The phrase “Empty Room Syndrome” roughly refers to state of a man’s mind when he awakens to a special realization about communication patterns between women.  As I recall, the phrase was coined by one of my aunts, after hearing one of my descriptions.

In the December of 2005, I volunteered at a school that dealt with kids with special needs.  I subsequently joined as a special education teacher the following January. Here was an environment where like most schools in Singapore, the adult females outnumbered the adult males. In the situation I placed myself, it was nine female teachers to one male teacher. Now, I thought I was there to teach kids with ASD (autistic spectrum disorder).  What the situation taught me, was something completely different. Up to that point in my professional life, I had been working in the engineering and logistics lines, where the working atmosphere or culture was largely male-centric. In this new environment, I noticed things I had never seen before as patterns of behaviour seemed to be largely exaggerated . When I clarified with my wife on some of the dynamics that I had observed, I was given a picture that I had never seen before. From there, it sparked my interest to want to know more. After leaving this organisation, I maintained contacts with people in the organisation. I had even recommended a friend of mine to the organisation as she seemed to be a better fit than me.  A month after leaving the organisation, I happened to chat with one female ex-colleagues on the phone.  In our conversation, I inquired after the status of the friend who had joined shortly after I had left.  It was from hearing her remarks about this friend of mine that I had an epiphany.

It innocently started with “Oh! You mean the angry one?”, which was what I thought to be a peculiar remark.  It was from there, when I clarified why such a label was being used on this person, that more of this mystery started to unravel.

As there is considerable literature already on male behaviour and male group behaviour, I have not spent much time explaining what guys do or how they behave except in cases where a contrast between behaviours (of males & females) is being explored.