Men are from Mars, women are from Venus – or so they say. Many social scientists, bloggers, and authors today still take the stand that men and women are inherently different due to simple gender differences, which influence how they interact with each other on a daily basis.
But what if that’s just an excuse? Oftentimes, men and women fail to communicate effectively because they forget the basics of good communication, especially if they know each other well and are comfortable with each other. If you’re in a romantic relationship with a man, you might be able to finish each other’s sentences, but that doesn’t always mean you can read each other’s minds.
Learn to recognize common pitfalls when talking to your partner, and you’ll prevent unnecessary fights and misunderstandings along the way:
“It Goes Without Saying”
The biggest problem with communication between couples is the lack of quality communication actually taking place. Quite often, we expect our partners to know exactly what we mean and how we feel at any given time. We assume that it’s obvious to an outsider, because our thoughts are obvious to us. This forces our partners to guess what we mean, often incorrectly, leading to even more trouble.
Not Listening to Each Other
Women might talk over their partner, men might tune out completely. Whatever your style of communication, oftentimes men and women in a relationship fail to truly listen to each other because they’re trying so hard to get their own point across. Communication is a two-way street, but many couples forget that they have to work together instead of just pushing their own views.
Letting Emotions, Stubbornness or Pride Get in the Way
Sometimes outside factors can interfere with communication in a big way. A confrontation with a coworker in the office can leave you angry and frustrated, and may spill over into a conversation with your romantic partner. Or, maybe your own conviction that you’re right can damage your communication as well.
Lack of Context
Miscommunication may occur between a man and a woman because they say something that may be interpreted many different ways. For example, your partner may express that they “need some space” and you automatically assume that it’s over between you. But, in reality, he could want some more time with his guy friends or simply some time to unwind after work. Lack of context can cause major miscommunication.
By understanding these common communication mistakes, you can work towards a better relationship with your man. Try a few of these tips to get on the right track:
Even if you think you’ve been clear about something, make sure you emphasize the main points again to your partner so you know that you’re on the same page.
If you aren’t totally sure about what your partner means, ask them to explain their thinking or why they did something. Sitting around wondering will only lead to more harm done.
Even if you oppose what your partner is saying, hear them out completely. Take some time to think about what they’ve said instead of immediately shutting them down.
Nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal talk. Make sure you are fully focused on your partner with your eyes on him and not your phone.
Nothing’s worse than starting an important conversation when you’re running off to a meeting. Schedule in a time in your day when the two of you can talk without distractions.
Practice and Have Patience
Don’t be discouraged if you still have fights every now and then over miscommunication. It takes time to learn how to talk to each other effectively, so just be conscious of how you are talking with your partner and your relationship will improve greatly.