Some call it: the eternal battle between the sexes. A struggle that is also reflected in communication. It is quite different, one says they communicate on diverse levels that often do not run parallel but diametrically opposed to each other. This is how arguments arise and it gets quite loud in the room. Maybe a few more plates fly. Although you speak the same language, you feel completely misunderstood.
Just in case: Men and women try to communicate and “develop” a common language from the very first meeting. The development needs not only time, but above all, patience, an open ear and empathy. We don’t have that, often… We even run in the couple relationship and want to do everything quickly. Relationships of any kind need time.
The German humorist Loriot (Victor von Bülow) wrote a masterpiece of misbehaviour in communication, between husband and wife in marriage, with the cartoon sketch “Feierabend” (“After Working Hours”).
Every viewer will interpret this sketch differently. But the principle of miscommunication is obvious.
(… sounds familiar…? 😊)
Couples often complain that their partner does not listen and that they do not feel understood. What can be done in such situations? A few questions might help us to shed more light on the situation:
Did my partner show little empathy / understanding before? If not, what has changed in the meantime? Is there a reason why something has changed?
How can I make sure that I am really speaking plainly and that my partner understands me? What does my behaviour look like (body language, gestures, facial expressions, tone)?
If I don’t listen, I can’t expect my partner to listen to me. Listening needs practice: sitting still and focusing on my partner. Asking questions to understand him better… Listening means doing this actively and not thinking about the answer while the other person is talking (he is doing it to tell me something that is important to him). Because then I am not listening. Phrases like Yes, but…! Or I know, but…! show my counterpart that I am not actively listening.
Better ask. “What did you mean?” Or summarise what you have said. “Did I understand you correctly?” “Is that what you meant?”. In this way, you show interest in your counterpart and he or she feels taken seriously and understood and picked up on in the situation.
More about it: Men, Women, Emotions and Communication
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