Men often complain that they don't just understand women; women are frustrated with the same issue. Understanding how to communicate with someone whose communication style differs from yours, then, can have a major impact in your ability to relate them, to get along with them and can save you both headache and heartache down the road. Though there's nothing wrong with two people having different communication styles, but when these differences are great enough and the people are in close enough contact, it can lead to negative outcomes - Misunderstandings, fights, miscommunication, frustrating or even ugly break-ups.
What Men Get Wrong About Communicating With Women
If you ask a group of women about what men get wrong about communication, you’ll get a variety of answers. Most women are used to feeling frustrated and confused about men’s communication styles, and they’re very much aware that sometimes, it feels like talking across genders can feel like you’re speaking in two different languages. So what are the issues in play here?
Well, there are two significant issues that produce a lot of the gaps, misunderstandings and frustrations when it comes to male and female communication.
1. Men Assume Women Communicate the Same Way They Do
The first mistake a lot of guys make is approaching communication the same way regardless of their interlocuter's gender. This means that they assume the way they communicate with other men will function just as well when it comes to talkin to women. That's not to say that they use the exact same approach. Many guys will consciously self-edit when talking to women, using a less masculine and jocular vocabulary, for instance a female worker than a male one-but that they will prioritize the same facets of communication.
Men want to solve problems and communication is a means to that end whereas women prioritize exploring and sharing emotions. They see connected conversation as the goal. For women emotional communication is an end into itself.
In short, an ability to acknowledge and discuss emotions will put a guy at a disadvantage when it comes to talking to a woman. With blinders on, he'll miss out on crucially important aspects of the conversation without even realizing it.
2. Men Dismiss the Importance of Female Modes of Communication
The second problem is that, while some men are aware that being able to center emotions with a conversation is an option, they don't consider it to be important.
In order to genuinely meet a woman at her level, you need to respect that her communication style isn't less important or less worthwhile than yours-it's just different. If you can do that adapting to it and improving at it, it would come much more easily.
She: I'm really tired. I have so much work to do—I don't know how I'm going to get it done!
He: Why don't you take a day off and rest, if you're so tired?
She: (sarcastically) Thanks a lot! You think my contribution to this household is so trivial that I can do nothing and the difference won't even be noticed?
The problems here result from some subtle differences in the ways that women and men approach problems. Women sometimes deal with problems by talking about them, sharing their feelings, and matching experiences with others. This can be frustrating to men, who more typically deal with problems by focusing on the facts and seeking an immediate solution. Occasionally, men perceive women to be ungrateful for the advice and solutions they offer and ponder in frustration why women don't want to resolve their problems! Similarly, when men offer a solution, rather than talking about a problem, women may feel hurt, dissatisfied, and put-down by the lack of empathy men show.
She: Call me when you get there and let me know you made it safely.
He: That's ridiculous! Nothing bad is going to happen, so just trust that I'll get there safely! If something bad does happen, I'm sure you'll hear about it!
The misunderstandings in these examples probably result from differences in the ways that women and men show affection. It is more common for women to show affection through talking, but it is more common for men to show affection by doing things—either doing things together or doing separate things within the same physical space. Sometimes not talking—not having to talk—is a sign of trust and intimacy for men.
Understanding differences is the key to work them out. When we misunderstand one another, we often think that the other's motives are not reasonable or worse. The next time if you feel surprised, disappointed or angry with someone's response to something you have said, ask yourself if he/she may have 'misheard' you.
FEW IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION GUIDES FOR MEN TO IMPROVE AND SMOOTHEN COMMUNICATION WITH A FEMALE PARTNER
● Being an active listener
It is rightly said "before you speak, listen." Men need to be patient and active listeners to get along well with women. Patience in lengthy conversations is most desirable and crucial. While seeking to understand their feelings, you also need to show some empathy. Give feedback or suggestions if required or just listening clearly without offering a solution. Possibly by keeping your distractions to a bare minimum to leave a positive mark. Sometimes women may say things that may not seem as important to you but men need to listen patiently. She is telling you for a reason and wants to share the same with you. You need to focus not just on what she's telling you but to focus on her gestures as well. Active listening is not just being attentive, but it is also watching her body language as well as looking into her eyes.
● Know how and what to say
After a long hectic day, men just want to sit on the couch, put on the game and crack open a beer. Women mostly want to immediately call or talk to you face-to-face when we get home so we can talk about our day. It makes females feel very special and good when you ask them just how they are or how their day was.
Women like to talk about everything and share their problems with Men and they usually end up talking a lot. Sometimes they may not want you to provide you any solutions or suggestions, but just to understand and hear them out. At that point of time, all they want is to be understood.
● Choose a good topic
If a man initiates the conversation, he should make it interesting by asking open-ended questions without seeming like an interrogation or digging it too much. It is paramount to choose a good topic while initiating a conversation with a Female partner.
● Know how her day was
At the end of a hectic day, everyone wants to relax on the bed and relax. But when it comes to women, they might want to call or meet-up just to talk or discuss their day. It's their stress-buster. Therefore, it's important to ask women how her day was to give her comforting feeling.
● When She Is Feeling Down
Women often use words as tools to explore and express difficult emotions that they're going through. Men need to realize when they are upset or going through a rough time by listening to them carefully instead of just hearing them out.
She is able to process her negative emotions and let them go when someone is there when someone is there to understand them. She values support and nurture, and is most fulfilled by sharing and corporation.
● Keep your sense of humor
Celebrating individuality and differences in the thick of things especially in long-term commitment, makes the relationship joyful, exciting and gives a level of flow to dialogue. It's important to have a sense of humor to keep the interest going on and establish a cheerful mood.
Not all men communicate the same way, and not all women communicate the same way but it's hard to ignore that certain modes of communication end up being gendered more often than not.