Author Topic: The difference between men and woman's communication?  (Read 4082 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

PeasNCues

  • Mind your PeasNCues!
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7366
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2011, 03:41:31 PM »
It's funny how we all hear things through our own filter.  Hearing this from my husband is usually exactly what I need.  I don't want sympathy, or solutions, or caring platitudes.  Somehow, hearing that he thinks I can handle it without his help  is reassuring and gives me confidence to handle it.  But I can see how, if you're looking for help and understanding, that hearing this phrase would feel dismissive.

Yeah, I think everyone has their own particular needs. The OP needs to communicate her needs and desires to her SO, that's all
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

Dorrie78

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1292
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2011, 04:30:17 PM »
One thing I'm trying to do is clearly state what I'm looking for - I'll start off by saying "I just need to vent about this awful thing and then I'll be fine." Or "This horrible thing is happening and I don't know whether this is an appropriate action. What do you think?

peach2play

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 963
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2011, 04:31:42 PM »
I think it's because it sounds dismissive, but I know it's not.  He really does care but I also think it's because he really has no idea what I'm talking about (he's a mechanic and I work in a highly specialized field in IT which sounds like Greek to anyone who isn't in the industry).  Thank you guys, you helped me figure it out.  I really want him to be sympathetic, but not sound dismissive, but you are all right, this is pretty minor.  It was like an itch I couldn't scratch ya know...

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18187
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 04:40:26 PM »
It's funny how we all hear things through our own filter.  Hearing this from my husband is usually exactly what I need.  I don't want sympathy, or solutions, or caring platitudes.  Somehow, hearing that he thinks I can handle it without his help  is reassuring and gives me confidence to handle it.  But I can see how, if you're looking for help and understanding, that hearing this phrase would feel dismissive.

Yeah, I think everyone has their own particular needs. The OP needs to communicate her needs and desires to her SO, that's all

...which at this point, for me, would be anything else other than that same sentence over and over again.  :-\ That's just so weird.  I would be tempted to ask, "You say that every time. Did a men's magazine tell you they are the magic words or something?" And of course i would try to say it lightly and anyone i was dating would know already that caustic is part of my personality, so hopefully they'd get it.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

peach2play

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 963
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2011, 04:47:49 PM »
I think it stems that we are still getting to know each other (it's only been a month) and he doesn't know what I need him to say yet...I don't know what I need him to say yet although I'm leaning more towards, Oh honey that sucks or *hugs* or something like that, but we are still learning about each other.  I know he cares and he's not being dismissive, but that's how it's coming across with out his knowledge.  I just have to communicate with him about my needs.  This is so minor though and I'm really ok with that lol.

Reason

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 774
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 01:37:11 PM »
Where I am from, "I know you can handle it." means "Quit whining and go handle it".

As far as man/woman communication goes I don't know any men that tell another man about their problems/awful day and expect a hug or an expression of warm sympathy (which is what the TC seems to expect).  So there is certainly that element.

What I don't understand is why the TC needs him to know what to say to her? He should say (within the confines of civility) whatever best suits his character and trying to change that is actually a pretty common mistake in relationships. At least I think it is, which doesn't make it true.

PeasNCues

  • Mind your PeasNCues!
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7366
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2011, 01:41:23 PM »
What I don't understand is why the TC needs him to know what to say to her? He should say (within the confines of civility) whatever best suits his character and trying to change that is actually a pretty common mistake in relationships. At least I think it is, which doesn't make it true.

But it shouldn't be just about him, though and people can ALWAYS improve their communication. Learning how to communicate with your partner in the best way is part of being in a relationship. I had to correct my BF several times in how he communicated with me. For example, when he thought there was a better way for me to do something, he would say, "Are you suure you want to do that?" I told him that if he had suggestions, I was open to receiving them and I respected and valued his input. However, saying what he was saying when he really meant, "You shouldn't do that" was not the way to offer suggestions to me. He hasn't done it since.

In my opinion, NOT talking about communication preferences is one of the biggest mistakes in relationships.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9015
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2011, 01:46:37 PM »
What I don't understand is why the TC needs him to know what to say to her? He should say (within the confines of civility) whatever best suits his character and trying to change that is actually a pretty common mistake in relationships. At least I think it is, which doesn't make it true.

But it shouldn't be just about him, though and people can ALWAYS improve their communication. Learning how to communicate with your partner in the best way is part of being in a relationship. I had to correct my BF several times in how he communicated with me. For example, when he thought there was a better way for me to do something, he would say, "Are you suure you want to do that?" I told him that if he had suggestions, I was open to receiving them and I respected and valued his input. However, saying what he was saying when he really meant, "You shouldn't do that" was not the way to offer suggestions to me. He hasn't done it since.

In my opinion, NOT talking about communication preferences is one of the biggest mistakes in relationships.

Pod.

Reason

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 774
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2011, 03:43:17 PM »
But it shouldn't be just about him, though and people can ALWAYS improve their communication. Learning how to communicate with your partner in the best way is part of being in a relationship. I had to correct my BF several times in how he communicated with me. For example, when he thought there was a better way for me to do something, he would say, "Are you suure you want to do that?" I told him that if he had suggestions, I was open to receiving them and I respected and valued his input. However, saying what he was saying when he really meant, "You shouldn't do that" was not the way to offer suggestions to me. He hasn't done it since.

In my opinion, NOT talking about communication preferences is one of the biggest mistakes in relationships.

I see what you are saying and to each his own. But, what you've essentially accomplished is changed the way your partner interacts. Now, instead of saying what he thinks he will be scared to piss you off and double check his instincts and say something he thinks you want to hear. Like "Yes sweetheart, I would love to cuddle." when he in facts wants to go to the gym and lift something heavy. That builds resentment.

I fully agree communication is important but so is the knowledge of who you are and who you are with. The issue is not as black and white as I am making it out but any time you try to change someone to better accommodate your needs you are playing a dangerous game. If my wife for example told me not to talk a certain way because it offends her, but I've spoken that way for my entire life, I would probably suggest she should have married someone else that talks the way she wants.

Please don't misunderstand, I love my wife and will make certain concessions to make her feel good even if the actions are outside my normal behavior(like bringing flowers randomly and the occasional gift etc). But what I will not do, is change who I am - for her or for anyone. relationships are about finding out who the other person is and seeing if you are compatible. They are not about taking a person and smacking them around till you mold them into what you want.

In your case, he didn't even say anything terrible. "Are you sure you want to do that?" is a perfectly reasonable question and if that's the only fault with the poor guy than you're in great shape.

Had he said something like "You look like a cow in those jeans and your mother is a harlot alcoholic" I can understand the impetus to correct him. In this case however, I am not convinced that fixing his interaction with you is at all warranted.

PeasNCues

  • Mind your PeasNCues!
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7366
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2011, 03:52:27 PM »
I've essentially changed the way my partner interacts with me. He's hardly double checking everything he says - in fact, the way he was approaching the issue clearly displayed he was afraid to give me advice. Now he gives me advice straight out instead of dancing around the issue. We don't have a resentment issue and are very open with each other. I definitely have not changed a fundamental part of him - I've freed him to talk to me without hedging around the issue.

He's also asked me to change a couple ways I communicate with him. I do so gladly and willingly because I love him. I do not feel hesitant or resentful.

I agree that he was not saying anything terrible, it was just a small annoyance and a communication issue, which is why it was an easy fix. I feel that if something gives you bad feelings, it's important to communicate those feelings instead of smothering them.

I'm not sure why my BF is a "poor guy," but I agree that our relationship is in great shape - mostly because we are open and honest with each other and willing to communicate.

Thanks for your input, though.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

Redsoil

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2098
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2011, 07:45:34 AM »
I wonder if it's the fact that the phrase sounds formulaic that is bothering you?  Like something one would learn at a marketing seminar.  (Or maybe a counselling course?)

Given that your relationship is so new, I think perhaps a little more time and familiarity will help.  You could gently say how the phrase makes you feel if it truly bothers you, or discuss the reasons behind why he uses it?  "Honey, I notice when I'm having a tough time you say *abc*, and I thought the phrasing was quite interesting.  How did you come to use this particular phrase - I'm intrigued."
Look out... 
It's one of the Aussie Contingent!


Allyson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2043
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2011, 12:43:50 PM »
If discussing how to better communicate with one's partner is going to be stifling, then wouldn't that apply *any* time something is an issue in a relationship? I don't see how it's stifling to be honest about one's reactions. I mean, had PnC freaked out at her partner for saying, 'Are you sure you want to do that?' (which would bug me too!) that would've been a huge overreaction. But wouldn't it be just as resentment-building to NOT say 'this thing you're doing is bugging me?' and instead to just say 'it's ok' or ignore it?

To use the gym/cuddle example, isn't *someone* going to end up doing something they don't really want? It seems like you're saying if she says 'actually, I'd rather you stay here with me' that he'll be forced to not go to the gym. But if she says 'sure honey, have a great time!' when she is really gritting her teeth, that's not any better, is it? *One* person isn't expressing how they feel in order to not upset the other.

grannyclampettjr

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 212
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2011, 01:46:54 PM »
It's not a male/female thing at all.  He's telling you that he doesn't want to be your therapist/rock/Mr. Fixit.  Your job is to accept it and continue with the relationship or find someone else who will willingly give you what you want.

I know this because I (a female) used to be a little helperbug/Janie on the Spot.  Listening to problems, going out of my way to fix stuff for people, kissing any and all boo-boos.   Not because I have any sort of martyr complex, but because it's just nice to be nice to people--I think it's the way to be.   Problem was, I was overloaded with people depending on me, and I found I wasn't able to pull back out of these one-sided relationships without causing *major* drama (Whyyyyyy do you hate me now?   What did I doooooooooo?)   So I decided (with much guilt, btw) that I just needed to not let people latch on in the first place.

A major turning point was reading an article by Martha Beck which talked about "emotional sl*ts".   She pointed out that these people will just move from person to person to person, getting deeply emotionally involved with anybody that would have them, and that they will absolutely recover from being rebuffed and go find someone else.    My MO, then, when someone wants to get inappropriately emotionally involved with me is to give a response much like the one your boyfriend gives you--"Wow, sounds like your boss is horrible.  What are your options?   Oh, your mom shouldn't have said that to you.   What are you going to do to change your relationship with her?"   Detatched, caring, but with a distinct "Yeah, no, not going to fix that for you.   Please quit asking."

Not that you are being an emotional sl*t.  (Or maybe you are.)  Just know that he's just setting a boundary with you.   He might be afraid that if *he* starts *you* won't stop.   It's up to you to quell his fears.   Because really, when you think about it, asking someone to listen to your problems (much less "process" or fix them) is a huge, huge imposition.    And I don't think I can adequately express what a huge relief it is for me to have not only vanquished my past drama llamas but to know how to neatly send any new ones packing.   

Reason

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 774
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2011, 04:23:04 PM »
To use the gym/cuddle example, isn't *someone* going to end up doing something they don't really want? It seems like you're saying if she says 'actually, I'd rather you stay here with me' that he'll be forced to not go to the gym. But if she says 'sure honey, have a great time!' when she is really gritting her teeth, that's not any better, is it? *One* person isn't expressing how they feel in order to not upset the other.

The problem only occurs if one person is trying to pressure the other into doing what they want instead of accepting their partner for who they are. If someone is dating another person that loves going to the gym (which they find out via dating before commencing a relationship) does it really come as a surprise when that person continues to go to the gym? Conversely, the active gym goer that despises prolonged displays of affection should think twice before engaging in a committed relationship with a homebody that loves to snuggle.

The real solution, I am afraid is to continue to either continue to date till a compatible match is found or to find a compromise between two personalities that is acceptable to both. It does not require anyone to swallow their feelings.

The solution is certainly not to press the other person to stop him/her from going to the gym because cuddling is preferred or to change their basic mode of operation for no other reason then "I don't like it" or "I want something different".

I am not saying there isn't some normal give and take. Maybe the girl's dog died and she would really rather that her man skip lifting metal junk to comfort her - that is understandable. What I am saying is the threshold for attempting to modify another person's behavior is and should be a very high threshold.

"I'd like for you to respond to my needs a certain way" does not meet the bar. Are you really finding out anything about the person that way? Or are you just telling them how they should act?

Danismom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
Re: The difference between men and woman's communication?
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2011, 06:14:33 PM »
In every relationship there has to be compromise.  If you expect to someday meet someone that you will never have to grow or adjust or compromise, well, I can't imagine that would ever happen.  We all continue to learn and grown constantly.  Telling your partner what you need from them gives them tools to be more helpful.  Maybe the OP could tell her bf "I had a really hard day at work today.  XYZ happened.  Do you think I over-reacted?/What do you think I should do about it?"  Ask him specifically for the feedback you desire.  As a woman, sometimes I just want to vent and then be cuddled.  DH knows me well enough now to recognize when that is but there were times when I had to tell him.  He wanted to be supportive and I needed to let him know what I would find supportive.

I would find bf saying the same thing every time dismissive.  Ask him questions or for specific advice.  That might help him to show more support.  Since you guys are still in the really early stages of getting to know each other, you are still learning a lot about him.  This is one of many qualities that you continue to evaluate and determine if this guy is right for you.  I'm not suggesting that you should reconsider your relationship, but that as you continue to assimilate everything you are learning about him to determine if you guys are a match, that you assimilate this to.