Author Topic: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard  (Read 25227 times)

AlmostIndependent

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Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« on: July 24, 2013, 12:14:41 PM »
My girlfriend is reluctant to learn to drive stick. She says she learned in high school and hasn't done it since. I'm not sure how to best approach the subject. Does anyone have experience? Tips or things to avoid? I'd love your input.

MissStache

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 12:18:27 PM »
When you say reluctant what do you mean?  Is it a passing "eh, I'm just not interested" or more of a "I SAID I DIDN'T WANT TO- STOP BOTHERING ME!"

And why do you want her to learn to drive a stick?  Do you have one and you want her to drive it?  Is she in the market for a different car?  General self betterment?

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 12:21:00 PM »
She just thinks its really hard. She hasn't outright said no and I haven't really pushed the issue. My car is stick and it would be nice for her to be able to drive it.

fiveoclockshadow

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 12:22:24 PM »
First thing - remember this is actually a frustrating skill for many to learn.  It takes a lot of continuous use to get used to it and if the new driver has to deal with lots of traffic or hills they are going to be unhappy.  Just be sure to be as patient and supportive as possible.

Practice at night, very late at night.  Stress makes things worse and empty roads are your friend.

It is of course starting and stopping that is the problem.  Take night drives where there are lots of stop signs for the most practice.  Be sure to include some nice highway segments as well so the student can relax and realize most of the time stick is easy :)  Once that is down introduce hills.

When I was still learning I remember being on a 2AM doughnut run and stalling in the middle of an empty intersection.  The light turned red on me while still in the intersection but I eventually got going.  There was a cop a ways back but he didn't do anything until I turned onto a freeway on ramp.  Stopped me to make sure I wasn't drunk and about to crash on the highway :)  We had a nice discussion about the best doughnuts in the area (we had driven 16 miles for the shop in question) and he let me go on my way.

Finally it will help if there is some motivation to learn.  I was about to get a new car with a stick and the lower price of a stick was my motivation to learn.

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 12:26:09 PM »
Does she enjoy driving in general? I love driving and have always found a stick much more fun to drive than an automatic. If driving is just a chore, you may not have much leverage.

fiveoclockshadow provides excellent advice. I would go even further and suggest late at night in a mall parking lot without (m)any lampposts.

Do you live in a flat or hilly part of the country? If your locale is hilly, start in flat spaces and graduate to hills later. Let us know how it goes!

Eric

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 12:32:26 PM »
I miss driving a stick!  It's so much more fun!  Can you convince her on the fun-ness aspect of it?

KulshanGirl

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »
I am 42 years old and have some kind of god-given (not given?) lack of timing that makes me just rotten at driving a stick.  I totally understand HOW to do it, I can DO it.  I just suck at it.  I suck at it very much.  People in my life stopped letting me practice with their cars a long time ago.  Hehe.  I could get someone to a hospital in a stick shift in an emergency, and that is the extent of my stick shift driving, for the well-being of earth's necks and transmissions.  You're welcome!



MissStache

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 12:43:36 PM »
I am also a reluctant-to-learn stick driver, mostly because when I was 15 and learning to drive, I rolled into the car in front of me the 2nd time I was out and my mother was an impatient teacher.  It was mildly traumatic, but luckily for me (I guess...) I was able to get an automatic to do most of my learning on and I've been nervous about standard transmissions ever since.  Still haven't pulled the trigger on trying again even though my patient SO has been a stick driver all of his life.  He hasn't pushed, because he knows I'm the type of person would who shut it down immediately if he did. 

I think you should start with what you said there- "I'd love to teach you to drive a stick because I think it would be good for you to be able to drive my car.  How about we go to an empty parking lot on Saturday morning and we give it a try?" 

If she agrees, my biggest suggestion would be to make sure you are patient and encouraging.  Nothing worse that feeling like you are failing at something while you can tell the person trying to teach you is getting frustrated that you aren't doing well. 

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 12:45:21 PM »
I'm not sure if she will see the fun-ness aspect of it (I happen to enjoy it.) I think that most of her reluctance comes from the fact that she has convinced herself that it is hard and that she is not good at it. As a result it is hard for her and she is not good at it. That's speculation on my part but I think it's probably fairly accurate.

olivia

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2013, 12:54:59 PM »
I learned on a stick and it is difficult at first.  I still remember stalling out at a big intersection and getting panicky, but I managed!  It is fun once you get used to it.  (Maybe too fun for my zippy 16 year old self? :P )  That said, if she's not interested and doesn't really need to drive your car, I wouldn't push it.  If she's vaguely interested in practicing, go for it, but obviously don't get upset about it if she grinds gears or stalls out. 

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2013, 12:57:08 PM »
We haven't even really had a conversation about it. She will make some comment about how it's hard and she's really bad at it. I usually just shrug and tell her that I think that it's all in her head because rednecks everywhere drive stick and she's way smarter than any rednecks I know. We have a laugh and that's the end of it. I want to have some sort of plan before I actually broach the subject of her learning stick.

onehappypanda

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 12:59:35 PM »
I'm not sure if she will see the fun-ness aspect of it (I happen to enjoy it.) I think that most of her reluctance comes from the fact that she has convinced herself that it is hard and that she is not good at it. As a result it is hard for her and she is not good at it. That's speculation on my part but I think it's probably fairly accurate.

Sounds like she needs to build a sense of efficacy for driving stick - how patient of a teacher are you? If you can be really patient, I would work on planting the seed now, explain why you think it'd be a good idea but don't be too pushy. If her interest is piqued, offer to let her practice.

When she does express interest, make each practice something she can easily achieve, because those little successes might help her feel more confident. Maybe start in an empty parking lot where there are no other cars or road issues to deal with, and just practice going forward and switching gears. Then try reversing. Then try going down a really easy, flat street. And so on.

I can't really drive stick, but the first time I was "taught" it was learning the basic concept in a parking lot. My friend explained the idea to me, then had me toy around in the lower gears for a bit. It was low-pressure and I thought it was a lot of fun. It was only one lesson and I unfortunately don't have a stick shift vehicle to practice on regularly, but that little bit of practice made me feel like I *could* learn it for real, given the opportunity. And I actually want to, just not enough to replace my car ;)

But if my first lesson had been throwing me on the street and I had failed miserably, I don't think I'd be too inclined to learn it later on. If my teacher had snapped at me every time I stalled out, I would've quit. So my suggestion would be to be really patient and non-pushy, and break it down into little lessons that she can easily handle.

prodarwin

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 01:34:59 PM »
No input on how to convince her she wants to learn, but should she want to...

I honestly think learning to ride a motorcycle is one of the easiest ways to learn stick for non-car-people.  As a car enthusiast and engineer, I have a fundamental understanding of the mechanical workings of a clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, ICE, etc.  A lot of people don't, and it makes it difficult for them to grasp the concept in their head.   The "numbness" of some modern vehicles only complicates the matter - especially when you drive a car with a CDV, funky TBW, etc.  I've had several friends who don't know how to drive a manual start driving a motorcycle pretty easily.  Those same friends then had a very easy time switching over to a manual car.

The MSF course is great for these people, and its pretty cheap IIRC. 
-The lot is closed off, so its a safe, low pressure environment
-You can slip it all you want, but will never wear out the wet-clutch on the bikes used for the class, so its also lower pressure in that regard
-Its much easier to feel how clutch pressure/throttle impact the bike vs. the car
-About 4 hours is spent on getting the "feel" for it, starting, stopping, and shifting
-Its taught by instructors that have taught hundreds of people who can't drive a manual how to do exactly that

ellyfinzer

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 01:48:33 PM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual. Now it's one of the skills I'm really proud to have mastered! If you can illustrate what she stands to gain and focus on the awesome outcomes (convenience of using your automobile, the inherent badass-ness of driving stick, etc.), then learning can be more of a thrill than a pain.

Spork

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2013, 01:50:06 PM »
I think the main thing is just to keep doing it.  The way I learned was in an empty parking lot.  The way I "got good at it" was driving that car every day.

If she's really having a hard time, I could suggest a tractor (pending your ability to find one).  Every gear is basically 1st gear.  It's slow.  It's forgiving.

Russ

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 02:11:33 PM »
her perception of difficulty is all in her head, which I'm sure you know. The way my parents got around this for my sister was "If ______ can do it, so can you." Insert whatever person/group of people you find appropriate. Using yourself as an example is great if you can turn it into a joke, but no so great if it comes off as demeaning or pushy. Another good one for competitive people is "I bet you can't ______", but again that only works with people of a certain mindset. Getting over that perception of difficulty is the first step to self-motivation, which is essential for learning pretty much anything.

some motivations besides "I think you should":
-it's a good skill to know in case of emergency
-could be a step toward a single-car household if you two are headed that direction
-it's fun
-it's good basic knowledge for understanding how a car works
and many more of course. Just try and think of why "I think you should" or, even better, get inside her head and think "why would I want to" from her perspective

tips for teaching:
-try to help her experience pleasant emotions while learning (e.g. fun, relaxed, enlightened, vs. stressed, sad, frustrated)
-never ever ever show whatever frustration you may experience as a teacher. It will only serve to make your GF think it should be easier than it is, which is already a problem for her. This is mostly a special case of the above, but extra important because it's something you have exclusive control over
-don't force her into it when she's not ready or else you run the risk of her giving up, which will only reinforce her "I can't do it" beliefs

Super cliche, but communication might help as well if there's some other hidden reason why she doesn't want to learn. Like maybe her mom was a total dick to her when she was learning the first time and she doesn't want to have the same learning experience with you. At the same time though, don't read too much into anything

CNM

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 02:18:50 PM »
When I was learning to drive, I learned with a stick.  I finally got it when I practiced in an empty parking lot.  I cruised around with the clutch at the traction point ,so I could get used to knowing how far up the clutch pedal goes before engaging.  After getting used to that- which helped with the timing of clutch & gas pedals- it was fast learning.

Jamesqf

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2013, 02:51:32 PM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual.

Damn straight!  Automatic transmissions are assistive technology for the handicapped.

PolarBeer

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 02:57:27 PM »
You might also remind her that in other parts of the world, practically everyone is driving manual, and if you can drive that is what being able to drive means. It is slightly harder to learn, but by no means hard for any normal adult. I have noticed that many Americans seem to be of the opinion that it is too complicated for some people, or that some are just not made for it. That is simply not true.

Spork

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 03:01:18 PM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual.

Damn straight!  Automatic transmissions are assistive technology for the handicapped.

LOL.  My most recent acquisition was a manual transmission sold by a guy that just got his leg amputated. 

prodarwin

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2013, 03:07:16 PM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual.

Damn straight!  Automatic transmissions are assistive technology for the handicapped.

To be fair, many new autos are also more fuel efficient than their manual counterparts (if they have one)

In my case, I bought an auto specifically to prevent me from modifying my car :)

footenote

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2013, 03:29:22 PM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual. Now it's one of the skills I'm really proud to have mastered! If you can illustrate what she stands to gain and focus on the awesome outcomes (convenience of using your automobile, the inherent badass-ness of driving stick, etc.), then learning can be more of a thrill than a pain.
Damned straight(-eight).

jexy103

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 04:43:01 PM »
some motivations besides "I think you should":
-it's a good skill to know in case of emergency

I learned on a manual and had been driving for several months before I was allowed behind the wheel of an automatic for just this reason. My mother never learned how to drive a stick and she wanted me to learn it right away for emergency reasons. I grew up alpine skiing, and her reasoning was, "What if you go skiing with a friend who drives a manual and they break their leg? How do you get to the hospital or get home if you can't drive their car?" Tailor this to your own activities or hobbies. Or what if her car is in the shop and she needs to borrow yours to get to class, work, grocery store, etc? (Assuming she would first consider a bike, and only use a car for a long distance errand. ;-) ) It's not all that easy to learn, especially if she doesn't understand how the engine and transmission relate to shifting the gears and using the clutch. However, I think it's more fun to drive a manual and I like having full control of the vehicle. It shifts when I tell it to, not because some manufacturer somewhere programmed it a certain way. :-)

englyn

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 08:27:53 PM »
Maybe some of the struggle is because it simultaneously is and isn't that hard.
It looks completely easy when other people do it, plus all those Europeans and rednecks can do it, so I ought to be able to just pick it up straight away, right? Says someone's subconscious. Leading to them getting all kinds of frustrated when they discover that "everyone can do it" != "anyone can do it straight away". You can walk, and ride a bike, and so can nearly everyone, but it still took a good bit of effort and looking silly to be able to do so. We don't often encounter that as adults and aren't used to it any more. But if you go into it telling your subconscious to shut up, you CAN do it, and it WILL take some practice, and looking silly at times is perfectly OK... you probably have less frustration and emotional resistance.
(I only drive a manual, and have recently taught my niece and nephew to do so as well.)

Rural

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2013, 05:35:55 AM »
I'd just mention that you'd like her to be able to drive your car in case of emergencies (present as worry about her if you think that will help). Second the trying it out in low-stress areas. When I was learning to drive, it was an isolated dirt road rather than a parking lot, but either will work. It needs to be flat.

Since she learned as a teenager, point out she'll have a head start. If she has difficulties, reassure her that every clutch is a little different, so she will have to figure out exactly where yours engages; it may be different than the one she learned on. That's a conversation for while she's trying, though, as encouragement, not one for trying to convince her to try.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 05:37:36 AM by Rural »

PolarBeer

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2013, 05:58:26 AM »
You know what? There's nothing wrong with just plain wanting to drive an automatic. There. I said it.
Nope, nothing wrong with it. But it is a waste to pay a premium for doing it.

daverobev

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2013, 06:49:32 AM »
My wife has a manual Civic. It's my fault we have a manual; being British, I wanted a manual, but now she drives it in to work every day.

I dunno, even in the UK, some people are just bad at gear changes. I really notice how I'm driving and I strive to make the changes smooth (though of course when I'm not paying attention I probably do a better job - most of the time!). But some people... bunnyhop.

It isn't hard to be functional. My wife is functional at it. Every so often, I think, she likes it. I have a hard time not commenting if I'm ever a passenger (though, to be fair, I am an awful passenger. Awful, awful passenger.).

If she doesn't care about driving... just let her get on with it, IMHO.

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2013, 07:58:04 AM »
I learned how to drive stick because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that badass girls can drive a manual. Now it's one of the skills I'm really proud to have mastered!

I still feel badass while driving our manual, and I don't particularly like driving in general.

lifejoy

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2013, 08:21:16 AM »
Careful! When my boyfriend learned stick, we ended up having to replace the clutch ;) Oops.

MakingSenseofCents

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2013, 08:35:43 AM »
I absolutely suck at driving a stick. All I can do is grind the gears and do burn outs... It's horrible :(

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2013, 08:51:39 AM »
I am just learning to drive stick as well, and what I found was the most useful, was a very long, empty parking lot that isn't busy.  I say long, because I have enough room to accelerate into 3rd gear, and then practice down shifting into second, before I have to break and turn.

I find the most irritating thing my husband can do, is get frustrated, when I get frustrated/upset. That just makes me want to quit trying.

StarryC

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2013, 12:50:36 PM »
I prefer an automatic transmission, but I drove a manual for a year.  I first learned on a truck, and had a really bad experience.

The car I eventually "got it" on was a 2001 Saturn.  It had an arrow that told you when to shift up.  That was super helpful at first.
It was a small car, so I was familiar with steering etc.  It's much easier to learn once you know how to DRIVE and can focus on shifting rather than learning when you are 15 and still figuring out gas-brake-turn radius, mirrors, etc.

Also, riding a bike with gears helped me comprehend- low gears are easy to push but you can't go "fast" so they are good for starting and hills.  Higher gears are harder to push but make you go further with each push.  I didn't understand that at 15, but did when I got it later in life. 

I don't know how to convince her.  For me, it was a necessity. I realized why I was so scared later.  The truck was big, I didn't understand how to drive yet, I didn't understand the gears.  To make matters worse, once, the axel broke while I was driving.  It was unrelated to the stick, but I remember how angry my mom was when I couldn't get the truck to move no matter how many times I tried and then how angry my parents were at the expense of fixing the axel.  Again, not my fault, but aversion therapy for sure.

KatieSSS

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2013, 01:01:10 PM »
One piece of advice I would give is to learn on a vehicle that shifts relatively easily. I learned on this old, crappy truck that was probably going to bust a gear anyway. The shift from 1st to 2nd was a bitch. Even my dad, who has driven stick his whole life looked back on those lessons and said, "Yeah, I probably should have taught you on something better." When I finally drove a different manual transmission car that had "easy" gears, I couldn't believe the difference. So I can drive a stick in an emergency, but I don't drive one out of choice. Also, I suck at backing up in a stick...could never get that down. That poses a bit of a problem.

Jamesqf

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2013, 01:11:51 PM »
To be fair, many new autos are also more fuel efficient than their manual counterparts (if they have one)

That depends.  They may be more fuel efficient for poor drivers, because they take out some of the room for driving poorly.  I don't believe they would beat a good driver.  And of course the EPA test cycle is designed to replicate an average driver, not a good one.

Just for an example, the EPA rates my 2000 Honda Insight at 53 mpg combined.  From their real-world experience site http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList2&make=Honda&model=Insight the average is 62.6 mpg, while I've averaged 71.4 mpg in mine.

starbuck

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2013, 05:16:44 PM »
We haven't even really had a conversation about it. She will make some comment about how it's hard and she's really bad at it. I usually just shrug and tell her that I think that it's all in her head because rednecks everywhere drive stick and she's way smarter than any rednecks I know. We have a laugh and that's the end of it. I want to have some sort of plan before I actually broach the subject of her learning stick.

Dude, stop over thinking this. When she brings it up, just offer to go practice with her in a local cemetery or empty parking lot. No pressure, just an offer, and if she bites, cool! If not, well maybe she'll want to in the future. It'd probably help to explain why it's important to you. If you can't explain why it's important to you, or if it's NOT important to you, well then that's that.

I found it really challenging to learn how to drive a stick. And my spouse was the most laid back teacher ever. I had the hardest time with hills. Stall after stall after stall. So remember that not everyone will agree with your premise - that driving a stick isn't that hard. It isn't that hard for YOU.

Your goal is not to convince your partner that driving stick is easy. Your goal is to help her improve her manual driving to the point where she's decent at it and can drive your car safely. Reframing it might help you figure out a more successful approach.

rubybeth

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2013, 05:17:57 PM »
her perception of difficulty is all in her head, which I'm sure you know. The way my parents got around this for my sister was "If ______ can do it, so can you." Insert whatever person/group of people you find appropriate. Using yourself as an example is great if you can turn it into a joke, but no so great if it comes off as demeaning or pushy. Another good one for competitive people is "I bet you can't ______", but again that only works with people of a certain mindset. Getting over that perception of difficulty is the first step to self-motivation, which is essential for learning pretty much anything.

I completely disagree with this. I hate it when I think something is difficult, or I'm having trouble with doing something, and people say it's easy. Well, guess what, it's NOT easy for me! I'd rather have them acknowledge that something is tricky or difficult to learn, and work from there. I am also competitive, and someone saying, "I bet you can't" makes me angry, it doesn't make me want to prove them wrong.

I also have experience teaching technology-illiterate people how to use technology, and I find that acknowledging that it's hard sometimes actually validates them and their frustration and makes them more receptive to learning. Telling a 70 year old woman that it's super easy to use an iPad when she's struggling with it is cruel. Saying, "Yeah, it is tricky, but I think you can do it with some practice" is much more motivating.

ajmers

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2013, 06:56:04 PM »
I love driving stick, and was super excited to learn it, and having a manual transmission was my number one priority when buying a car, because I hated commuting in an automatic and stick brought it from a negative experience to a positive one.

If she has no interest in learning, though, it's hard to convince someone that something is 'fun' through force of will.

As a female, I have definitely had guys tell me outright (it's ridiculous, actually): "my respect for you really went up when I found out you could drive stick." If she's someone with a sense of competition, that might be a good motivator.

I think the key for someone who's just doing it for you is to be laid-back, relaxed, make it a fun experience for her. Never cringe and say, "Ohhh, my transmission!" when she stalls. If she thinks you care more about your car than her, it will be a very stressful experience.

Spork

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2013, 07:57:28 AM »
As a female, I have definitely had guys tell me outright (it's ridiculous, actually): "my respect for you really went up when I found out you could drive stick."

As a male, I can confirm that (a) it is ridiculous and (b) it is absolutely true.  It makes no logical sense, I know.

bogart

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2013, 08:36:49 AM »
Simple.  Develop plans for a shared one-month (or more) European vacation.  Agree to go to remote locations and decide that you will rent a car (frighteningly unMustachian, I know).  Agree that really you should both be capable of driving said car.  Price the cost of renting an automatic versus a standard in that market.  Agree that standard is the way to go.  At this point it will be logically impossible for your GF not to want to be able to drive stick comfortably and all you have to do is graciously agree to (or offer to) teach her. 

I'd stick with the continent  (or, I hear Iceland is lovely and replete with suitably remote locations).  Those funny Brits drive onP the wrong side of the road, you know ;P.


Self-employed-swami

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2013, 09:03:59 AM »
Simple.  Develop plans for a shared one-month (or more) European vacation.  Agree to go to remote locations and decide that you will rent a car (frighteningly unMustachian, I know).  Agree that really you should both be capable of driving said car.  Price the cost of renting an automatic versus a standard in that market.  Agree that standard is the way to go.  At this point it will be logically impossible for your GF not to want to be able to drive stick comfortably and all you have to do is graciously agree to (or offer to) teach her. 

I'd stick with the continent  (or, I hear Iceland is lovely and replete with suitably remote locations).  Those funny Brits drive onP the wrong side of the road, you know ;P.

I'm learning, because I might get the chance to go to Australia for work in September, so I'll need to learn how to drive stick, on the other side of the road!

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2013, 10:23:32 AM »
As a female, I have definitely had guys tell me outright (it's ridiculous, actually): "my respect for you really went up when I found out you could drive stick."

As a male, I can confirm that (a) it is ridiculous and (b) it is absolutely true.  It makes no logical sense, I know.

I agree. 100%. It's kind of hot too. Don't ask me why.

Simple.  Develop plans for a shared one-month (or more) European vacation.  Agree to go to remote locations and decide that you will rent a car (frighteningly unMustachian, I know).  Agree that really you should both be capable of driving said car.  Price the cost of renting an automatic versus a standard in that market.  Agree that standard is the way to go.  At this point it will be logically impossible for your GF not to want to be able to drive stick comfortably and all you have to do is graciously agree to (or offer to) teach her. 

I'd stick with the continent  (or, I hear Iceland is lovely and replete with suitably remote locations).  Those funny Brits drive onP the wrong side of the road, you know ;P.


Genius. That's how I'm going to do it. She won't be able to resist a trip and she won't be learning on my clutch.

bogart

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2013, 10:27:06 AM »
Quote
Genius. That's how I'm going to do it. She won't be able to resist a trip and she won't be learning on my clutch.

Haha, I was envisioning her learning before the trip, but what the heck.  Glad to be of help :)!

Russ

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2013, 10:34:55 AM »
FWIW if I was your girlfriend I would see that as pretty manipulative ("we can go on this trip but only if you learn to drive manual"), and I doubt learning overseas on a car you're liable for damages on would be any less stressful than learning at home.

Doesn't have to be this difficult dude, just talk with the girl.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2013, 10:55:36 AM »
I'm not manipulating her into anything. She doesn't have to if she doesn't want to. I just want to make it enjoyable for her.

exranger06

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2013, 12:00:30 PM »
I taught myself to drive stick. I understood all the concepts, when to shift, how to shift, when to push the clutch pedal in, etc, (IMO the hardest part of driving a manual transmission is knowing and understanding what to do, practicing is the easy part). All I needed was actual practice. My day finally came about 6 years ago, when I had a job as a delivery driver for an auto parts store. After a few weeks of working there, they made me go once a week to work at another store a few towns over. The first day at the other store, the manager asked, "Can you drive stick?" Me: "Yeah, no problem." :D So off I went, out of the parking lot onto a busy main road. I did pretty damn well for my first time. I drove that truck all day long for about 8 hours. I stalled it about 8 times. By the end of the day, I was pretty good at it. And I got better and better every week I drove it.

Beckyemerson

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2013, 10:48:44 PM »
I have taught three people to drive stick. I think there are two keys to successful learning. Good teacher and easy clutch. My Dad taught me. He explains things well and is very patient, but the car he taught me one had an awful clutch. I spent months very frustrated because I just couldn't learn. One day my older sister mentioned to him that his car has a difficult clutch, so we took her car out and that made a HUGE difference. Once I got the hang of it on her car I was able to drive his.

When I teach someone to drive we begin by me driving around and I point out what I am doing. When to shift, how to stop, how to start moving etc. Then I take them to an empty parking lot, field, or anywhere empty. It's best if it has a slight downgrade. The hardest part is learning to go from stop to moving. Once you are moving your timing has more room for error. I have the learner start the car and slowly pull off the clutch and listen. The goal isn't to get moving at this point it's figuring out the sound the transmission(?) makes when it is time to apply the gas. I let them pull out the clutch a number of times and let the car die until they get a feel for what they are looking for and then we start to practice applying the gas at the right time. If they are having trouble I look for a down grade so that the person learning can slowly pull the clutch out to get the car moving without even having to apply the gas. Once they master it without gas we add gas on the downgrade. Then go back to practicing on flat. Once that is mastered then practice starting on a hill.

If you want her to learn I would start by asking her about her experience when she tried learning before. If she mentions that someone was impatient or the car just wouldn't go console her by telling her that she probably had a bad teacher or the car had a difficult clutch. Remind her of all the things she is good at and tell her that you are confident that she would be good at this. You can even go over the top and say you are glad she didn't learn because then she would probably be better than you and that would be embarrassing ;) If she shows interest take her to a spot to learn. Be patient and encouraging. If she gets frustrated let her take a break. At the end of a lesson compliment her on all the things she learned.

Beckyemerson

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2013, 10:59:42 PM »
I taught myself to drive stick. I understood all the concepts, when to shift, how to shift, when to push the clutch pedal in, etc, (IMO the hardest part of driving a manual transmission is knowing and understanding what to do, practicing is the easy part). All I needed was actual practice. My day finally came about 6 years ago, when I had a job as a delivery driver for an auto parts store. After a few weeks of working there, they made me go once a week to work at another store a few towns over. The first day at the other store, the manager asked, "Can you drive stick?" Me: "Yeah, no problem." :D So off I went, out of the parking lot onto a busy main road. I did pretty damn well for my first time. I drove that truck all day long for about 8 hours. I stalled it about 8 times. By the end of the day, I was pretty good at it. And I got better and better every week I drove it.

That's awesome! I could not have learned that way. However, I had a boyfriend when I was 17 that led me to believe he could drive my manual. He never lied and said he could but He didn't say anything to change my assumption that he could drive it. One day I gave him the keys and said "will you drive?" and he made some excuse and it suddenly dawned on me that he couldn't. I felt deceived that he let me assume he knew how to drive my car. So I said "You don't know how to drive a manual". Still not wanting to admit he couldn't he said "I can drive your car". He grabbed the keys, started the car up and off we went. He later admitted that he had never driven a standard before that day.

Micheal

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2013, 11:33:00 PM »
Standard Transmissions are IMHO better for gas millage but then I'm a control freak when it comes to my vehicles.  I have made 2 cross country trips one in an automatic and one in a stick.  The automatic was an easier drive but I found driving it monotonous, You just have to be more involved to drive a manual, well that and the automatic had cruise control and the stick did not.  I learned to drive on a 73 Ford Courier with no power steering and a manual choke because my dad said if I could drive that I could drive anything.  Being able to drive a manual has many benefits otherwise, like being able to drive just about any vehicle made today, and Standards are getting easier to use days too, and are more forgiving, so in a few years when you need a good used car you'll be able to look together and get the best price without worrying about transmission type.  On the other hand my wife refuses to drive a stick and I won't make her if she doesn't want to because it is not a necessary skill and not worth the marital strife.  If someone doesn't want to learn its dam near impossible to make them.

livetogive

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2013, 11:49:56 PM »
I learned on an '86 Isuzu Trooper...in 1998.  Older cars are easier IMO.

I tried to teach a girlfriend once who just wasn't having it and feel your pain.  My only advice is it's not worth a huge fight.

Flashback moment:
Me:  "Did you forget to push the clutch in at this stop?  You have to press the pedal when you slow down to a stop."
Her: "No.  Shutup.  I pushed it in. See?  My foot's on the pedal.  Why?"
Me:  "well for one, the engine is stalled."

dorothyc

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Re: Convincing SO that driving stick isn't that hard
« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2013, 01:59:15 PM »
I learned on a manual transmission in the UK, but since my ex could only drive automatics, and we moved to the US in 1991, I haven't driven one in many years.
Now I would like to drive one again - particularly because my husband's vehicle is a VW New Beetle diesel with manual transmission and I have quite a long commute. However, when I have tried to practice with my husband in the car, I end up feeling nervous and criticized.  I'm considering biting the bullet and paying for some lessons with someone else, just to get over my nerves. It doesn't help that we live in LA, so there is always traffic on the roads.