Women... I hate to say it.... but we're failing.
We're failing in the one area we spend the most time doing - communicating.
I've learned that saying a lot of words doesn't mean you're getting a point across.
So here are 3 things that women are doing wrong when communicating with men and what we can do to fix it.
1. Women expect men to communicate like we do, and because of that men avoid doing it
Many times, women mistakenly assume that men have "issues with communication" when the real issue is in our failure to understand that men communicate differently. Most men are excellent communicators. But we do them an injustice when we look for them to communicate like a woman would.
Women are very detail-oriented - we're storytellers. Men are very direct and concise - they get straight to the point with no detours. Women will go "over the meadow and through the woods" before we actually get to the point of what we're trying to say (that's if we don't transition into a completely unrelated topic in the process). What takes a woman 20 minutes to communicate can be said by a man in less than 10 words.
Instead of giving all the details up front, try communicating the point of what you're trying to say first. Then, allow him to ask questions to help him build onto the conversation with exactly what he wants to know. This will also create a give-and-take rhythm to the conversation so that you aren't doing all of the talking, giving him a chance to zone out.
2. Know your audience - Men are fixers, Women are feelers
When asked why men shut down during conversation, Stephen J. Thurston once said, "Women are spaghetti, men are waffles." He explained that women are flexible - we're able to take twists and turns and bend in every possible direction. But men are like waffles. They have boxes and compartments - they don't allow anything into their box unless they can conquer it. Because men are fixers, it threatens their very makeup and identity when they are faced with a problems that they can't solve.
Here lies the conflict: Women need to vent.
It's dangerous for us to keep our feelings bottled up. But when we vent to a man, we are essentially dumping a butt-ton of issues in front of them that they can't solve. And even if they offer us solutions to what we're venting about, we get offended because that's not what we're seeking from them - we simply want a safe space to talk about our thoughts and emotions. This causes 1 of 2 responses from a man - either they shut down or they snap out.
Option 1- Save the venting for your girlfriends, complete with every juicy detail!