Communicating with Men
How to Hit the Target When Communicating with Men
Have you ever walked away from having a conversation with someone of the other gender and wondered, “What are they thinking?”
Some of you may have even wondered if they were from a different planet.
Well, some of us guys may look a little strange, but I assure you that we are all from the planet earth.
The problem of communication between the sexes (genders) simply boils down to perspective. Men look at the world from a guy’s perspective and women look at the world from their own perspective.
The difference may only be two degrees off, but it seems to be just enough for communication shots to often miss their target.
In my book “Discovering a More Intimate Response:Enriching Your Marriage Relationship, ” I spend a whole chapter describing the significant difference between men and women. I won’t take the time to develop the argument in this article; I’ll just hit you with the bottom line.
By the way, if you’re a guy reading this, you will think, “Hmm, I like that, just give me the bottom line.” If you’re a woman, then you will more likely be frustrated by not seeing the process which leads to the conclusion I’m about to share.
What are they Focused On?
The main difference between men and women is that men have their primary focus on success and their secondary focus on relationship, whereas, women have their primary focus on relationship and their secondary focus is on success.
Think about this for a minute. Who are the heroes in a guy’s world? Right, of course, it’s the ones who succeed at life better than anyone else does.
Who are the heroes in a woman’s world? Right again, those who make you feel like you want to be connected to them. He may not be the best singer, but he’s cute and his song sends shivers down your back.
So How DO we Communicate With Men?
This significant shift in how men and women think and see their world makes a ton of difference when it comes to communication. He communicates for the purpose of receiving or sending data so that he can achieve the result he’s looking for.
She communicates, well, because that’s just how you connect with people that you want in your life circle. Sure there are times when she has to collect data and get the job done like everyone else, but if it can be accomplished in a way that builds friendship, well then, Bonus!
Lets test this out for a second. If you’re a guy and she says to you “we need to talk,” guess what goes through your mind. “Oh, man, how did I fail this time?” And so you shudder and begin to search for a place to hide or a way to avoid that conversation.
Now when she says the same thing to her female friends, they don’t think, “how did I blow it?” Instead, they think, “Great, I’m so happy that we can sort this out so that we don’t have anything getting in the way of our friendship.”
If you still don’t get this, just consider how men and women are wired for sex. For those of you who are married, the lights just went on.
He has an achievement in mind, which can be accomplished rather quickly. She on the other hand desires a connection experience, which requires conversation and time to arrive at the perfect ending. That is why He is like a microwave and she is like a slow cooker. Communication too not just sex Click To Tweet.
So, if the guys can’t figure out where she’s coming from, they need to ask themselves, “How does this conversation impact her interest in relationship?”
And, likewise, if you’re a woman and you can’t figure out where his mind is focused, start looking for a motive that relates to his success or failure.
Why failure, because it is his greatest fear. That means that when he isn’t focused on succeeding, he is equally focused on not looking like a failure.
In the same way a woman’s greatest fear is abandonment. If a woman’s friend stops speaking to her or worse starts ignoring her, then she is deeply hurt.
For a man, this would not be a huge problem; he may even consider it a blessing. However, if his best friend or the guys he hangs around with put his work or achievements down and tell him he’s a loser or a wimp or any other similar derogatory words, then he is hurt.
Now it’s making more sense
When he is thinking success or failure, work and achievement are all important. To communicate successfully, we need to realize how his mind is working.
This is the old problem that arises when she feels better just talking about her problem and feeling he is listening. He has a need to fix it and feels lost when he can’t. Maybe all she has to do is assure him he has already fixed it by letting her talk.
How will this knowledge of the difference in communication between men and women help your next conversation? Have you experienced frustration from trying to talk to a man like you would a female friend?
About the author
Phil Cole is the Pastor of Personal Development at Huron Park Baptist Church. He has an MA in counseling from Providence Theological Seminary. He holds a BTh and BRE from Emmanuel Bible College, as well as a BA in sociology from the University of Waterloo. Phil is the founding chair of New Hope Family Ministries, which offers practical assistance to families impacted by abuse. Phil has his own counseling practice, and is also available for marriage retreats and weekend workshops.
More books I’ve read on communication with your spouse:
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences by Bill and Pam Farrel
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs