When they say “Leave me alone”, do they actually mean the opposite? If so, why can’t they just be direct to the point?



Yeah, I guess we do often mean the opposite of what we say. We have a thing for reverse psychology. For some reason, we like saying “leave me alone,” because it feels good to be wooed. In other words, gusto nating magpasuyo. There wouldn’t be a chance for that if we directly say “please give me some attention.” Also, I think in general, girls are non-confrontational. We say the opposite of what we mean because we avoid conflict or awkward situations, thus the Filipino concept of pahiwatig.  Another good example is when we give people the silent treatment when they have done us wrong. As a classmate in Intro to Philippine culture class had said, we prefer that the person figure out on their own what they have done wrong. It seems more satisfying for us and genuine on their part to have a self-realization than to be confronted directly.


I am a firm believer of the saying, ‘Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” However, sometimes our culture dictates how men and women act. Men are socialized to be direct while women are socialized to hint, thus the presence of other cues like body language and tone of voice to figure out women’s mood. Also, if a woman is to be direct about what she wants, there might be social costs involved.

It’s not necessarily true that women mean the opposite of what they mean. Most of the time, no really means no. It’s all about the process of understanding. Nonetheless, because there are inherent differences between men and women, one can say one thing while the other interprets it differently. Since we are wired to express differently and communication involves more than just verbal language, the presence of other cues come into play.


I’m not sure how usual is “usually”. Personally, I tend to be direct to the point as politely and as often as possible. There are times when I may withhold some thoughts but generally I’m not a big fan of guessing games. I believe it just really depends on several factors:

The situation: At times when holding on to her ego is very crucial, she doesn’t want to be vulnerable so she just doesn’t say what she really wants to say. It may be because of fear of being judged or of getting the response that she doesn’t really want to hear.

The person the girl is talking to: If she knows how much the “truth” will affect the person, she may choose to be subtle or just resort to hints. It may be because she doesn’t think that the person can take the brutal honesty. Admittedly though, I think we girls should also learn to trust the guys to handle situations well.

The girl’s personality: Some girls are just not comfortable with being confrontational and dishing out painful truths. Just as much as some guys would rather avoid confrontations.

What do you think?

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