What implication does this have for handling everyday conflict at work (financial costs, lack of promotion and career progress, acting out resentment in indirect ways such as passive-aggressive behavior, and inferior decision making)?
Nice girls don’t do conflict. A girl often will become a “people pleaser” and adopt accommodation and avoidance as conflict styles. She will say “yes” when she really wants to say “no.” In contrast, men often perceive “no” as “go.” No becomes a challenge, something to conquer.
A single behavior can have multiple meanings in different cultures and can get us in trouble! For instance, the ring gesture (the circle created by the thumb touching the index finger) with which Americans convey “Okay,” means “You are a zero” in France and Belgium.
The ability to decode nonverbal cues is ultimately valuable and essential for effective communication. So women must ask themselves, how can we use these skills to enhance our effectiveness instead of letting them divert us? Women must not focus on others for a definition of what is “normal” or acceptable behavior; they must define it for themselves.
Our fathers pull us aside and tell us to be two-faced: a private face you have outside of the public eye, and a public face that shows no weakness.” Does "Big boys don't cry" and "Take it like a man" sound familiar?
Society conditions women to think they are the emotional gender. Women are taught a separate set of rules that allow a wider range of self-expression. Women aren’t as good at hiding their facial expressions; you can often read them like a book (helpful when women say they’re “fine” but feel the opposite). With men, it’s more of a guessing game.
Women and men are two different speech communities. From the college classroom to the corporate world, women typically use forms of speech that you rarely hear from men, such as “qualifiers,” embedded with disclaimers.