Secrets For Communicating With Men
Val Baldwin, CPC
Live Your Ultimate Life
Men and women are just wired different and that’s a fact. But this difference can lead to confusion and frustration for both genders. If you can understand the differences then you can learn to accept and respect those differences and learn how to bridge the gender gap. One big difference is in how men and women communicate. Here are three great secrets for communicating with men from Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D., author of Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know.
First you must understand these basic gender differences:
Men communicate to report – it’s all about negotiation, reporting, stating facts or finding solutions.
Women communicate for rapport – it’s all about cooperation, connections, expressing feelings and showing support.
Communication Secret #1 MEN COMMUNICATE BEST WHEN THEY HAVE A FOCUS FOR THE CONVERSATION
What women do: we are very vague in our request for communication. We say “let’s have a talk”, or “honey, I think we should discuss our relationship.”
How men react:
- Your partner may act uninterested or resistant in having the conversation and keep putting you off.
- He may try to start an argument just to avoid having to have “the talk”.
- When you want to have a discussion with a man, give him an agenda. Tell him exactly what you’d like to talk about, what you hope to accomplish and what you expect from him. Say “Hey John, I would love to take some time after dinner tonight to brainstorm some ideas on how to help our son improve his grades in math. Will that work for you?”
- Ask him questions.
• Wrong way: How’s work?
Your partner will give you the briefest possible answer, such as, “Fine.”
• Right way: Honey, how are you doing with that new project at work? Is it as tough as you thought it would be?
- Don’t use hinting as a way to say what you want – be direct. He is NOT a mind-reader.
Communication Secret #2 MEN INTERNALIZE THEIR THINKING PROCESS AND COMMUNICATE THE END RESULT
- Men are solution oriented. Women are process oriented.
What women do:
- We think out loud
- Women want to vent and talk about it. 96% of all women when they feel stress will go and talk to another woman to get the feedback they want.
- What women do wrong is talk out loud about their problems without letting the man know we feel hopeful about finding a solution
How men react:
- Women talk too much and don’t get to the point!
- They accuse women of whining and complaining a lot
- Men become impatient, assuming she’s going on and on because she can’t find a solution.
- He ends up feeling responsible for fixing things for her.
- He tries to rush her to the solution of her problems.
- Discuss this secret with your man. Explain your way of thinking and talking to him and let him know you understand his way too.
- Tell your man up front that you just need to vent, that you’re not expecting him or even wanting him to solve the problem. You just need to vent and have him be the listening ear. Be direct and say “hey honey, I don’t want you to solve this but I need to vent and I just need for you to listen to me.” Or say “I have a problem I would really like your input on to help me solve. Is now a good time?”
Communication Secret #3 MEN DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR EMOTIONS AS EASILY AS WOMEN DO.
- To most men, the world of emotions is a strange and frightening place and makes most men feel out of control because it’s unfamiliar.
- Most men have been conditioned to stay in their heads, not in their hearts.
- Remember: human beings feel comfortable with what they are most familiar with.
What women do:
- We blame them for what we see as being insensitive.
- We expect men to be able to get in touch with their feelings as quickly as we can.
- We assume that intellectually articulate men will be emotionally articulate…..not necessarily so!
How men react:
- Rebellious and uncooperative when it comes to having conversations.
- Angry at you and prone to attacking you as being too emotional.
- Sometimes a man isn’t sure of what he’s feeling and if you are pressuring him to talk to you, he will change the subject or verbally attack you hoping to buy time to figure out what’s going on inside him.
- Don’t overwhelm you man with your emotions by pouring them out all at once and expecting him to respond. Slow down – take your time – be clear about what you want to say.
- Sometimes when you partner is silent, he’s not ignoring you – his mind is processing the information you gave him and he’s trying to get in touch with his feelings.
- Try physically touching your partner, holding hands, resting your hand on his arm or hugging him as a way to help him get out of his head and into his heart.
You now have the understanding and the tools you need to really start communicating with your man on a higher level. Good luck ladies!