Getting Defensive or Irritable when Asked Questions

Answer My Question Without Getting Defensive or Irritable!

Hi this is Karen. Some years ago, not long after we moved into a new area, my husband Mike and I were in the car heading to the nearby shopping centre. I had only been there once since our move and this was the first time we were going together.

Answer My Question Without Getting Defensive or IrritableI asked Mike, “Why are you driving this route to the shopping centre?”

I wanted to know if there was a valid reason for me to take note, for example, less traffic, fewer traffic lights, a shorter distance or arrival at a more convenient entry.

Instead of giving me an answer to my question, Mike answered sarcastically, “Do you want to drive next time?”

(He had interpreted my question as me criticizing or challenging his choice of route).

I was hurt and indignant as

  • (a) I had not been attacking him,
  • (b) I am not a person who deliberately hurts or offends another person and I would expect my husband to know that, and
  • (c) it turned out to be a negative interaction with the person I love –

just when communicating with him was intended to make contact with him and share an experience.

All I wanted was for Mike to answer my question without getting defensive or irritable. When women ask WHY, they’re seeking information. Women like to know details.

In conversation, women are always chatting on telling each other details. Men however, think about everything in their head, make decisions, and have no need to discuss the details with others when it’s not relevant to do so.

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