Differences Between the Communication Styles of Men and Women - How To Win a Man's Heart

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May 14, 2017

Differences Between the Communication Styles of Men and Women

It would be lovely if your relationship with him could be always fresh, new, and full of wonder. In the beginning days and weeks of a new romance, communication springs forth effortlessly – like a mountain waterfall – it’s almost magical. Sadly, though, after you’ve learned your significant other’s back story and begun to unwind the mystery of him, you find yourself surrounded by increasingly frequent, long, sometimes awkward pauses. You discover that communication with the man in your life can be hard work. Did you really sign up for this?

No matter if you’re attempting to communicate with a romantic interest, a friend, a boss, or a co-worker, communication ultimately demands effort. In order to do it well, effective communication depends upon the life experiences of the person with whom you’re attempting to communicate and, perhaps more importantly, your successful communication revolves around the gender of the person with whom you’re sharing information.

Men really ARE from Mars.

We may strive to order our worlds as if both genders are equal – particularly in matters of opportunity and advancement in the work place – but whether we’re equal or not, men and women are completely different critters. We are physically and emotionally unlike each other in a thousand, thousand ways. Men and women are wired differently. They go about the business of living with clearly contradictory methodology. In a perfect world, you’re like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together – your weaknesses bolstered by his strengths and so forth. But, given the differences in the way we communicate, it’s a wonder we ever manage to keep the human race percolating along.

Communication Fact: Men Speak About 7,000 Words Per Day

In terms of communication styles, men generally communicate because of a need to address a problem or mend a breakdown in some essential system. When they speak, there’s a reason behind it. As a rule, men speak when they have identified a problem, already mentally unsnarled it, and are ready to go on record with a solution. Men rarely articulate confusion or uncertainty – unless it belongs to someone other than themselves. This unwillingness to be less than 100 percent certain harkens back to a time when they needed to appear strong, dependable, and protective in order to catch the most desirable female. (In truth – that was as true yesterday as it was back in the days when they dressed in wooly mammoth hides and hunted with spears.)

Communication Fact: Women Roll Out About 20,000 Words Per Day

Women, on the other hand talk their way through problems, exploring their emotions at each step along the way. They will go over, and over, and over the problem right out loud, talking to anybody who will listen, until they actually find the answers they’re looking for. Women are not inwardly bound to be mighty problem solvers even though they certainly can be. Their personal worth is not tied so tightly to their ability to sound authoritarian. Women have the luxury of not always being sure and that luxury colors their communication style every day in every way.

Demolition Derby

What can become a problem, though, is when men speak their language, “Male,” and women listen to what they are saying in “Female,” or vice versa. Messages can get all balled up and, when you throw our most prolific communication device – the method we humans use to relay 90 percent of what we want to say – body language – into the mix, what develops can be a genuine demolition derby.

For example: Wife comes home from work cranky because she feels a co-worker has slighted her in some way. She tells her husband all about it. He, perceiving that she has a problem that needs fixing, immediately advises her how to solve the problem. (Socking the co-worker in the nose is often the solution he offers.) She, not needing or wanting her problem to be fixed just yet – remember, she’s just exploring her feelings about the problem through articulation – becomes even more frustrated because her significant other “always thinks he has all the answers.”

She gets defensive. He gets defensive. All communication stops except the residual – but highly effective – language of slamming doors. We can only hope that residual communication stops somewhere short of cat kicking and plate smashing.

This is the point at which you must learn to stop, evaluate, and proceed with caution.

Knowing What Was Said Doesn’t Mean You Understand the Message

First of all, understand that your gender-born communication styles and the myriad problems those differences create are not insurmountable. He may already have determined this; you won’t listen to and implement steps toward a reasonable solution, you must therefore be either unwilling or unable to recognize that he – splendid male specimen that he is – is merely attempting to defend your honor. You don’t appreciate his efforts to make your life better. For him, it’s become personal.

For her, his instant lunge toward barbaric behavior, (“…as IF she would punch Marcie Ballard in the nose,”) tells her that he is unwilling to allow her the simple act of therapeutic venting at the end of the day. He doesn’t want to take the time to understand her frustration or to give her just a little sympathy. Nor is he willing to give her credit for being able to solve her own issues. He obviously doesn’t appreciate her. For her, it’s become just as personal.

Upon closer observation, we see that they each have identical burrs under their individual saddles. And both irritants were born from miscommunication.