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How To: Pretend You’re Listening to Your Girlfriend


It’s eight o’clock tonight, and you’ve got a computer, a television set, a cell phone, and a paused game of Skate 2, all grappling for your attention.  The last thing you feel like paying attention to is your girlfriend, and whatever trivial matter she’s decided to complain about.  There’s a difference between your girlfriend and all of those other things, though: if you don’t pay attention to her, she’ll totally leave, and that would suck. That doesn’t mean that you actually have to devote your attention to her, but you’ll have to figure out how to make her think that you’re focusing on her, rather than the action-packed finale of Whale Wars that’s blaring in the background.  Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

Blink Frequently
Blinking is your way of telling the rest of the world, in a bold yet silent voice: "I am conscious!"  Use this to your advantage.  Women love it when a man remains conscious during a conversation.  Blinking consistently is a great way to tell them that you’re both alive and awake.  Try not to focus too much on it, though, as overly excessive blinking can be distracting, and even signify health problems or brain disorders, and you do not want your girlfriend thinking you’re retarded.  With some practice, you should be able to blink naturally while your girlfriend is complaining to you.

Nod Your Head and Look Concerned
A well-timed head nod can go a long way.  The classic up-and-down gesture is a traditional response of affirmation and agreement, and it will signify to your whiney girlfriend that you’re on her side, and that you understand her.  Looking concerned is a slightly more difficult manuever, and may require some technique to execute believably.  Start with a slightly furrowed brow and pursed lips.  Combine this expression with the head nod, and you’ll appear to be a good, faithful, concerned boyfriend who really cares about your girlfriend’s needs, and is not secretly watching a dog crap on the sidewalk outside while it’s owner awkwardly fumbles with a plastic bag, and then picks the dog crap up, but drops some of it onto his pants in the process.
Listen for Key Words and Phrases
This is a complicated but incredibly important skill to master.  By utilizing "selective hearing" and focusing on "words that your girlfriend says", you can greatly increase the probability of her believing that you’re actually paying attention to her.  Listen for anything that describe her current emotional state in reference to the topic that she’s discussing.  Words like ‘hate’, "like, "enjoy", and "want" are good indicators that she has a particular feeling about whatever noun immediately follows that word.  Keep an ear out for key phrases as well, like "it bothers me when", "I can’t stand that", and "my point is".  These phrases will also help you to determine exactly what the f*ck she’s talking about.
Speak Only When Questioned, and then be Brief and Vague
So you’ve gotten to the point in the conversation where she finishes rambling, and now she’d like to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter.  You feel like you’re running through a gun powder factory in a tuxedo made of pure fire: you’re uncomfortable and sweaty, and one small mis-step can result in a catastrophic explosion.  Tread carefully.  Deliver a vague opinion, and then follow it up with a question that directs the conversation back to her view of things.  Something like, "That’s interesting.  What made you think of that?" would be perfect.  You’ve deflected the talking back to her without giving a solid opinion at all. You’ll only be able to use that specific line once, though, because if you keep repeating that statement, she’s going to think there’s something wrong with you, and then you’re back to your girlfriend thinking you might be retarded, which is a bad thing.  Just focus on getting out of the ‘you having to talk’ phase as quickly as possible, because no amount of blinking and nodding can save you here.  With practice, anyone can master these few skills, and in no time at all, your girlfriend will think you’re clinging to her every word.  Now get back to that Whale Wars finale, because the last five minutes of the last episode is the only good part of the entire series.

19 Responses to "How To: Pretend You’re Listening to Your Girlfriend"

  1. Anomynous says:

    Seriously, would this article be useful to anyone who posts on Holy Taco? Anyone at all?!?

  2. crank says:

    or just side step the whole conversation by saying something like” you know I love to hear about all the boring crap that happen through your day , but why don’t we do something fun instead?”

    She will either recognize that you are indeed her man , because you know her so well… or she’ll storm out and leave you with the rest of the night to play games !!!

  3. Kirin says:

    I use these same skills to pretend I’m listening to my kids!

  4. Jimmy Johnson says:

    And his girl even has a squinty, fucked up nose!

  5. Bosco says:

    That Asian guy even has squinty ears….

  6. Pierrre says:

    she’s really inuit.

  7. Fuck says:

    ha, awesome.

  8. NinJay says:

    Yeah I can relate to the gun powder facotry bit. I try these things to the best of my ability but my GF can somehow sense it. She then throws out the “you haven’t heard a word i just said, have you?”. Take it from me, your answer to this shouldn’t be “huh” like I did. Then all your doings is trying to assure her that you were actually listening by throwing out a couple of words that stuck out to you. “yeah I was listening, strawberry filling and your sister”. Someday I hope I’m good enough to not be tripped up by the “your not listening” attack.

  9. Lea says:

    Wondersmack, I can totally relate to your comment. Anything that slightly annoys you about your “significant other” prior to the romantic bullshit of marriage totally intensifies after getting married…and it gets worse. In fact none of these commenters sound as if they view their mate as anything other than a pain in the patoot. I’ve been shackled in marriage for a few years now and I really want to know something. I’m a U.S. citizen. I pay a lot of taxes and so damn much $ to have health insurance (which tries to weasel out of any payment after I reached my horrendous deductable). I’m the average victim of the last few decades of selfish, egocentric, no interest in the people government. What I REALLY want to know is why I don’t have equal protection that the gay and lesbian people have concerning marriage. I feel I’ve been discriminated against and my civil liberties have been twisted and denied. I’m suing.

  10. wundersmack says:

    Thank you! I am a female but I need these tactics to remain conscious and/or not go completely apeshit with my ridiculous bore of a husband. Gawd, he should have been a girl, and then I wouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense.

  11. DARK PlMP says:

    I doubt that the girlfriend would be saying Wii is for fags and instead would be the one playing it since it seems everyone that owns a Wii is either a chick or elderly.Nintendo fucked it up big time. At least Xbox 360 and PS3 have real games

  12. PlaystationHammer says:


    Just like the Wii is Wiik.

    If you’d have a Playstation, she’d have shut the fuck up when you switch to the internet browser and start watching porn while she talks.

    Or she’d've been dragged in to SOCOM once she saw the explosions and hostage rescues going on.

    But no…you’re playing on the Wiik system. Of course she doesn’t care your ‘busy.

    Your girlfriend to herself:”Oh, he’s playing that gay Wii again–why am I dating a fag again? Oh well, nows as good a time as any to tell him my day with the sluts at work.”

    Your girlfriend to you: “Did I say that out loud?”

  13. what? says:

    It’s super hard to do this while playing Tiger Woods 10 for the WII. Especially since I tried swinging while doing it and totally had to dodge my wifes face and then shanked it in the rough

  14. That Jackass says:

    Nice man, Wii sucks dick. I personaly prefer xbox 360 but playstation is pretty cool

  15. Chet says:

    If you pay attention to the pitch of her voice, you’ll detect (without having to decode all the words) when she’s wrapping up a particular story and about to take a breath. Listen to that last sentence and respond to it — she’ll have no idea you were tuning her out until just a second ago.

  16. Pierrre says:

    this article is accurate.

    I use these techniques frequently. a few helpful hints

    - You don’t have to hear the contents, but if you hear her talking about something that upset her, like “and then that bitch totally cut me off”, or “and my mom said that i should go back to college”, or “that slut Shirley totally hit on this one guy”. Take a second to turn towards her, look right into her eyes, and *gasp* and say something like “i can’t believe it?! Tell me more about it.”. She’ll think you are as emotionally engaged in the conversation as she is, and go “I no, rite? blahgblahblahb” thinking that you’re the best. You generally only have to do this once per conversation.

    - The mimicking of gestures and saying pointless one-liners are AWESOME.. use stuff like “oh no, how sad”, “Wow that’s awesome”, “i can’t believe it”, “that’s ridiculous” (based on the way your g/f used emotion in the sentence. Again, you don’t have to listen or look at her, just mimic.

    Another good tip comes to mind when shopping. If she thinks you are bored looking at 6532 dresses, 485 pairs of shoes, and 36 types of eye liner (and if you’re not bored, you should have a boyfriend instead), you can sit and text, play tetris or think about how awesome it would be to fly a dragon and burn down the mall. But, if she senses that you are bored, your day/week is fucked. she will piss on you for being bored at any opportunity.

    the trick is to at random points when she asks “which one looks better” you pretend to be REALLY in favor of one of them.

    One of two things will happen

    1) She will say “i dunno, well i think the other one is better”, you quickly reply “i guess i see your point, good choice”.
    2) She will say “i agree” (score!)

    in either case, you have shown that you are just as emotionally engaged in shopping for her clothes as she is.

    You might think that this is a bad idea because it might result in more trips to the mall, no my friend, this is an awesome tactic: you now can say stuff like “you know that i like shopping with you, but i really don’t have time” and she’ll believe you!

  17. Gfadjklf says:


  18. nick says:

    “women love it when a man remains conscious during a conversation.” nice

  19. Topher says:

    damn good! haha dog shit on owners pants…priceless!