The communication between the Hunters and the Gatherers
About 4 years ago, Daniel and I started dating. At that time, one person was a third-year student, extrovert, active, talkative, who could talk to anyone; and the other was an audio engineer working for Panasonic in Singapore, without many chances for communication with many people, introvert, quiet, reserved. We were like two poles of a magnet.
I had a habit of sharing everything happening during the day to Daniel, and every time I asked him:
- “How is your day?”
- “Nothing fun except the most interesting moment is when I listen to your story.”
This did not really affect my ability to continue talking. But the difference was clear: one of us was a WOMAN, the other a MAN.
What does that mean?
Once upon a time, women were the gatherers, and men were the hunters, that’s why our methods of communication were different.
For women, we take care of the family, we gather food, we cook, we worry about the survival needs for the family, so we have to pay attention. This attention directs toward everything around us, the details, the signs because we have to remember everything precisely; this it put here, that is marked there, this tree gives fruits in this season, this flower is edible, this mushroom is poisonous, this can be put here and inside there, etc.
And to ensure our family can survive even during danger, the women need to SHARE this information to others. Because if we remember one single detail wrongly, it may be disastrous for the whole family’s lives.
The hunters, they have been programmed for thousands of years in their instinct to hunt. They focus to find a solution, get the meat, bring it home, and hope to see the joy on everyone’s face at home for their achievements, because when the women are happy, the men know they have won and recognized.
Well - today’s society has changed, but the instinct still exists.
That’s why I usually snuggle next to Daniel to share stories of everything, the what, when, where, why, and how. Simply because of the women’s logic, they think that the men need to understand all those, I want him to know everything I learn. While what he needs is “the main point” and “what could he help me with”.
The factor that helps harmonize our very different ways of communication is understanding: he understands that sharing is my basic need, it is my way of bring him into my life. On my side, I understand he cannot focus too long on the mess of stories that I have in my head, that even language refuses to explain; he doesn’t talk much not because he doesn’t respect me, but simply because he is designed as such, and if it’s not me, he would still behave the same to any other girl. There’s nothing to be disappointed about. We must find ways to learn each other’s language, to have better harmony.