Sadly, the simple act of communicating with each other often leads to confused messages, or messages being missed entirely.
This is especially true when it comes to relationship communication between men and women.
And once communication breaks down a break up can often be the result.
Even as babies, girls talk more and sooner than boys. Girls talk and boys do.
It’s no wonder there’s conflict and sometimes a break up, when men and women can interpret the same conversation in different ways.
Because men and women have such significantly different conversational styles…
Here are 9 must know relationship communication problems…
1. As women grow up, talk is the thread from which their relationships are woven. They develop and maintain friendships by exchanging secrets, and regard talking as the cornerstone of friendships. Men bond as intensely as women, but their friendships are based more on doing things together and they don’t require talk to cement their relationships.
2. Men converse to negotiate status, women to create rapport. Men are comfortable telling people what to do, women don’t like to pull rank, so request, rather than demand (which leads the men to believe they have the right to accept or refuse the woman’s request).
3. When conversing, women face each other directly, with eyes anchored on each other’s face. Men sit at angles to each other and look elsewhere in the room-periodically glancing at each other and often mirror each other’s body movements. This tendency of men to face away when talking can set up relationship communication barriers. It can give women the impression that men aren’t listening to them, when in fact they are.
Men will look at the person who’s speaking…
- When they’re trying to evaluate whether the speaker is telling the truth, stretching the facts or presenting hostility. Their assessment allows them to prepare for action if necessary.
- When they’re evaluating a woman to whom they are attracted. In this case, they’ll glance over the woman’s body while listening to her comments. This is highly distracting to the female speaker because the man’s eyes seem to indicate that he’s not really listening to what she’s saying, but rather sizing her up as a woman.
4. Another male trait that can be disconcerting to a woman is that men tend to switch topics more often. Women like to talk at length about one topic; men tend to jump from topic to topic. This relationship communication trait of men can often lead to a partner’s frustration.
5. When a woman expresses her point of view, her female listener usually expresses agreement and support, whereas a man will point out the other side of the issue. Women see this as disloyalty and a refusal to offer support to their ideas. Women prefer other points of view expressed as suggestions and inquiries, rather than as direct challenges or arguments. Men are more comfortable with an oppositional style.
6. Women also tend to overlap and finish each other’s sentences. Normally, neither is offended. Men may react defensively when women do this to them, because they feel the woman is trying to take over the conversation. Men feel it’s rude to finish another’s comments and shows lack of attention to what they’re saying. However they are more likely to interrupt with negative side comments.
7. Men expect silent attention and interpret constant listener noise as signs of impatience on the listeners’ part. When men don’t make listening noises, women assume they’re not listening to them. Women make more listening noises such as “uh-huh …” to encourage and support the other person. Men often believe these noises mean the woman agrees with him, when she may not agree with him at all.
8. Women are more likely to nod their head more, give direct eye contact, and stop whatever else they may have been doing when the conversation began. A man may continue doing whatever he was doing before the conversation began. Lack of verbal cues can be an irritation to a woman.
Some men just don’t get it!!
How to improve your relationship communication skills
If some of these examples apply to your relationship, talk to your partner and become aware of each other’s needs. Analyse how you feel or respond to situations. Discuss this with your partner and decide if you might need to change and develop a more healthy relationship communication style. You may not be able to change completely, but being aware and communicating will avoid break up and marriage problems. And once you are both aware of each other’s different style, your relationship becomes stronger and life becomes simpler and happier.