It’s a hard thing for men to wrap their heads around figurative language like “I’m sad,” “I’m disappointed,” or “You haven’t shown any remorse for your actions and I am still mad at you.” So it’s important for women to take the feelings out of our argument and really spell them out in hard, easily quantifiable terms. Here’s how to rank and value your emotions in a way that will let him know how you feel in more concrete terms that he is able respond to.
Use Firm Units of Measurement
Instead of getting abstract when you say your boss blamed you for something that was actually his fault, spell it out in simple mathematical terms by saying: “My anger today is PMS times five.” He’ll understand what you’re talking about and be able to respond, “Wow that’s a pretty high unit of anger. I’ll get you a 200-calorie snack and leave you alone to watch your show for 30 more minutes before I attempt to unpack this.”
Find a Measurement System that He Understands
While it may be tempting to say, “That sex was like three bowls of ice cream. I really enjoyed it,” if your boyfriend isn’t a sweets person, he’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. Instead try, “The pleasure from that sex would be like what you would feel if you got to eat a whole party size bag of chips by yourself with no sharing.” He’ll appreciate the positive (and clear) feedback.
Similarly, you can evoke the language of worlds he’s more familiar with than your own. If you’re feeling anxious say, “I feel as if I’ve been cornered by eight Stormtroopers” or “It’s like I’m surrounded by dozens of orcs and I only have two arrows.”
Use Likelihood Ratios
Men don’t just want to quantify your emotions in the present, but they also want to make projections for the future. Rather than try to explain your current state it may be helpful to explain to him that “the likelihood ratio of me wanting to have sex with you in the next 24 hours is approximately 1 in 12, and those odds increase twofold if you clean the bathroom right now.”
Sometimes the range of female emotion is a little over men’s heads and it’s easier for everyone involved to spell things out for them in simple, mathematical terms. Good luck!