Does Effective Communication Between the Sexes Require a Translator?
How to Avoid a Communication Breakdown and Keep the Lines Open
Men and women may not speak a different language, but they do communicate differently. Unfortunately, lack of communication is one of the top reasons behind the battle between the sexes.
In order for men and women to communicate effectively, they need to understand how the other half communicates by learning a different language – they don’t need to speak it, they just need to understand it, especially if they want to avoid a communication breakdown.
The world we live in today is different in many ways from years gone by. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is our basic makeup as men and women – who we are at our core, what we feel and how we express it. In this way, you can say that men and women do speak a different language.
In my Los Angeles couples and relationship therapy practice, I’ve worked with many couples who feel misunderstood by their partners and that translates into feelings of being unloved. Miscommunication is a huge catalyst behind the battle between the sexes, and it’s my mission to give couples the tools they need to understand one another so they can communicate better.
The Different Languages of Men and Women
Similar to the way men communicate, women express themselves as a way of verbalizing a situation or problem in the hopes of finding a solution.
Men verbally share a problem, because they are looking for a solution. For them, that is the sole reason for sharing it with you. I have a problem; I need a solution. They are sharing because they would like it if you would offer an idea or a different perspective.
Women verbally share a problem because they want to not only be heard, but understood by their partner. They share as a process of sorting out their feelings, and they’re hoping to have your full attention and empathy.
What women really want – is to have someone who is listening while they verbally sort out the situation for themselves. And the way women can make men understand this is to just preface their talks with a little statement that tells them, “I want to tell you something, and I just need you to listen.” Why should they do this? Because without saying that to a man, he’ll just naturally assume that she’s sharing in the hopes that he’ll offer a solution, because that is what men want when they share problems. For women, that’s not necessarily true, at least that’s not the main goal. To a woman, if you’re interrupting then you must not be listening.
The Secret Language of Good Listeners
When a man is a really good listener, he’ll identify with how she is feeling about a situation, and when he understands her feelings, he gives her a feeling of comfort. She feels she has a safe place to sort those feelings out. She feels understood, supported and loved.
When a woman is a really good listener, she’ll lend and ear and support. He knows she’s being a real partner and he shares freely. The only thing he’ll appreciate even more is if she offers a suggestion or solution – feel free to chime in. He’ll feel understood and supported and loved.
They may still speak a different language, but they know they’re being understood. And that is a true victory in the battle between the sexes.