Problem Solving — Differences Between Men and Women

Dealing with problems in life is often one of the occasions that differences between men and women become apparent. This is because, while both genders have the same goal of solving the problem, they will often go about finding a solution in a very different way to each other. These differences are often unconscious and to really understand the way the other gender tick you need to have a basic understanding of the processes they go through to find a solution.

When women try to solve a problem, they often rely on the help of those close to them. Women will talk through their problem, discussing the situation in detail, and how they could solve it. While the solution is important, just how they solve the problem is important too. The process of discussion is also important to women, giving them the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the person they are talking to. As a result, a woman may consider a relationship to be weakened if the person they are talking to appears to be uninterested or unhelpful.

On the other hand, men approach problem solving with much less communication. Instead, they will often dominate the problem solving process and will use it as a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and ability. Similarly to women, the process of solving the problem is important, but for men it is important to solve the problem in the best and most effective way.

Often in relationships it is common for men to feel overwhelmed about how much women discuss their frustrations and the expectation placed on them to offer support. Similarly, women often feel that a man will dismiss their problems when he offers advice without appearing to be supportive or sympathetic. As men rarely use communication in their problem solving, it does not come as naturally to them to discuss their problems as it does to women, and as a result they are much less likely to tell their partner about any problems they may be experiencing. When faced with their partner’s problems, a man’s natural reaction will be to think through the problem and offer effective solutions to it. Women on the other hand, preferring to use the problem solving process as a chance to discuss how they are feeling, may want to talk about more than potential solutions. This is why it is common for women to feel that, when their partner does not appear comfortable discussing her problems, that there are problems with the relationship. This is also why men can feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable hearing ever detail about their partner’s difficulties.

It is usually difficult to change the habits of a lifetime and accepting different ways of solving problems, but it is worth bearing these differences in mind when you find the differences between men and women frustrating. Your partner will have your best intentions at heart and wants to help; they just do it in a different way.


  1. Citations? Are there studies to back up your theories of women/men problem solving?

  2. it is very helpful…

  3. Or in one sentence women want their problems to be solved by others.

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