Men’s Selective Auditory Problem (SAP)
If you are observant and even if you are not, you have to notice that men and women hear differently ~ which probably accounts for communication problems some of the time ~ well, much of the time ~ OK ~ most of the time.
This auditory malfunction may be triggered in childhood when little boys make all those whhrrrrrr and brrrrrrmmm truck noises when they are involved in the concentrated effort of maneuvering steel trucks bigger than they are. They are totally ‘engaged’ trance-like in what they are doing. They hear nothing but their own noises. It’s a male thing.
Little boys take longer to come when they are called. This happens when calling them from their rooms, the bathroom, playing outside, watching TV or playing video games or anything that is compartmentalized. They simply are working at ‘compartmentalizing – a trait that was handed drown from another male influence and is designed to drive their female companions crazy. Males are direct in what they are discussing and when a subject has been talked about for 5 minutes, they are done. When they don’t want to ‘go there’ at all — they simply don’t ~ and the auditory malfunction occurs – they simply didn’t hear it. They nod a lot and say hmm, hmm, but the words never made it through the ear canal.
Females rarely compartmentize but are very good at dramatization and compounding discussions and conversations leaping from one subject to another which can last hours, overnight or even a talking-marathon weekend. On some occasions, it can last months.
It is a fact that little girls, hear everything. They can hear their mother applying nail polish in the next room and join in pronto with out-stretched fingers. They listen to every word spoken in the house and love to repeat it verbatim to anyone who happens in their path or they will go out and find one. Little girls are why neighbors know everything that goes on in your home. They are communicators and can hear the lowest whispering, decipher voice tones and even interpret spelling intended for them not to understand. No matter how young they are – they get it. They understand. And they like to talk about what they understand. Or analyze what they quite didn’t understand. It’s a pre-cursor to becoming a mother which is the peak of their best auditory performances. This magnified hearing lasts their whole life. Some hear things BEFORE someone actually says it.
Auditory malfunctions morph and become increasingly dysfunctional and create havoc in marriages. The longer the marriage, the more hearing loss impairment ~ I mean selection.
Here is a typical communication between husband and wife waking up on a weekend.
She: “Good morning honey, What a gorgeous day! Look the sun is shining ~ wonder what the temp is — check, can you? — and we have great weather to go over Pam & Joe’s to pick up the desk she is giving us.” She gives a detailed description of the desk, its measurements, how each drawer will be used and in which room they could put it and adds what times would be best to pick it up. She continues to list all the things they had to do that day – AND methods of how to bring the desk home unscathed.
He: “Yuh”. (Silence for 3 seconds)……then….
She: “I had the best dream last night” (goes into descriptive, expressive, and demonstrative description of dream with exclamations and laughter).
She: “Are you hungry? I can make some eggs and bacon (lists 5 or 7 different options) – or wait, we could go out to breakfast with Pam & Joe – should I call them?”
He: (Is in the shower already). No answer.
She: Opens the door and repeats what she said.
He: “I can’t hear you”.
She goes downstairs to make breakfast. As he comes down the stairs (she starts hearing him approach while he dries himself with the towel and hears him cleaning his ears with Q-tips. From downstairs.
She: “Shall we take the dog for a run in the park this morning?”.
He: (Sitting down looking over the paper) “I parked the car in the driveway”.
She: “I wasn’t talking about the car”.
He (not looking up) “I can take it to the car wash . No problem.”
She: “What about Pam and Joe?”
He: “What happened to them?”
She: “I think you need a hearing aid”.
Of course, he doesn’t need a hearing aid. When he is in the car with Joe and Steve driving to a baseball game, he has heard everything that Joe and Steve said, even if both of them are in the back seat, and it is hailing, raining and thundering outside from a sudden thunderstorm, and country music is blaring on the radio and a tractor-trailer is traveling alongside them. Every word is traveling smoothly through his ear canal.
It’s called “Selective Hearing” and there is no hearing aid that can fix it.
Marie Coppola © November 2012