Stemming back to the days of ‘Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus’, we have understood there are fundamental differences in how men and women respond to situations. This difference could not be more apparent than in our communication styles.
Typically, women are wired with one set of wants and needs in terms of communication, while men are wired with another. The two are quite different.
However, the awareness of the other’s needs and goals can completely change how we interact and understand one another.
This one simple explanation has had a profound impact on how most couples relate with one another and are better able to support each other’s needs.
So, what are these simple truths I speak of?
Women: Communication Style Explained
Women are emotional and evocative by nature. I don’t mean that we are emotional messes, incapable of rational thought. I mean that we have different goals when we communicate.
For example, when we tell our partner about our day or about a specific situation, we are simply asking them to listen to us. We need to be heard, supported, and understood. We don’t need someone to be a bobblehead who agrees with us. Instead, we need them to hear us out and try to understand where we are coming from.
The mere act of being able to get something off our chest and talk it out is often all we need to feel better. This helps women process through a situation.
Men: Communication Style Explained
Men are typically more analytical and pragmatic. By this I mean they assume if we are telling them something, we are asking them to fix it.
When their partner tells them about a person or situation that is frustrating them, their mind immediately comes up with questions. Followed by possibilities and solutions to problems that may not actually exist.
They are problem and solution-oriented. However, it doesn’t automatically occur to them that all a woman might need is for them to listen to their partner.
How did we come up with these communication styles?
This is not just a sweeping generalization. These communication styles are based on years of experience working with couples. Repeatedly, it’s been verified that it is indeed this dynamic.
It’s like a light bulb goes off when the other person grows to understand that this is how the other person operates, that this is where they have been coming from all this time.
When couples learn to ask for what they need (or ask their partner what they need) you can literally see their body language relax. This is a habit I use and will introduce conversations with, “I just need you to listen to me and hear me out. I don’t need you to fix anything, and I don’t need anything else from you.”
This makes intentions clear to the other person. This makes them relaxed and more able to give you what you need because you have made them transparent.
The same works for men. If they’re hoping for some practical advice, and they feel like all they get is someone who sits and listens, they will get frustrated. If their partner offers little feedback or solutions they should ask them for what they need.
Tell your partner that you are really struggling with a person or situation. Tell them you really want to run something by them and get their advice. Say that there’s no one else you trust like them, or feel comfortable talking about this with.
Now your partner is more alert, aware, and engaged, as you need them to be. With this newfound understanding of communication styles, as well as ultimate communication goals, you will have more productive and pleasant interactions.
You will meet each other’s needs and support one another in a way that you never have been able to before.
This article was originally posted here.