7 Things to Bear in Mind When Communicating With a Man.

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I did not know how to properly communicate with the men in my life.

I’ve had my share of blunders through sheer ignorance and stupidity. As a result, I’ve read countless sex and relationship books, especially the ones pointing out the differences in the way men and women communicate.

As a sexologist, I’ve been privileged to have had front-row insights into the inner workings and thinking of men. While not all of what I have to share may be true or applicable to all, and there will be some generalisations, surely some of it will be helpful. Please read this in the spirit of my intent to share, to illuminate and to help.

1. He just wants her to be happy.

When a man is in love with a woman and the woman is the centre of his universe, he wants her to be happy. It’s not that complicated. In a mature relationship, all parties know they are responsible for their own happiness. Just because he loves her and wants her to be happy, it does not mean he can be blamed for it all when she is not.

2. He takes it personally when she is not happy.

Men generally process women’s sharing quite differently and can take it personal when it was not intended to be. Oversharing and over-communicating unhappiness can lead him to come to the wrong deduction that he is not good enough, not trying hard enough, feel inadequate and/or come to the conclusion that the woman is too difficult or impossible to please or satisfy. Women should be careful not to shut their man out the relationship through their own downward spiral of negativity.

3. He cannot be her best friend in all things.

It is important for a woman to have her own friends who get her, speak the way she does and do not feel that their energy is zapped the way her romantic love will. She needs to recognise that she needs somebody to talk about him too!

4. He is not a psychic.

Acknowledging, complimenting, praising, celebrating and cheering on a partner should not go out the window just because of a long term relationship. She thinks he knows her and that he should know what she’s thinking. He doesn’t.

5. He is listening to the tone of her voice.

It’s not about what she says. It’s also the way she says it. If she is with a man who is more auditory than she is, he can be more sensitive to the tone of her voice or the choice of her words than she will ever be. Hence she may fail to get why he always seems to be reacting in more negative and extreme ways than she is.

6. His communication style is probably different from hers.

Effective communication is not more communication but speaking in ways a partner can comprehend and appreciate and that may include adapting the preferred communication style or method drastically e.g. being more direct; using shorter sentences; not giving long passages of dialogue at a time; emailing him instead; being mindful of body language; touching him to reassure him when communicating certain news; choosing times when he is more relaxed and open; checking him when it would be a good time to have that important discussion instead of springing big topics on him out of nowhere.

7. He does want to talk about sex.

He just might not have a lot of experience talking about sex. Sex is just another communication topic. Sex does not need to be a sensitive subject. It is only regarded sensitive because we are not used to talking about it. The same knowledge we possess and the skills we apply to communication also applies to all communication about sex. It is less about using the right anatomical terminology but more the tone and the intent behind the words that is important.

What did you think of this article? Discuss this with your beloved. Or your male friends. Were you already aware of these communications insights? If not, what might you begin to adopt in your communication with your partner? I love to hear your thoughts!

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Author: Martha Tara Lee

Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Martha Tara Lee

Dr. Martha Tara Lee is the founder and clinical sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a doctorate in human sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexuality education workshops, and speaks at public events. She is the host of the weekly radio show, Eros Evolution, on OMTimes Radio, and author of the books Love, Sex and Everything In-Between and Orgasmic Yoga. Catch up with Martha by email or visit her website.

Comments

31 Responses to “7 Things to Bear in Mind When Communicating With a Man.”

  1. Rosalia says:

    I can understand how every one of these are true… Thanks!

  2. I really enjoyed this article!

  3. S Nino Stamboulakis says:

    What ever happened to equality?
    75% of your authors are women.
    That will give a 75% bias towards women's viewpoints on any subject or topic overall.
    Apart from that issue, age is not well represented especially for the older folks.
    We love, we have issues, we need to also be listened to and allowed to participate with the opposite sex, as it's not just the younger ones that want sex, or have issues with their opposite partners.

    Just saying!!!!!

  4. Deb says:

    Good advice. But above all, there must be trust, truth, and honesty. Those three things are not always a given.

  5. Marni says:

    I wish I had this to read a couple of years ago…

  6. Gente says:

    Lovely article. I think these points were the kind that I knew deep down, but reading them confirms it and brings awareness to the points. Thank you Martha.

  7. lenka says:

    I agree with this 100%. We need to accept and always always always make our selfs aware that we are so so so different! Men are not women with penis. It’s a man with man thinking, feeling and being alive. Especially if I spend ling time just talking with my girls I tempt to forget and expect from men that kind of response I get from woman. No! Never! Also I can over share and make man confused. So easy to forget. Nothing worng about. We are just different creatures of the same anamal kind. 🙂 Great article Martha! In a rigjt time for me! Thank you!!! Xx

  8. Lisa says:

    Your article is so true! Points 1, 2, and 6 describe my relationship to a "T" – point 5 was an eye opener for me. I will have to work on my tone of voice.
    Thank you for writing this – no matter how old I get, I am still learning about the differences between men and women.

  9. Christian says:

    Well written and very true. All points are dead on and the things women miss-understand most when speaking to men.

  10. Mingus says:

    ok.. you are right that in most of my relationships with men, these things have proven true. I guess I just want to believe that men can learn to de-personalize and be present with women in all their states of emotion. It just seems like it isn't fair to either men or women to stop there.. to pigeon-hole men and women into these roles. Women have adapted to men's needs for thousands of years, is this just the same thing? And please be kind, fellow commenters and author. I am not here to be disrespect or be disrespected.

    • Jayne says:

      Yeah, i kinda agree with you. Its like all the articles towards women are always like "you're too much, talk too much, too complex… etc etc…" its like seriously why should women have to become single cell creatures, how about men gear up to more complex levels of thinking and being. Honestly I'm going to talk all I want, speak heaps, just be myself. And I reckon if I'm just myself i'll find a man who gets that… not one that I will always have to scan how and what I am saying for, but one who gets my natural communication style. Otherwise I'm happy to stay single.

    • Margaret says:

      I agree with your comments. This post was well written in that it stayed away from calling women out on “too much this” or “too much that”… but generally speaking, I balk at the idea that it’s the woman who has to tailor her communication and behavior around the man.
      I agree with the author’s list here, and have experienced these things with men in relationships. However, in my experience dating middle aged men… I wonder how many would read this as an excuse not to meet their partner halfway.
      The thing about successful relationships… there’s an active partnership dynamic… one that includes mutuality, reciprocity, and compromise. I’m tempted to write a counterpart of sorts to this list; one that includes more of a mutual perspective.

  11. Courtney Bee says:

    Honestly, I never thought about my tone of voice throwing him off. I just repeat myself eight ways from Sunday and keep coming up with analogies until I come up with one that hits home for him.. I loved this and it helped me greatly. Do you have more articles about communicating with our men!?

  12. Jodie says:

    Hi Martha, I have to disagree with your piece. I think that if you have expressed your concerns to ‘said BF’ at the beginning and after a few months they still can’t show up, then maybe they are not emotionally their for you, them or the relationship. I told my ex SO, after 5 months that i need him to give me the same affection he gave me the first 2/3 months…but he just couldn’t. Yes, after a month or two, asking for this and maybe after a few months i got frazzled, he withdrew from me but all he had to do was ‘show up’ or sit me down and tell me that he couldn’t. Instead, he allowed and watched me fight to keep our relationship. I just think there a some men who are quite happy to ’emotionally and physically disengage’ with their Girl as they are too weak to do it them selves. And that want ends up happening is us GF’s start to get needy and we try to fight for the relationship that they wanted with us in the first place but they don’t anymore. When I’m with someone, i love them and i will put up with ‘their tone of voice’, ‘lack of communication’ etc for only so long….I don’t want to be with a man who thinks he is my ‘only option’ and slowly chips away at confidence and self worth! Your article is basically stating, just be a ‘doormat’ and that is not a good thing. You should be writing an article to let people (male and female) know that if you try these and the SO can’t ‘show up’ Let.Them.Go!!!

  13. Jodie says:

    Hi Martha, I have to disagree with your piece. I think that if you have expressed your concerns to ‘said BF’ at the beginning and after a few months they still can’t show up, then maybe they are not emotionally their for you, them or the relationship. I told my ex SO, after 5 months that i need him to give me the same affection he gave me the first 2/3 months…but he just couldn’t. Yes, after a month or two, asking for this and maybe after a few months i got frazzled, he withdrew from me but all he had to do was ‘show up’ or sit me down and tell me that he couldn’t. Instead, he allowed and watched me fight to keep our relationship. I just think there a some men who are quite happy to ’emotionally and physically disengage’ with their Girl as they are too weak to do it them selves. And that want ends up happening is us GF’s start to get needy and we try to fight for the relationship that they wanted with us in the first place but they don’t anymore. When I’m with someone, i love them and i will put up with ‘their tone of voice’, ‘lack of communication’ etc for only so long….I don’t want to be with a man who thinks he is my ‘only option’ and slowly chips away at confidence and self worth! Your article is basically stating, just be a ‘doormat’ and that is not a good thing. You should be writing an article to let people (male and female) know that if you try these and the SO can’t ‘show up’ Let.Them.Go.

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