Ever heard that demand from your wife or girlfriend? Or are you the wife that has to constantly remind your husband that you just need him to listen? Either way, I bet that you have had a discussion and have been on one side or the other shaking your head at the confusion generated by our gender differences on this topic. Men want to solve problems. And its not that women don't like solutions. My theory is that (a) they prefer to first chat with you and strike some empathy for what they are going through and (b) they already know the solution and getting you to fix their problem is laughable at best.
So we have this disconnect. The female is using an issue as a vehicle to converse and test your listening skills. The male sees a rubix cube and wants to put all the red squares on one side for you. This somehow equates to not listening, which as a member of the male side of this equation, I must admit to being all the more confusing. If I were not listening I would sit with a blank stare on my face, not only failing to offer you a solution to your problem but desperately hoping you have not noticed my complete lack of concentration. But I do get it. There are times you ONLY want to be heard, not heard and "solved".
And I think that is partly where the ladies take offense. We think we are helping to solve one of their problems but they percieve that we are trying to solve them. And who are we to achieve such a feat when its rare we can remember to put the toilet seat down or keep a true aim? I have been married long enough to figure this out but I still have one piece of kryptonite left when it comes to this issue. I don't always recognize that the conversation we are having qualifies for the "just listen" strategy. Once I do, I know how to fall in line.
And unlike the hilarious video below lampooning this situation to the man's benefit, I am alright with leaving the nail alone.