Don’t Argue With a Woman as You Would With a Man

  • Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Fall 2011 Volume 18, Issue 4
  • Download PDF

In case you have not figured this out yet, here are some “Don’ts” when disagreeing with a woman.

  • Don’t Assume She is Basing Her Position on Emotion

She may be emotional in responding to or creating discussion. This does not mean her position is illogical. She may have many feelings as she discusses or argues something important to her. Her position may have perfect logic yet she may feel and express strongly about the topic. Often both logic and emotion exist together no matter the gender.

  • Don’t Interrupt

 Listen to the whole thing before responding. Listen to whether she is using kinesthetic or cognitive language. Kinesthetic: “I feel,” I see,” I hear.” Cognitive: “I think.” If she (or anyone for that matter) is using a certain type of language, use that language in order to respond in a way that makes for easier communication.

  • Don’t Ask Why Questions

 Asking why distances you from “response ability” to the thing being said. A series of why questions may give you time to get your mind around something, but also may be a means of defense void of really listening. In a worst case use, “why questions” places you in the position of judge and jury: This does not make for a working through an issue. Again: “Why this, why that,” is a superior/inferior move and will be resented and is unproductive. . If your routine response is asking why, you may initially win a skirmish or two, but the war will not be over.

  • Don’t Cross Complain

 Bringing up counter complaints incites bickering and fighting where someone has to win and someone has to lose. The looser might be you.

  • Don’t Forget Body Language

 Stay open and allow your body to express your open-ness. Do not move in too close when you get signals that your closeness is unwanted. Do not turn away or use facial expressions that are demeaning. Negative body and facial signals shout contempt without words at the one trying to be heard.

  • Don’t Placate with Phrases indicating Superiority

 “Well, My Dear,” “My Darling Wife,” “My Dearest _____________,” All “sound” positive to the giver of these words, but in a disagreement may sound like false sweetness stabbing at the hearer of these words.



Compliments of Practical Family Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 1676, Appleton, WI 54912 (920) 720-8920

You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute our articles in any format provided that you credit the author, no modifications are made, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you include Practical Family Living’s web-site address ( on the copied resource. Quotations from any article are also permitted with credit to the author and citing the web-site. Any use of other materials on this web-site, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Practical Family Living, Inc., is strictly prohibited.