Do you bust his … chops?

by Dating Goddess on January 18, 2011

Men often show their connection by teasing and good-naturedly insulting each other. They can make pot shots about the other’s weight, thinning hair, bulbous nose, incompetencies, shortcomings or lack of sexual prowess without taking it personally.

So what happens when a woman — especially a woman he’s attracted to — tries to join in the boys’ club teasing?

Not good.

Some women have trouble understanding that many men take it especially hard when a woman busts a man’s… chops. So if the woman he’s dating joins in the fray when his friends are torquing his jaw, it doesn’t feel like chops she’s busting to him; it feels like she’s attacked his sensitive man parts.

It took me a long time to learn this. I can quickly join in the busting repartee. All my life I have found myself the only woman in a group of male friends or colleagues so picked up the behaviors they have among the guys.

The problem is, men don’t take teasing from a woman as they would from a man. Decades ago a gal pal pulled me aside and told me to not teasingly put down my then-husband. It took me a while as he laughed when I teased him. But I did reduce and eventually stop this behavior with him, as I began to see it was not the right dynamic for us.

A year ago, a male friend asked me to “be nice” to him in front of his girlfriend. When I sincerely said, “You mean I’m not always nice to you?” He said no, sometimes I zinged him in front of her. I apologized and realized he was right. I vowed to build him up in front of her, not tear him down. I eliminated my zingers, whether she was around or not. And I promised myself I’d stop myself from the temptation to do that to any man.

So why do women zing men?

  • It can elicit laughter, often from the target himself.
  • It makes her feel like she’s accepted by the guys.
  • She feels special because other women aren’t given such alpha status.
  • She doesn’t think it hurts the target.
  • She has low self-esteem so it makes her feel good to put down others.

Most men would not let on that it was uncomfortable — or downright hurtful — to receive zingers from a woman, especially a woman with whom he was involved. They may laugh it off, but it can hurt and he’ll never let on. So the women think they are just playing around, that the guys like it or it doesn’t affect them.

So women, have you zinged men? If so, why? Did you learn to stop?

Men, how has it felt when a girlfriend/wife zinged you?

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Want to understand more about what creates problems in relationships and how to fix them? Get your copy of Ironing Out Dating Wrinkles: Work Through Challenges Without Getting Steamed.

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