These are comments by Alastair and Steve on the post “Men Only Want to Fix Things and Women Only Want You to Listen? Really? (Video)“.
As I interpret it, this video isn’t intended to be a serious comment upon the general character of male-female interactions. Rather, it is a representation of how the world looks through the eyes of those of us who are ‘fixers’, a type that is predominantly, but far from exclusively, male in my experience. Those of us who are fixers laugh because we have had just this conversation many, many times before with friends (usually female) who are looking for a ‘listener’, rather than a ‘fixer’.
This is a sort of conversation that doesn’t usually take the same form with a male. In my experience, the male with the nail in his head is more likely to be the angry venter, looking for someone to share his anger, rather than a person to feel his pain (if you told him ‘I feel your pain’, it would probably make him even more irate).
These are recognizable types of persons and many of us are familiar with them, without for a moment believing that every person must fall into one or the other category, that these things are straightforwardly gendered, or that the types are perfectly and fully expressed in every instance. However, there is a truth to types and to general rules. If we hold them lightly and don’t expect them to do too much of our analysis for us, they can prove illuminating. They reveal loose themes, patterns, and family resemblances within the huge variations of life and persons.
It is also crucial to recognize that this video is about how the world looks appears through the fixer’s eyes, rather than an objective representation of reality. Fixers laugh at the video, but this is because fixers always see nails in people’s heads, whether they exist or not …
You make a very good point. The fixer personality may be more common in men (maybe!), but it’s not exclusive to men. There are fixers and listeners in both genders. The biggest gender difference may be in the kind of fixer approach that men tend to use versus what women tend to use. In my experience, it’s far more women than men who have told me, basically, “don’t feel that way” or “just stop feeling that way.” Come to think of it, maybe they weren’t really interested in fixing anything after all….
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