The Male Mind
Life can be pretty confusing at times, and trying to understand the motives of men can make it even more so. While women are generally more open with their feelings and emotions, many men (but not all) are something of a closed book with colourfully misleading pictures on the cover.
Despite the differences between men and women, we all experience the same emotions - love, hate, joy, sadness, and the whole palette of mental states that colour human existence. The difference is only in the way in which these emotions are expressed and acted upon.
For example, while a woman who is feeling sad may begin to cry, a man may instead disguise this emotion with anger. But why is this?
As young boys, males are taught by adults and through interaction with their peers that "boys don't cry", and this is just one example of how men are encouraged to hide and disguise their emotions from an early age. While girls are generally given free range to explore and express their emotions, boys are not granted this freedom once they reach a certain age, and this divergence of the sexes continues into adulthood.
So to determine what a man is really thinking, and feeling, you need to look beyond the outward emotions that he is displaying. Of course sometimes anger is just anger, fear is just fear etc. While men may have a tendency to suppress some of their emotions, sometimes it is exactly what it looks like. Hence, if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and flaps its wings excitedly when you throw bread at it, it is in all probability, a duck.
Differences Between Male and Female Minds
There are however also significant differences in the way that male and female minds work which have much more to do with biology than any societal influences. Men tend to be problem solvers - they see things in terms of problems and solutions.
Sometimes women just want to vent their feelings and express their emotions to their partner, but they find that instead of listening attentively he keeps butting in and telling them what they need to do to solve their problem or dilemma. This is because men's minds are hard-wired to seek solutions, and by offering these they honestly believe that they are helping. If you just want to vent about how bad your day at work was and have your man listen, you must tell him that this is the case beforehand, otherwise he will in all probability offer up countless solutions that you just don't want to hear.
Why Communication is Vital
It's also important to remember that men are just as confused about what women are thinking, if not more so. Men are generally less empathetic and intuitive than women. While women often rely on subtle nuances, body language, facial expressions and other signs to read a situation, men have a more straightforward approach and rely on what is actually said. This makes open and honest communication essential in a relationship. In cases where they are adamant that they don't know what they have done or said wrong, this is usually the case, and they would gladly fix it or apologise if you would tell them what it is.
Despite seeming difficult to understand at times, on most occasions a man will explain to you exactly what they are thinking or feeling if you just ask. By communicating honestly and openly in your relationship then you may no longer have to wonder what is going through his mind. And sometimes, if he's just quietly staring at the TV saying nothing, he's probably just trying to watch the football.