Sunday, July 25, 2010

Men, women and bonding

My friend Raju posted a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal about how men and women have different types of friendships: Friendship for Guys (No Tears!).

Women, according to that article, bond by talking. They share personal information, ups-and-downs and relationship difficulties, bonding over long conversations with their female friends.

Men, according to the same article, prefer to "do" rather than talk; playing sports together, or going on adventure treks and so on.

The article primarily refers to an American population. But I'm wondering if it applies to Indian men and women as well.

My husband doesn't have a all-male buddy gang that takes off for the hills once a year in macho style, but he definitely likes "doing". His idea of a fun day with a friend is "Let's go to the club and play tennis." Or scuba-dive. Or try para-gliding. Or some such thing. We went to Greece on holiday; and all he wanted to do was the 17-kilometer Samaria Gorge trek. Thankfully, he's blessed with a sporty daughter; so the two of them went for a whole day's grueling trek, while I spent the day snorkeling and taking a boat cruise around the island.

We often holiday together with my sister's family. Somehow in these holidays we're always "doing" things. Whether it's Borneo, or Africa or Ranthambhore, we always seem to be up and on the go. This suits the men quite well, although they'd really like to do less wimpy things than shepherd us around in "safe" activities.

Rafting in Borneo. Example of low-challenge wimpy stuff :)

But in spite of all the sporty stuff, my husband isn't averse to "talking" either. He certainly is loads better at talking than I am. I don't really talk to anyone about my personal relationships, or any problems / difficulties that I might have. When I have trouble at work, or want to vent, I call my husband :) But mostly I just think about how to fix the problem, or - if I think it can't be fixed - how to cope with it. If I'm exceptionally hassled, I go to sleep and hope the next day will be better. Or I go off and shed a few private tears in the bathroom. I usually don't call up other women and talk about it.

Maybe I just haven't had a bad enough crisis in life, eh? Or maybe my regular weekly Sunday sessions with mom and sis are already quite enough of a release valve :) This morning the three of us sat around and did the usual laments about maids, traffic, and the lack of civic sense in the city. We discussed exams, children, new recipes and upcoming family weddings. Dad wandered in and out of the room; half chatting, half supervising some masonry work.

None of us did any soul-baring, but this sort of idle morning chat is enough to recharge batteries and let you get on with the week ahead. Quite therapeutic! Can women bond over trivia, then? It would seem so, at least with family.

- Deepa

P.S. My cousin Satish wrote this piece today called Male Bonding (curious co-incidence, both of us writing about the same stuff!!)


nicki18229 said...

Very interesting read that dose make some sense thought I have noticed that when men bond it's over sports or something like that and us woman we bond by talking weather it's cup of chai or something how interesting is that. Thank you for sharing this with us, oh and your photo of rafting almost looks like where I live here in the states.

Sunil said... I know for sure I have more of my mom in me....

Anu Karthik said...

In my opinion, women and men definitely need to talk but about different things :) And also, i think it depends on personality types too.

blr_voice said...

first i love your style of writing, pls do keep blogging.

it's true tat women /girls do bond mostly tru talking & chatting. i could talk with my aunt hours and hours about nearly every stupid thing. Same goes for my younger cousins sisters or nieces.

but you forgot mention that there is one "active doing bonding" thing, which is sometimes much harder than doing sports:
Shopping !!! hahaha
Thats a true female bonding activity!

another thing i have noticed is that men often have their share of talking & chatting while doing their sports. but 1. they dont go into details in their conversations and 2. they dont pass the info. So that we come to think that they dont talk much.

Haddock said...

I think I have to agree on that "doing" thing.
As for the ladies, I think that "talking" thing could backlash during "bad" vibes.
So beware, and those who don't do it are blessed.

Anonymous said...

Men and women think and behave very differently I agree. But apart from this they are also different in the way they are treated.
There are thousands of women around the globe that face extreme discrimination and are subjected to great sufferings .Is it not then up to us to make sure that does not happen??

We have to be the voice for the millions people to PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN in India

. Stand Up Take Action 2010.We need you…

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Anonymous said...

Ahh, i pretty much liked the way you write.. It's first time i read ur blog & could very well connect to ur thoughts, as i'm pretty much the same! En truly conversation with mom are best & refereshing! Cant agree more..

Anonymous said...

Ahh, i pretty much liked the way you write.. It's first time i read ur blog & could very well connect to ur thoughts, as i'm pretty much the same! En truly conversation with mom are best & refereshing! Cant agree more..

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