clue.I just take things literal.If a guy says my outfit looks nice to me that translates into "My outfit looks nice"

  • It's confusing because men can be very confusing. "Can I get your number? I'll call you." Never called. "I love you." Doesn't. Just wants to get laid. You catch my drift?

  • haha yikes...

    tsk, tsk, generalizations.

    • I realize how it might look like I am generalizing about all women but when I said "makes me wonder some important questions about the women who do this" I thought it was pretty clear that I don't think that all women are like this. That in general there just seems to be a lot and I am looking for insight as to why. If you're not even going to try then don't even bother posting.

    • Show All
    • Indeed. My girlfriend is an active feminist. She and I have had a few conversations on it, on occasion.

    • Anyway... this is starting to derail. You make a pretty good point about this though. You may have answered my question here. I'll give the rest of the people another six days to see if they can come up with something better. So far though, you seem to be in the lead. In the mean time how would you feel about talking privately?

What Guys Said 3

  • The second point is what has me worried. I can tell you this much. No woman is worth stressing over to figure it out. It's about human decency as far as I'm concerned. Being straightforward.

    • Oh I agree. They're not worth stressing over at all. Still I ask the question for a good reason. I mean really these women should really think about this. But yeah man, if any girl starts playing mind games with me or starts faring around like that I just walk away. Nobody is worth such crazy sh!t like that.

  • What?! Why do you ask this question? What do you mean by "code"? I think you're cheating on me!

    But as for being serious, I would think that there's probably 2 main reasons for this:

    1. As was mentioned, a lot of girls do have a tendency to talk in code with their friends. As such, they would assume males do the same (not necessarily the SAME code, though). Hence, under the circumstance that Cosmo magazine hasn't written an article to "perfectly translate man speak", they're going to wonder what it's code for. I understand why this line of thinking would occur, but I think it really doesn't go away without direct exposure (i.e., having male friends or a boyfriend, and having the epiphany that what he said is what he means).

    2. It might trigger memories of past experiences. A lot of girls end up being just plain paranoid after a single cheating boyfriend. She might have taken "You look nice" for what it means with her first boyfriend, but if her second boyfriend says it, then she'll associate it with becoming a jerk and cheating on her. It isn't always necessarily what the statement itself means, but what it means with regards to actions. For a guy parallel, "let's go to the mall" might start out as a girlfriend wanting to go someplace fun together, but after being used for his cash, "let's go to the mall" could associate her with being a gold digger. Same principle.

  • The women that ask these questions, have they been on the site long, or are they all anonymous 1 time users, just here to have 1 question answered?

    Maybe they should have first looked around too see if someone else already had asked their question?

    The site must have a frequently asked question page then.

    • A FAQ page might be a good idea for some. Then again I doubt people will use it. We have a search bar for people to look for their problems. Very few people use it.

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