Asking for Directions — Differences Between Men and Women


Perhaps one of the most stereotypical differences between men and women, as a woman it can be easy to be baffled over why men do not stop and ask for directions. Lost in the middle of nowhere, why would you not grab the chance to ask someone the way rather than driving round in circles? For all the women who have or who will tear their hair out in this situation, here we provide the answer.

Of the two genders, men are more likely to enjoy discovering the unknown and exploring. Therefore, they are naturally much more comfortable with being lost, and using it as a chance to see new places and discover new roads. Men enjoy the process of problem solving, and having the opportunity to save the day and find their way back on their own will not go unappreciated. Women, on the other hand, are naturally more comfortable with security, and therefore feel more uncomfortable when they become lost. As a result, women often try to end the time spent being lost as quickly as they can by asking someone who will probably know the way.

With his partner telling him to pull over and ask someone the way, it can often become the case that a man may feel that his problem solving abilities are inadequate and that his partner is not impressed by him. This can have the effect of causing him to appear stubborn by trying to rectify the situation himself instead of handing over the responsibility over to a stranger. A man may also feel that stopping will take time, and that in that time he may have found the right way to go.

Other theories of the mystery of men and directions include an evolutionary idea that stopping and handing over responsibility to stranger will put a man into a helpless position. Having had no opportunity to test the trustfulness of the stranger, a man is thought to be reluctant to place his and his passengers’ welfare in their hands. Instead a man is more likely to trust his and his passenger’s sense of direction, or a map.

Of course, waiting for a man to find the right way or succumb to asking for directions can be a frustrating process for a woman who does not understand her partner’s logic. Discussing these differences with your partner may help to ease these tensions and give you an insight into each other’s ways of thinking. If in doubt though, a GPS system or learning to read a map will always serve you well!

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Margrit Bradley

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Margrit Bradley