Tips For Talking With Men
Men and women communicate differently, and remembering that is the best way to improve our conversations. Here are a few specific suggestions for communicating with men.
1. Be where he is. Don't try to have important conversations over the phone or from another room. Men are visual thinkers. They need to see you to take in all the information. If they are looking at a computer screen while talking to you, they are missing some of your message.
2. Ask for what you want, first. Let him know if you have a problem you want help with, or a problem you just want him to listen to, or you want to share your day. Remember conversation is a goal oriented activity for men. If they know upfront that your goal is simply to be heard they are better able to turn off the urge to solve a problem.
3. Use fewer words. This is not an insult to either gender's style of communication, but rather an acknowledgement of the differences. If you have something important to communicate to a man don't couch it in a long explanation. Be direct.
4. Maintain eye contact. This is the best way to keep anyone engaged in conversation. With men it is also the quickest way to know if you have forgotten tips number 2 (he's busy searching for an answer) and 3 (his eyes are glazing over).
5. Don't multitask. He will consider it an indication of the level of importance of the conversation.
6. Don't say "We need to talk." Unless you are going to tell him what it is about. He will resent being left in the dark. ("How can I solve a problem if I don't know what it is?") That resentment will be a bad starting place for the conversation.
7. Choose a time and place. Try to give him enough time and mental space to devote to the conversation.
8. Don't ask him to guess. No one wins the guessing game. Tell him what is important to you.
9. When he is upset give him space. Men often want to think through their problems before discussing them. This is different from many women who work through their problems by discussing them.
10. Assume the best. When communication does break down start with the assumption that your partner is still on your team. Try to hear his words through the best possible interpretation then check to see if you are right.
Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications