Why Do Lots Of Men Avoid Asking for Directions?

My X © and I were driving around Tri-Cities in Washington area and WERE WE LOST.

C is a great and patient driver – better than me for handling vehicles. I used to be an outside sales person for Aamco and when I hit the streets, you’re better off out of the way. So C always drove, and that worked for me.

Well we drove here, drive there, around in circles, past this gas station, past the next. After an hour I was getting p*$$*d off that he couldn’t just PULL OVER! How about ME running across street to ask, no prob – I didn’t MIND looking stupid (& with me, that’s par for the course) in front of total strangers.

But NOOOooooooooOOOOOOOoooooooooooo! THEN he’d look dorky “sitting in the car like a wimp while his wife asks for directions.” I couldn’t win! When we hit the 2 hour mark of circling the streets of Pasco or Kennewick or whereever the heck we were by then, I started freaking out and announced, “Look, we are STOPPING! I AM asking for DIRECTIONS! PARK on the other side of CHINA if this BOTHERS you so much, and I’LL go figure out how to GET us somewhere!”

What do these men think? That anonymous Gas Station Attendants have nothing better to do that make lists of “All Losers Who Asked Us For Directions!” or “See Who’s Too Dumb To Figure Out Where They are Going!”?

When did C think we would ever BE in Kennewick AGAIN? Who would really care? Like Station attendents have a LOT of time to stand around worrying about this LIFE ALTERING event.

So rather than look stupid because he was “driving all over the place now” we drove into a station. He had a good “explanation” for going there this time. We were out of gas and he could ask directions as a “incidental question.” Wasted two hours running out of gas so he could say to the world (who could NOT care LESS) “SEE I’m NOT talking to this guy because I’m too STUPID to find my way out of a paper bag, I’m here for a good reason!”

I sure hope this “dumb ego” gene starts diluting itself out of our genetic pools pretty soon!

Well, personally, I don’t ask for directions becuase I know where I am going. I have never been lost in my life. I often try new paths to get there, because I am bored. The secret to getting to location is knowing where you are, and knowing where you are trying to get. just knowt where north is, and use dead reconing and you will get there. You may not know the name of the road you are on, and if some street doesn’t go through for some reason, then you may have to circle around to get there. Just chill, were gonna get there, what is your big problem with trying new things anyway. :slight_smile:

I agree with wolfman. I think it’s the explorer in us. Why are you in such a big hurry that you can’t enjoy the adventure?

I have “gotten lost” (from bad directions incidently) and driven through the projects of New Orleans on a Friday night. Eventually I found where I was going and had a great story to tell the people I was meeting.

I think its some mixture of male pride, wanting to be seen as indepedent, able to look after yourself etc. I don’t drive, but if i did i would be reluctant to ask for directions too. Your guy C though sounds like he’s taking it a bit to far…

Pepper is the Grapist. I know it!

Another question is: why can’t women figure out how to get places on their own? You don’t have to be a sissy and ask someone else to bail you out at the first sign of trouble, you know. Whatever happened to the “Independent Woman?”

Actually I read about this in a book once, the author felt that men didn’t like asking for directions because it was a sign of weakness. He said that men didn’t like asking for help with much of anything for the same reason.

I’m not too sure I buy it though.

P.S. I’m very good at finding my way to places.

Frankly, dear, this Independent Woman has better, more productive things to do with her time than drive around in circles. That’s time I could be working, or playing with the dogs, or cleaning the house, or spending with people I’m supposed to meet, or napping, or staring at my navel, or anything else that’s more fun than sitting in traffic trying to figure out where I am.

If I can’t get myself back on track within 15 minutes, I’m pulling over, pride be damned.

Oh, and wolfman, in a lot of cases, like strange cities and whatnot, you don’t know where you are in relation to where you’re going. That’s the whole problem, donchaknow.

I’d ask for directions if I needed them, but I have a pretty good sense of which way I need to be going and can usually blunder around until I get back on track.

I can’t answer you 'cause I always ask for directions. I have no patience for being lost or late. Well, actually, if I’m not expected at any time, I might get adventurous and go off track, in these times I don’t ask for directions. But mostly I do. And I don’t understand why one wouldn’t…

I don’t think of myself as “a man who won’t ask for directions”. But when I saw the thread title this just occurred to me: If I don’t have a piece of paper and a pen handy, I’m afraid that if I ask for directions, the answer will be something like: "Go about three miles until just before you get to the broken traffic signal then turn left–Not a sharp left, but a sorta-left, it’s a fiveway intersection–onto BlahBlah Blvd. Make sure you don’t turn the sharp left because then you’ll have to get onto the I-95 and you won’t be able to get off until you cross the border into Wisconsin. But once you’re on BlahBlah, all you do is keep going until you…

I think you get the idea. Fortunately, I’m rarely that badly lost.

Sorry, it’s a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand.



Like most other people here, I usually know where I am going and seldom need to ask for directions in the first place.

For the times I have asked for directions, the direction giver is often vague and tends to assume that you know some of the streets and landmarks just because he does. He may tell you, for example, to turn left at the third light. One of the “lights” is for a school crossing or isn’t a traffic light, but just a flashing caution light, so you wonder if he included that one in his count. I’m not a very good direction giver myself, even if I draw a map for someone.

And then there’s a part of me that doesn’t trust the other person, though I’m sure most folks wouldn’t try to cause you to go off course. I knew someone once who would deliberately give strangers the wrong directions because he hated being asked.

With the Internet, if I am going to a place I’m not familiar with I’ll print up a map from Mapquest and bring it with me.

Yea, I usually do Mapquest, but Mapquest is quite fond of sending me through the projects for no apparent reason. And here in Atlanta, we have some odd streets…for example, Peachstree Street NW and Peachtree Street SE (or something), and they just play havoc with Mapquest. So I usually bring along an area map as well.

Though half my Mapquest problems stem from the city not having street signs up.

Because we’re never lost! We can’t be! After all, if we don’t get to where we were going, why we just settle down where we are! Like any other caveman hunter/gatherers. <grunt>

It’s a “man thing”. You wouldn’t understand. :cool:

The purple OP… my eyes… the goggles do nothing…

I’m a man and I don’t mind asking for directions.

Personally, I don’t ask for directions because I never FEEL lost. If I’m not exactly where I think I am, then I figure I’m only a turn or two away.

Occassionally, maybe when I’m in an unfamiliar city, I’ll realize the sun is not where I expect it to be or perhaps I just passed city hall twice. At that point I do ask for directions. But 90% of the time, I just don’t feel like I need it.

I’ll bet that’s the “guy thing” the earlier posters mentioned.

I avoid asking for directions right away because I find it’s often hard to get helfpful directions. There’s no one around, the person you find doesn’t know how to get where you’re headed, the directions given are vague, the directions given are wrong, etc. Usually it’s more efficient to figure it out with the resources you have (map, previous directions, info from signs, etc.). That said, wandering around for an hour is ridiculous, and two hours is beyond sanity. If I haven’t made clear progress in 15 minutes or so, I will ask.

Men, being creatures of great caring and wisdom, often realize that they appear almost invincible and faultless. Because of this we will often pretend to be lost, only to allow our sweet counterparts, the women, to “bail us out” of the predicament. This allows the woman some sense of power over the man, and also shows that we have a weakness, even though it is all for show. I think this proves once and for all how freakin’ great guys really are.

I got the sense of direction in my family. I have a brother that we tease that he could get lost in the frozen food section. I usually do what Wolfman does when I’m not in a hurry. I’ve also gone for rides trying to get lost. Usually I can figure out where I am fairly quickly, although I do have to go rather far afield to get to areas I don’t know.

If I’m in a hurry or am going to an appointment or something, I will stop and ask directions if I am not sure of the way.