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How To Get Him To Do What You Want

Men and women really are different.  And I always love learning more about how we can understand each other better.

A while back I attended a talk by Paul McWilliams, LCSW on the differences in male-female communication styles.   And some of what he shared greatly surprised me.

One of his recommendations for women was to use “short speeches,” when you want your man to do something.

He said men can easily feel controlled or dominated.  So, the worst thing you can do is ask him to do something and then stand over him and wait for him to do it… not gonna happen.  It makes them feels too much like they did when their mother tried to get them to do things.  And it brings up that independent/rebellious thing.

He said it’s better if you ask for what you want and then let him take care of it in his own time.  That way he won’t feel controlled by you.

So he suggested, when you want to get a man to do what you want, you should…

  • walk by him …
  • mention it briefly …
  • keep on going …

That way, he can do it, of his own accord, and in his own time, when he’s ready.

So, of course, I had to try this with my boyfriend.

One of his chores around the house was to take out the trash.  So, the next time I noticed it needed to be emptied, I didn’t point it out over and over until he did it like usual.

I asked him to take out the trash once, and then I stopped asking (which was really hard for me).

Of course, I didn’t stop thinking about it, but I didn’t bring it up again.

And what I noticed was … when I stopped reminding him, he started reminding me … that he hadn’t forgotten about it.

In fact, he let me know several times that he hadn’t forgotten, and then later on, he took care of it.

So, maybe he didn’t do it right when I asked.  But, he didn’t forget about it either.

And, I think this way felt better, for both of us.  I didn’t have to keep track of him.  And he knew that I trusted him to take care of it.  And best of all, he couldn’t accuse me of “nagging.”  (I hate that word.)

So it was a win-win for both of us.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Vanessa

    Recently in my relationship, I was feeling insecure and needed to hear positive words of love and commitment. My boyfriend has difficulty expressing his emotions especially when pressured or under stress. So, I asked him if he could write me a love note when he had time. I was able to assert my need without being clingy, needy, or demanding. He wrote me a beautiful and genuine letter that I can always refer back to. Yay for the clear and concise speech.

  • Jairo de Leon

    Well the one thing you don't want to DO is tell your man what to do! Because, it can come across as ordering him around. Some men for the longest time have had a mother who probably told them what to do all the time. The last thing a man wants in a relationship is a person that resembles the sounds of his mother and being told and reminded every second, minute of the hour of the day about something.
    ­> What, I would suggest is do not approach your man directly, because all that would due is come across as a challenge. As a thought — would you do something if you're man approached you in an ordering manner and repeating it over and over? Think about it? We are not that different when it comes to being asked to do something and being told to do something.
    ­> Being kind and using loving words instead of ordering words, would really help. For example, my lordship, my king, just kidding!!! Ha, Ha. On a real note, “Hey honey whenever you get a chance can you help me with________? “Thank you!” Or, “I know you are really busy, can you help me with _______ because I really can't do it on my own.” “Thank you!” Have your man feel valued and respected.
    ­> For the most famous one “The trash” — “Hey throw out the trash will yeah! It not that hard is the least thing you can do in the house.” BIG NO, NO. The healthy way is, “Hey honey! The trash is getting full, whenever you get chance can you empty it out, please!” This should not be said when he is just getting home from a long day of work or when ever he may be distracted by other things. Make sure you have his attention by walking up to him and giving him a hug or kiss then ask him. I hope this helps!

  • Vondie

    Good for you for asking for what you needed and for coming up with a solution that would work for both of you!
    Enjoy your letter. :)

  • Vondie

    You’re right! No one likes to be told what to do. ASKING is definitely better than telling.
    I liked your suggestions, especially the part about “my lordship,” “my king.” :)

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