Why Is It So Difficult To Deal With Women?

November 17, 2010
Are you a woman, and have you ever thought like this?  Why is it so difficult to deal with women?  Have you ever experienced this?  Have you ever felt that in personal relationships too being friends with boys, while in school or college or work place, was less complicated than girls? 

I think, that on professional front, surely, it is a lot more easier to deal and communicate with men than with women. You can be to the point with them, they don't mind if don't get into a polite talk before coming to the main agenda. But, women being more sensitive, tend to feel bad if we get too officious with them.  They feel you are showing your authority, and hence get defensive.  Not that, this does not happen with men, but I have experienced it less.  Again depends on the educational background and the age group of a man, how he would respond to an independent woman. Keeping in view the    psyche of women, I have always had a softer approach towards them, especially at work place.

Also, since, I am a sensitive person, I like to be sensitive towards others.  I am careful with my selection of words with men, understanding that men have  a big ego, no matter what are they working as.  But had been extra careful with lady co-workers, juniors and seniors.  

I understand that although women and men are equal as far as professional work is concerned, but some amount of sensitive behaviour is required while dealing with women.  So, I do maintain it, always maintained it, till this day, when I am forced to question my choices, forced to question my strange thought process about dealing with women. (By the way, listening to this, my junior, a man, joked that it is men who keep these soft behaviour and courtesies for women! and that he had never heard a woman being considerate for other women co-workers. He had a point!)

Well, a situation which I faced at my work place just 2-3 days back, has made me rethink about my choice of being considerate towards the females.  

The Incident which triggered this unrest in me -

Everybody is supposed to follow certain norms, and if one person chooses to ignore it suddenly, there has to be some reason.  It pertained to my work area, so the polite talk got off the track, when I asked a point blank question to this lady, senior to me, as to why she chose to return the papers without signing them, which she was supposed to read and sign?

The only reason to be so direct was to understand the reason and I had all the right to know it.   It was no done - be it a man or a woman.  

To that question, a man, might have simply replied telling me the reason or his apprehension or his mistake or would have requested to meet me to tell his view point.  But this lady immediately made our office, the drawing room of her home and our  discussion turned into accusation with me feeling like a Bai(!!!)  She turned the official talk into some domestic maid discussion, by adding a personal attack to it (starting with "if you have a problem, then....").  From where did I come in between, I am following instructions given by my boss, and it's equal for everyone.  Nobody had a problem but her. I don't like to argue, but this time I did.  

Needless to say, it left me with a bad taste and set my mind thinking, questioning my choice to be so polite with someone just because of the gender. 

This incident left me feeling very hurt for a few hours.  But I did not share my feelings with anyone, because I wanted to do a self analysis.  I didn't want any sympathy for a senior's rude behaviour, I wanted to understand what made her say what she said.  I took it as a learning.

Understanding the communication patterns:

My conversation, a typical conversation with a male colleague would start with a greeting and I will say what I have to say. No dilly dallying, no worrying out hurting his ego or something.  I am just doing my work, so it should be fine with him, of course I will be courteous while dealing with my senior, but it's point blank, followed by a little formal smile, and off I go.

Now compare it with my conversation with a lady - colleague or a senior.  It would always start with looongish greetings, followed by a little small talk on the dress or weather or children or schools ( huff! I just hate small talk!)  And then, it will be about the work.  (As if work was only an extra activity, we are here for!) Again followed by a large ear to ear smile and a byeeee (as if we are parting for life!) And , huff, then I take a sigh and begin my work. 

You will wonder why do I have to do it, if I so dislike it?  You have a point dear!  But let me tell you, your interaction (I mean if you are a woman) with another woman depends on more factors than the work, or work place.  There are a few things, which I have observed over these few years. 

Don't mind, I am just trying to laugh, so join me  :)

How another woman would talk/interact with you depends on:

Your looks includes dress up - If you are good to look at, one, you can be treated as 'dumb', and two, you are going to deal with some insecure women around!

Overall personality, includes your smartness, your communication skills, etiquette etc- If you have these traits too, you are bound to face tougher challenges, as you fail to fall in the category of "dumb"!

Position in the organisation - Your work profile, your placement in the organisation, or your designation affects other people's interaction with you not just related to work.  But also their personal equation depends on which step of the staircase are you standing on.  Obviously, how so ever smart you look, if you have been assigned a work which does not involve much interaction with seniors, you are much less a threat!

Your rapport with your seniors and bosses - Now this one hurts the most.  If you happen to have all the above traits and then, due to your meticulous working, your positive attitude, your team work, your dedication, you happen to be amongst the well trusted persons of your boss, then lady, you've had it.  Be ready for some fumes!

Your social status - Let me admit that this also works at the background. This factor includes the occupation of your spouse also in some places.

Either be ready for a clash over petty things, or simply be a little smart, and be nice and polite and get going with that small talk.

Having said that, let me clarify, that these factors are not really gender specific.  While women would consider these factors in this order to ascertain how to interact with you, men consider these to see whether to interact with you or not, I mean given a choice!

Also, let me say that women can be real good friends, in fact, I am lucky to have a close friend, J.  The very basis of our friendship is that communication between us is straightforward and have no space for niceties and small talk, we have no qualms about being out of communication for days altogether, we don't discuss other people, and we are honest to each other, at times ruthlessly honest, and we don't mind it, but still we use the three magic words - sorry, thank you, please, in abundance.

Trying to analyse .. well this is loud thinking

I was trying to analyse this situation. (although I am tempted to rant over this!!!!) I think it is more to do with the left brain - right brain theory.  Men tend to use more of their left side of the brain, which is responsible for logical thinking, analysis, facts, etc. and women, generally, tend to use more of the right brain associated with feelings and emotions.  Of course, there are exceptions. 

Lesson Learnt -

But that day, I learnt a new lesson of interaction with women.  No matter what you do, some people don't seem to understand that they are being given this treatment by virtue of their gender.  Today, I am bound to think, was my gender specific treatment right?  Should I have been, in the first place giving ladies a preferential treatment?  The idea was only to have a good working relationship, to have a warm working environment.  

I have been proven wrong, it is not about gender.  It is about the person.  It's not that I was rude with men, but I was to the point with them, and they (I have more men as colleagues and juniors than women) had no problems with it. 

This day has changed my perception of women completely.  Not that, in the past, such things were not thrown on my face - women talking behind your back, women gossiping, arrogant women, women using emotions to get a lenient treatment at workplace, but this is the final straw for me.  When your politeness is taken as a right, you should know how to show a person his or her place!  And I am going to do that.

What do you think?  Understanding women is more difficult than men? Ah, of course I have seen those lists 'what women want' thing!  Is dealing with women bosses tougher too? Is working with women sometimes makes you scratch your head? Do let me know!


PS : Wanna know are you a left brainer or right brainer? try this! :If you cross the fingers of both your hands, forming a loose "Namaste" or the way we fold hands to pray, we tend to put one thumb over the other.  Do it quickly and see! If you have ur right thumb up, you use more of your left brain ie, analytical and the vice versa.  I don't know whether this can be scientifically proven, but I have found it to be true for many people.  It works for me too!

PPS: I am ready for the brickbats now!

PPPS: oops! corrected errors left - right (!) Thanks Vikram Karve!

image courtesy :/www.dailymail.co.uk


Reema said...

ohhh women are really hard to understand and deal with!! totally agree with u!

Vee said...

I don't know how it's with women, but if you have to talk to someone regarding business or as a part of your profession then being straightforward and to the point is the right way. At least I would do it that way.

Personally, I didn't have any problems at all with the women I came across in my professional life. And may be because of this I'm not qualified to talk about this.

Purba said...

Whoa that's some thesis you've written :))
I am a certified right brainer. Most women think with their heart rather than their head. That's where the problem lies.

But I have dealt with some incredibly mature female colleagues, women who I looked up to. So there, it's more about the person's maturity, professionalism rather than the gender.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Reema, hahaha, I am relieved to know this from you!! I am not alone in the boat!

Vee - thanks for your comment. Yeah, man-man talk is simpler at the surface, at least!

girlsguidetosurvival said...

Ah the left brainer right brainer...

You are suggesting you are more like men straight forward thus using your right brain and all other women are left brainers. How come you became right brainer? Ain't you woman or you ain't have any left brain at all?

Desi Girl is an equal opportunity rude; She has a non discrimination policy thus gender is no bar. She can't understand women and there is nothing much to figure out men so no need to waste time on either. DG identifies the problem, delineate the problem to plan the solution and execute the plan. So right brain or left?

There will be some drama queens every where be it at work or at home. They bring their baggage from home to work and then carry the work junk home. They just love to carry it around, if they were to live a day without it they'll go out of their minds. Their baggage makes them feel alive. These are insecure creatures, attention and approval junkies they are adult bullies. They gang up against anyone who is better than them in any way. No matter what you do they'll be threatened. If DG comes to a room be like a wall flower still these creatures will feel insecure. So stop bothering, just make a note in your log about what happened for future references and HR purposes.

About the drama kings, they save it for home cause at work it will be very unmanly to show emotions. The amount of gossip men indulge in is known to DG, who came when, with whom and what is going on in so and so's relationship especially women's is their personal business. If they are in subordinate position to a female then it is even more difficult for them to deal with.Just imagine how emasculated this culture makes them feel. They'll spread malice against the woman.

How to deal with them:
Complement them every now and then. You teach people how to treat you. It is just like dog training, you reinforce positive behavior with complements. You sandwich a hard truth between two lies- Wao you look great, the work you did sucks, but look you are so sporty to make it work...
Have worked with all kinds of drama kings and queens so this is what I learned. Keep them at work don't invite them home. Your friends need not be your co workers. Yes, you do spend 8 hrs with them but you are paid to bear their company. Imagine how releaved their loved ones feel once they leave the home in the morning.

Hope it helps,

Desi Girl


Man that was something amazing. In depth analysis.... U seen to be some expert as far as dealing with women is concerned.
I peronally believe that gone are the days when women were surrounded in "CHAR DIWARI". They have come out of closet and are asking for equality. So if they are so keen on getting their rights(equality) then they also have to accept the norm of how a corporate society works. They want equality in salary, work and all other things but still they want us (men) to treat them in a different way. Now thats what is unacceptable to me. Equality has to be absolute.

girlsguidetosurvival said...


Every time the issue of sensitivity in public place is raised immediately figures are pointed towards women's quest for equality. Can women really claim equality? Are the work places safe for them, are they safe when they travel to work (let us not forget the raped and murdered call center worker http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?342213 ). It came out coz' she was killed, so many women face sexual harassment and sexual assaults while traveling in India) Are men sexually assaulted when they are traveling? Does fear of assault prevents them from taking night shifts?

Do Women get ready steaming hot meals when they return home from work? Are their clothes washes and ironed for them? When they come home late from work nobody questions and bothers them. Children just are happy to see them and in-laws and spouse do a happy dance for them. :)

...So if they are so keen on getting their rights(equality) then they also have to accept the norm of how a corporate society works...

Only if men could treat their partners as equals at home and be sensitive to their being then they'll be sensitive and logical (read human) in true sense or they are just boxed in a male box. Only then the meaning of equality in the corporate sector will have a meaning.

...Equality has to be absolute.

Nothings is absolute until men denounce their male previlege.

Only if men could consider women as humans then we could talk about absolute eqaulity.


Desi Girl

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Purba - thesis!! yeah, kind of :D
Glad to know abt ur experience, yes of course, I can not and am not generalizing anything here. Just writing what I experienced.


Vikram Waman Karve said...

Dear Restless,
Hey, I think right brain is concerned with emotions and the left with logic. Am I right?
BTW, I tried the test - my left thumb always comes on top - that means I am a right brain thinker, heart over head, right?
Await your reply.
A very good write up with useful info.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@Anuragsayz: thanks for your comment.

well, it needs a little more experience and maturity to understand why women have to be given a differntial treatment at certain places, like public transport etc (as I wrote in your blog too). Moreover, rules are not the same for men in women in Indian society, u know that. Men are still not able to give equality to women at homefront, which is like a cycle that goes on.

I could write a whole post on this!

take care


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Desi girl,

agree with ur second comment, almost completely. minus the last line :

"Only if men could consider women as humans then we could talk about absolute eqaulity."

I think, u went too far in this statement.



A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hello Vikram Karve !

Thanks a ton for finding that mistake :) saved me :) Yeah, I typed the opposite, ooopppsss! Now changed it.

Yeah, I came to know about this in a training some time back. As far as I understand, left thumb up means u r a right brainer, heart over head in decisions.

Glad u liked it, I value ur comments and views.



Anonymous said...

True. Its the same with me. I am different with men and women. With women while talking i am soft while with men i tend to sound rude. It just happens. Can't say for sure its the right or left brain thing or not.

Anonymous said...

true, its the same with me too at times. i tend to speak softer while conversing with women and tend to be rude while speaking with men. it just happens. I dont know whether this has got anything to do wiht the right or left thing of the brain.

having said that i would like to add something more too, and this has come out from my experiences from most of my women friend....

women for most part of their lives are frivolous people. they are excessively bored by the seriousness with which men like me treat them. and i have also found that they can seldom resist the bafoon who can make them laugh....

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Desi girl,

I read ur comment:

"You are suggesting you are more like men straight forward thus using your right brain and all other women are left brainers. How come you became right brainer? Ain't you woman or you ain't have any left brain at all?"

(There was an error on my part in writing left as right, have corrected it, and now reading ur comment in the way, you wanted me to understand, ie reading left as right n vice versa!)

Either you have not read the post properly, or you have not understood it.

It was my sensitivity towards women which made me softer towards them. So left brain or right??

By the way, Restless Mind doesnot accept such personal attacking comments on her blog.

Please read the post properly before jumping to a conclusion and writing a comment.


girlsguidetosurvival said...

There is nothing personal about it. It is about making wide generalizations that are never going to be true for all people at all times, definitely for some people at some or most times.

You were or are kind to your female colleagues because you are a kind person or a person who wants to do the right thing and would like to be treated with degnity and respect. It has got nothing to do with the right or left brain. All it has got to do is with doing the right thing. If one is spending too much time on making pleasantaries just because they are interacting with a woman and not a man then it is their personal thing. They have to decide how much is too much.

I am kind or sensitive not because I am a waman. I am kind because I am a human. I am straight forward not because I am like men because that is how it should be with human beings.

I guess here we part...

Desi Girl

Alka Gurha said...

Wow!...I guess women are more complicated...Weather it is emotions, genetic wiring or hormones I am not sure. Interesting post, nevertheless.

Preeti said...

may be because you approach women with a predefined notion ...try treating everyone in same way and with no prejudice and then may be it will be a fair approach ..

if we talk of women at work , i will like you to consider some things ... women are less in number as you start getting up the ladder ... and the ones who are there have to behave like a tuff one otherwise they are not taken seriously .. they might react to certain thngs but what they face on day to day basis make them react in that way most of the time

at the same time men are mostly polite with women on face , so may be you will not face any problem as such ..but watch out for gossip behind your back ..they do it more than girls ..

I personally never had problems in 7 years of work life ..and I am good looking / good at my work ..have excellent rapport with seniors amd have plenty of friends from work place .

Amropali said...

'Have you ever felt that in personal relationships too being friends with boys, while in school or college or work place, was less complicated than girls? '
YES! always. But i was too lazy to ever sit and analyze and now that I have read your post and I can see that most of what u've written is something that has occurred to me now and then, in bits and pieces, and seeing it in black and white just gives me a clearer perspective.

I liked the clarity of thought and the organization of points.
A long but good write.


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Neo - yes, generally men are polite towards women, which tells a lot about them, mostly about their education and all. Rest, is ur view, though I don't agree with it much.

Desi girl,

Left right theory thing, was loud thinking, as I wrote, while i was trying to understand. The lesson learnt is same as what u have written.



A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Alka - Welcome to this blog! Good to hear that, completely agree!

Preeti, good to know that u never had to face such a situation. Being very formal and officious does not go well with women, specially junior than u, they take u just as another woman, and don't accept ur position easily.

Yes, women in senior or middle positions have to get tough, but then again getting tough with men is easy and with women, slightly complicated. Or at least, that is what I faced.

Anyways, thanks, have decided to treat everyone at par now on!!

thanks for sharing ur views :)


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Amropali - thanks a ton dear! Made my day! Really glad to know that u found is useful in some way, and we think on the same lines :)

psst... yes, this post is quite long!

Stay in touch,


Ahimaz said...

With regard to the left/right brain theory, it sounds like just another myth to be busted, perhaps it's already. Deborah Cameron in her "The Myth of Venus and Mars", which I was about to read but had a feeling I already knew the content, deals with the same or similar "conditioning". It's all the wiser to treat both genders equally.

Anonymous said...

Women are born as natural bitches, they live in their own cruel bitchy women world that we guys are not aware of.

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