Man Woman And Barrier Called Communication
Are you signaling something other than what you're saying?
Most of what pop psychology says about communication between men and women is overstated or distorted.
But since there's nothing more important in a relationship than communication, we thought we'd let you in on the answers to five of the most common questions we've found in TRUE research in the field of relationship science.
Despite our verbal fluency, experts actually characterize much of our communication as nonverbal! As a result, awareness of and use of nonverbal signals are important skills in successful relationships. Nonverbal communication takes on different levels of significance during different stages of a relationship. Early on, flirting and attraction-enhancing behaviors are front and center, and reading between the lines is of primary importance. Relationships that flourish often progress to an intensely verbal stage as couples get to know each other at a deeper level by sharing volumes of information about themselves. In later stages, when both physical intimacy and relationship conflicts emerge, nonverbal communication again plays a more featured role as couples go beyond words to intensify connection and create distance at the appropriate times.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle to communication facing men and women in relationships?
A: Actually, men and women often speak the same language when it comes to communication. However, one of the biggest obstacles to communication between the sexes comes when they try to resolve conflicts in a way that allows both partners to feel respected and empowered – negotiation skills are crucial to having successful outcomes.
Our scientific research with the TRUE Compatibility Test (a measure of psychological variables that play a role in long-term romantic compatibility) reveals that negotiation and accommodation are crucial in a relationship. To be sure, successful couples inherently have, or come to learn, the ability to adapt to each other's needs in the face of mutual conflict, as well as fluctuations over time in each other's preferences, goals, and dispositions. Many people harbor the unexpressed belief that anger and arguments are unnecessary if you truly love someone. But in reality, a loving relationship is always marked with friction to some extent, simply because it involves two adults who are individuals, each with their own individual likes and dislikes, wants, needs and desires.
Since their lives are so intertwined, it only makes sense that lovers will bump up against each other from time to time in pursuit of the things that bring them happiness. That's when negotiation can make a significant difference, bringing couples closer together through resolving problems, as opposed to getting stuck in cycles of disagreement and frustration.
Four tips for successful negotiation are:
1. Use your frustration or feelings of anger to figure out what the real issue is. If your partner's recent reckless spending is making you see red, try to discern if it's the cash flow or something deeper – say, his lack of self-discipline or your obsession with his level of commitment to a future together. Once you've pinpointed the problem as best you can, then stick to this topic for the duration of your discussion. You can always explore other related issues later, after you've settled on an outcome.
2. Use “I” statements to express your feelings. This will make it easier for your partner to hear your concerns, since your words are about how you feel, not about his faults and shortcomings. And get specific. Generalizations end up as accusations, more often than not. Saying “I feel pissed off every time we're late to something because you're running late at work” helps your partner understand exactly what the issue is, and respond in a less reactive way because you are talking about your experience of his tardiness, not a character flaw of his. In contrast, telling him “You piss me off because you never put me first,” is much more likely to lead to misunderstanding about the real issue, as well as defensiveness.
3. Listen well. Look for new information about the consequences of your choices and actions, as well as a deeper understanding of your partner's point of view. Consider this knowledge as you work toward resolving the issue.
4. Stay positive. Your goal is a win-win solution, where each of you gets something you want. Compromise, by definition, means you're going to have to give in to some degree; you can't get everything you want. But focusing on the positive outcome of a fair resolution, and framing the process as a strength in your relationship, is an important way to reinforce and support your bond with your loved one.
Q: What's the most significant difference in the way men and women communicate – particularly in a romantic relationship?
A: Women tend to use more nonverbal emotional expression and eye contact. Women especially use touch to convey empathy and to bridge emotional space with physical gestures. But, just because men tend to not touch, or gaze at their partner less, does not necessarily mean that they do not feel or want a connection. Men, by nature, are analysts and problem-solvers. Thus, rather than talking about feelings and issues in an open and empathetic way, men are more likely to show nurturance by using action to exhibit affection – e.g., discuss solutions to problems, buy gifts, take their partners to dinner or out on the town, etc.
Q: You mentioned that women often communicate their thoughts as a means of sharing and bonding, whereas men do so as a means of instigating action. How can women teach their partners how to listen attentively, rather than rushing to problem solve?
A: One of the most important skills in any relationship is being able to communicate your needs to your partner. If you prefer that your partner just listen rather than offer a solution, tell him (kindly) what would be most helpful for you. Men will appreciate this as guidance as to what type of action they should take that will help solve the problem at hand.
It may take some time for him to shift from an ‘action-response' to ‘just listening,' so be patient and always positively reinforce efforts he has made. For example:
“Honey, thanks for lending an ear. You really fixed this for me, I'm not so sad now.”
“This is great, you really listened and that saved me from a night of worrying about tomorrow's work day. Now I can relax.”
“Wow, thanks, now that I've vented with you, I really feel better.”
The idea here is to let the man know that the act of listening is his action plan. Phrases like those above are effective precisely because they use key words that appeal to the problem-solving side of men.
Q: Do you think men tend to show affection more nonverbally than women?
Do they feel, for instance, that it isn't “manly” to be as expressive with their emotions?
A: This is what research tells us so far:
* Women desire more emotional sharing and affection (e.g. calling just to say “I love you”) than men.
* Men tend to experience closeness through sexual behavior and physical closeness.
Here's the bottom line: Men and women may experience closeness in a relationship in different ways. Affection and warm feelings may be more important for women to feel connected in a relationship. Men may express intimacy through sexual communion. It's not necessarily that men view sharing and talking as unmaly; rather they do not place as much emphasis on verbal intimacy and understanding as do women (remember men are doers). Both women and men need to clearly communicate their needs to their partner and not assume that s/he can read your mind!
Q: There are always women who complain that their partners don't say “I love you” enough. Do you think by obsessing so much about those three little words that women are probably missing out on all the other ways he's voicing that sentiment?
A: Yes and no. In healthy relationships, reasons that men may not say “I love you” as much as their partner might expect or want could include that men may sometimes feel that actions speak louder than words, or men may feel some discomfort expressing love verbally due to their upbringing. It is important for women to understand that words and actions should go hand-in-hand because they reinforce each other.
However, in unhealthy relationships, arguing over how many times he says this phrase is a sure sign there are deeper issues in the relationship – most probably control issues. While it's a controlling tactic for her to insist he express himself through these specific words, it's also a power play on his part to withhold precisely the phrase that means so much to her. Both parties are guilty of putting their own agenda first before the needs of the other person and the relationship as a whole.
Whatever “I love you” symbolizes for her needs to be expressed and discussed, and likewise for his interpretation. Chances are good they are not on the same page, and both are worried about the implications of the presence or absence of these words in terms of emotional involvement and long-term commitment.
But women should acknowledge and appreciate other ways that men express love and devotion. As action-oriented beings, men may naturally show love by doing things for their partners. These expressions are just as valid, so women need to understand and appreciate that.
Article Source [fastseduction.com]