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How to get through to a man

  • Story Highlights
  • Expert says women need to learn how to talk to men
  • Expert says tell husband he's right, but you're doing it this way
  • Let men think they decided to take up some task by helping them
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By W. Bruce Cameron
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( -- If he bristles when you try to comfort him, tunes out when you want him to do something, and refuses to admit when you're right, use these proven strategies for communicating with men.

"Let me get your power drill"

Suppose you want a man to do something for you, and you've asked him, oh, a thousand times. He's promised he would, which is what's so frustrating -- if he flatly refused, at least you'd understand why he isn't taking action. He doesn't want you to remind him about what he needs to do, even though he keeps forgetting.

Don't ask him to do a specific task ("Fix the drip in the shower") but to be in charge of solving the problem ("The leak in the shower is driving me crazy"). Offer to help him ("Tell me what tools you need, and I'll go get them for you"). Men love to show women their tools.

"Wanna dance?"

The best way to seduce a man the first time is to let him know you're interested -- but not easy -- with the word maybe.

Maybe you should get together, maybe you'll have a drink with him, maybe you'd like to see his place. There's enough yes in maybe to keep a man from feeling rejected and enough no to keep him challenged.

If it's a long-term relationship, the approach is different, but you'll do well if you still think of it as a dance. Get him to snuggle, kiss, and play but once you are there, let him take the lead. Whether it's a date or your 30th anniversary, a man likes to think it's his idea.

"You're 100 percent correct"

It doesn't matter what you're arguing about -- he just wants to be right. This is his weakness; you can use it like judo, turning his own momentum against him.

Saying two little words, "You're right," is the verbal equivalent of darting a raging elephant with animal tranquilizers. It gives him what he wants, reducing tensions and leaving the way open for you to get what you want. Try it: "You're right, but I still want to go to the party."

Meet every protest and argument he makes, no matter how ridiculously false, with the observation that he is absolutely correct ... but you still want what you want. In boxing this is called rope-a-dope, and even if you don't know what the rope part means, the dope part sounds pretty applicable. This is called win-win -- except you did and he didn't.

"What a manly sweater!"

Men like receiving compliments because they think it means that you are going to have sex with them. This can make complimenting a man awkward, no matter how straightforward you are about your intentions.

He'll reach this same conclusion if you (a) say "good morning" to him, (b) smile at him, or (c) ignore him, so you might as well go ahead and compliment him if you want.

And maybe you are sleeping with him or would consider it, so what are the best ways to get your message of appreciation across? Simply put, we want to hear words that sound masculine. Telling us you think our sweater is "handsome" is a way of saying we're manly, while a "cute" sweater sounds like something worn by a female schnauzer. Giving a compliment is like giving a gift: Don't make it about what you would want, make it about what he wants. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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