Friday, December 3, 2010

Men & Women Can’t Communicate…

Men and women communicate differently, many times that’s what leads to or escalates arguments. Maybe, if there was a School on LIFE they would have a class that would teach us what we need to know about the opposite sex’s communication style. Instead, like everything else, we have to read self help books and try to figure it out ourselves or deal with the frustration in ignorance. Years ago, being the type of person that is always seeking answers, I researched this topic for my own curiosity. I heard John Gray speak on a talk show a couple of times. He is the author of all the “Mars and Venus” books. I have to say I was not impressed with his appearance or voice or the fact he was divorced, but everything that came out of his mouth made perfect sense. I took out his book from the library to read.

In my opinion, John Gray has really written some very insightful and helpful books on this subject. I had to laugh at how well he had depicted both men and women’s needs, behaviors, and emotions. Since I only knew he had correctly assessed women from my own experience, I asked my husband about many of the things he said about men. Sure enough, all true. And the best part is, he actually gives reasons why we are the way we are and advice on how to approach and understand the opposite sex.

In my own life, for example, I wanted to know why my husband tried to avoid discussing problems and would shut down, when I wanted to talk it through. It got to be very frustrating. After I read the book, I learned that most men tend to withdraw to avoid confrontation and women just want to be heard and continue talking trying to get through to them. Knowing this piece of information made my life a lot easier. I was thinking it was just my husband who did this, but it helped knowing it was men in general.

Another example is when my husband had problems at work. I wanted to be supportive and help him through it. The more I tried to get him to open up the quieter he got. It felt like I was being shut out, I took it personally. After all, when I or my female friends have problems, we talk and vent to anyone who will listen. I really didn’t get it until I read that men will retreat “into their cave” when they have a problem and will come out when they have a solution. So I learned to give him his space, if I felt he didn’t want to talk about work.

The funniest thing I learned was “the point system” difference between men and women. This is how is works: men and women give each other credit for all the nice things we do for each other, but our value systems are very different. For example, men give a lot of points for big things and women give one point per thing. So, for example, if a woman cooks her husband’s favorite meal that might be worth 40 points, if she gives him a massage 20 points, if she fulfills a fantasy of his 100 points. Now women don’t use this system at all. If a man gives a woman a dozen roses then he gets one point. If he leaves her a love note on her pillow, he gets one point. If her says, “I love you,” “you look great,” “did you lose weight?” that’s one point, one point, one point. I found this information very useful and I learned my husband had no clue about how women value things. He thought a dozen roses or expensive gift would be worth more than a love note!

I would definitely say that those books can be very helpful for any couple. My husband wasn’t as interested in reading them as I was, but nevertheless it helped me to understand the communication between the sexes and not to take everything so personally.

If only men and women came with instructions, so we could figure out how they work, maybe relationships wouldn’t break down at the rate they do?

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