The Word Ambush

There is a female behavior which distresses me greatly. I think of it as the “word ambush”, or it might be called the “word dump.”

It’s when a woman talks, and something inside her comes unstuck. You acknowledge and respond to what’s she’s saying, but she keeps going. She overwhelms you with words, beyond your ability to think and respond in any way other than “Yes” or “OK.” She may be openly angry, but even if she’s not she’s behaving aggressively. Women call this “letting you know how I feel.” That’s not true though, and it’s not simply communication because she keeps saying the same things over and over, and not waiting for or even wanting any response.

My best guess is it’s a nervous, agitated behavior like a dog barking continuously. It’s vaguely compulsive, they seem to just say everything that comes into their head, or even some things that don’t even make it to that point.

I had a big fight with my foreign girlfriend over this. I told her she needed to talk less and listen more. She went completely to pieces over this. I don’t know a better way of dealing with this but this has caused me problems before so I’m going to have to figure something out.

One Response to The Word Ambush

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    OK, I’m going to try hard not to “word ambush” you with my thoughts regarding the ethics of these desperate foreign “girlfriends.”

    This is how people act when they are afraid of being dismissed. It sounds as if things were bottled up for a while. You say you don’t like to talk much, so that probably leads to avoidance of important topics. She may be afraid if she lets you get a word in edgewise, you’re going to say something cold and dismissive.

    Also, she’s Latin, right? Remember how Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy would get when he was mad? That’s kind of what this sounds like.

    One red flag for me is that you don’t seem to think it’s relevant what you two were even talking about! All that matters to you is, you gave her a command and she didn’t follow it.

    In my job, I deal with many agitated people of limited self-control and sophistication. It helps to reassure them you’re listening, then take their points one at a time. I have canned answers to most of them. But you don’t want to have a lawyer-client relationship with your girlfriend, so you should modify the approach with appropriate sensitivity.

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