5 Things Men Will Never Understand About Consoling a Woman

#2. We're Afraid Saying Something Will Make It Worse

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The Situation:

"Why is he not saying anything or at least trying to hug me? I'm obviously in distress, here. I need to talk to someone, or I'm going to pop. Jesus, even showing me he gives a crap at all would be more welcome than this bullshit."

You can tell he notices. He has that nervous look that he gets when he knows there's about to be an argument. He's purposely trying to tune you out. Why would he do that? Doesn't he love you? It certainly doesn't feel like it right now. He cares more about that computer than he does about his wife, sobbing on the couch, all alone. What a coldhearted asshole. That's when you know you're about to burn down this whole fucking house.

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It's the only way he'll learn.

But in His Mind ...

Men, as a whole, are not great at reading situations that are missing puzzle pieces. When we have them all, we're pretty good at assembling them in short order, but if we have to do any guesswork, being wrong has consequences. And we don't like consequences.

This is where we find ourselves in a sticky mess where we're asking ourselves, "When she says she's fine, is she actually fine? Is she afraid to talk to me about the real issue? When she says she needs to be left alone, does she mean it? Or is it a case of her wanting me to follow and press the issue? If I actually leave her alone, will she bring it up as argument ammunition next month?"

The problem is that emotions aren't static. There are no laws set in stone about how any woman or man will act or react in any given scenario. But we commonly make the mistake of thinking that there are. Moods, wants, needs, attitudes, beliefs, levels of depression, and connection ... all of those things change, sometimes daily. And don't believe that there's any guide on Earth that can reliably say, "When your wife does X, you must respond with Y." It doesn't work that way because -- and this may shock some people -- women are human beings.

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No, really, with brains and everything. They even have parts that weren't meant for dick interaction.

Figuring out which response is best, if any at all, becomes an internal battle for a man and many times we end up at, "The least amount of damage that can come from this situation is if I just keep my mouth shut and let her work through it on her own." Yes, there are some assholes out there who just don't want to deal with other people's problems ... but for the most part, we're not being silent out of spite. We're being silent out of fear and defense.

#1. A Woman's Tears Physically Lower Our Testosterone

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The Situation:

"OK, now he's just acting weird. Getting all huggy and emotional with me? He never gets that touchy-feely. Not when there's no possibility of sex, at least. What did he do? I know he did something wrong."

But as your brain tries to talk you into a combative frenzy, you start to relax in his arms and calm down. Holy shit, is he magic? Hell, you should cry more often!

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For dinner this week ... onions. Lots and lots of chopped onions.

But in His Mind ...

Here's the crazy upside to crying around a man. Your tears -- specifically the "smell" of them -- physically lowers his testosterone. Now, almost every site that's ran this story has gone the obvious, buttfuck stupid route where they've proclaimed that a woman's tears reduce a man's sex drive (no shit -- for what kind of fucking psychopath wouldn't it?). But what none of them have pointed out has been this: Testosterone is an empathy inhibitor.

That is to say, the more testosterone a man has in his system, the less empathetic he becomes. So knowing those two factors, the math is pretty simple: Tears lower testosterone, which in turn makes a man more empathetic to your problems. And that's why so many men drop a phat hug when they're around a crying woman. It's the go-to comfort measure for us because it's intimate and requires no life-changing speeches.

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Me make sad-feel go away.

But think about that, ladies. Really think about it and grasp how insane that level of power is. Simply by shedding some saline, you have the power to physically change our body chemistry. It's a manipulation on par with witchcraft, and if you aren't blown away by that fact, it means you've known all along.

You ... haven't known all along, right? ... Ladies?

John is a columnist right here at Cracked with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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