Study says men's attention lasts only six minutes with partner, but doubles for sports talk with the boys

Study says men's attention lasts only six minutes with partner, but doubles for sports talk with the boys

The male brain auto-tunes itself based on the topic of conversation. Guess which topic catches his attention the most and which goes over his head?

The notion that men are poor listeners has been the subject for many a movie scenes and gender-related books for ages. While some romcoms have tickled us with real-life scenes, it has also been one of the major reasons behind arguments between couples.

Couples vary in communication styles (Pexels)
Couples vary in communication styles (Pexels)

Well, science now comes to rescue men with proof that men indeed suffer from selective hearing. A study reported by Daily Mail made an interesting observation that an average guy cannot remain tuned in for more than six minutes with his significant other.

So if his woman is talking about her everyday episodes such as what she had for lunch, how she felt through the day, or about people she met, the man's likely to be zoned out after the sixth minute. Now we know what that blank stare meant.

Interestingly, the study says that the same guy can pay attention for about 15 minutes when discussing sports with his friends.

According to the research carried out among 2000 adults, sports talk or talks discussing their sex lives with their buddies held them hooked for more than half the time they could manage with their partners of the opposite sex. 

Women are better listener than men (Pexels)
Women are better listener than men (Pexels)

The study also explored women's ability to listen and found that women listen longer and more intently when it's their friend talking, when compared to conversations with their partner. 

Men are twice as much tuned into their buddies than with their partner (Pexels)
Men are twice as much tuned into their buddies than with their partner (Pexels)

The research that was commissioned by Ladbrokes also found that men tuned in and out based on the topic of discussion. Now we know why anything that might remotely discuss things like feelings or emotions are likely to make them shut down almost involuntarily and topics about spaceships and who won the grand slam will get their antenna up.

Sports tops the conversation topic (Pexels)
Sports tops the conversation topic (Pexels)

What's more, more than half of the men who were surveyed owned the fact that they were poor listeners. Sports topped the list of topics they liked to discuss, followed by discussions on films and sex.

And, if it could get any more awkward, relationship topped the chart of favorite conversations for women, where nearly 55% ranked it first. 

Women discuss relationships more than men (Pexels)
Women discuss relationships more than men (Pexels)

We know this already but the study backs it up with evidence that the worst time to get your man to listen to you is when he is watching sports, surfing channels, or playing a game on his phone. 

Men don't listen when they are into gaming or watching TV (Pexels)
Men don't listen when they are into gaming or watching TV (Pexels)

The study also tracked that an average man has at least four episodes in a week where he isn't paying attention to his partner when he should be. 

They prefer quick calls (Pexels)
They prefer quick calls (Pexels)

The male brain seems to auto-tune when it comes to conversations that women find engaging. They tune out of talks that involve people they don't know (which means everything you had to say about your mean colleague, your ex frenemy, or super smart friend living in another city went unheard).

Women pick verbal and nonverbal cues better than men (Pexels)
Women pick verbal and nonverbal cues better than men (Pexels)

They also didn't care to follow talks about workmates, celebs, and fashion. They also don't care much about what their women might have come across on social media, horoscopes, and everyday stuff like what they ate. 

Men tune out of talks about food and fashion (Pexels)
Men tune out of talks about food and fashion (Pexels)

Women have at some level known this. That's why 55 percent of women admitted in the survey that they checked their partner with tests to see if they really did listen to what was said. Three-fourth of the surveyed women said the biggest cue to knowing their partner wasn't listening came from them taking far too much time to respond.

When men take more time to respond, it's usually because they weren't listening (Pexels)
When men take more time to respond, it's usually because they weren't listening (Pexels)

The next cue was the dazed look with blank expressions, which was followed by the observation that their partners' eyes were glued to the phone, TV, or tablet. 

Women share more with each other and feel understood (Pexels)
Women share more with each other and feel understood (Pexels)

Here is another secret the men let out during the study: Close to a quarter of men said that they often watched sports of browsed online while talking on the phone with their partner.

Both men and women did have the same norm when it came to withholding information. They were both likely to share more openly and withhold less information from their best friend than with their partner.

Women withhold less from their girlfriends (Pexels)
Women withhold less from their girlfriends (Pexels)

Here is what you can do to improve communication with your partner.

Observe your partner and figure out their patterns. When are they most receptive to you and open to communication? Time your important conversations around their most alert period.

Set aside 20 mins every day to talk without distraction. When you say 20 minutes, your partner knows it's short enough to give their undivided attention and they have nothing preoccupying them at that time.

Set aside time to talk (Pexels)
Set aside time to talk (Pexels)

Have your own set of friends who share your common interest and are interested to talk about the subtle nuances of feelings, thoughts, and connections. Ladies, your girlfriends are way better folks to talk about how you discovered this new side to you that wants to explore new possibilities than your man.

Have your girlfriends to share "soul talks"(Pexels)
Have your girlfriends to share "soul talks"(Pexels)

Once you relish sharing the journey of self-discovery with your girlfriends, you can simply share the new decision you made based on this discovery with your man. (Hey, I am taking up ceramic classes this summer.)

Men tend to be more receptive when they are not in a face-to-face position. They are more tuned in when they are alongside you and the two of you are facing the same view in front.

Time conversations around house chores. If you spend a good twenty minutes cleaning the kitchen, while your husband does the dishes, use it to share little anecdotes from the day. 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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