Pembroke 1 Solving Communication Breakdown By: Erin Pembroke Oct.

8, 2010 Have you ever wondered why you and your significant other get into too many arguments? Have you wondered what on earth they meant when they said...? Or is she/he really mad at me? I can tell you many have and what a headache and disaster it is when an argument happens and you don't know how or why it even happened! Do the two sexes communicate differently? Many people, including myself believe so. As we all know, women are more emotional and subjective than men, so, their actions and communication skills may be as well. Women from the time they were young, were taught to act, behave and dress a certain way. Therefore, they assume that sexual role or identity that society has placed them in. Men are in the same boat. These sexual roles and identities bring about how they have learned to communicate as that particular sex from childhood into adulthood. For instance, a woman may make more eye contact or dress more sexier while a man may raise his eyebrow or directly say a pick up line to a woman... Understanding a Woman Sorry women, but we do have our flaws in communication that cause major problems with men. Women communicate in an indirect manner. Most women are subtle and hint at things. For instance, a woman may come home and find dirty dishes in the sink. She may say while in an angry tone, “why didn't you wash the dishes?!” She may be mad because she may do the dishes all the time and would like some help with the chores or house work. She can also be really stressed out and tired from work and would just like to settle in and relax for the rest of the night but doing the dishes, cooking and cleaning will not allow her to relax. Ergo, if a woman is not relaxed, she may be really crouchy. Women generally would like men to “take the initiave” on things. A man may ask, “what the hell does that even mean?” It means that a woman just wants the man to want to do something such as a chore and actually attempt and complete the task to 1.) show that you care and 2.) to relieve some of the stress away from her. Taking the initiave will make her happy and prevent some arguments from popping up. Women's Flaws/Fixing the Problem As stated before, women communicate indirectly and in a subtle way and that is the real problem in the way a woman communicates. Men cannot comprehend this. Men are straight forward and direct. When they are upset, they may tell you or fight it off and then they are, for the most part, fine after the argument (or physical fight between another man). Since a man is direct, a woman should try her best in a relationship to be forward and direct. If she wants the dishes washed, don't slam pots, pans and dishes as you wash, dry and put them away. Instead, simply ask the man, “honey can you wash the dishes from now on before I get home? I would find that really helpful and I won't be so stressed out when I come home.” That sounds

Pembroke 2 simple enough to me, so why don't women simply talk like this. Again, it is how we were raised or programmed. A woman should be feminine, subtle and etc. Well, that may apply at times but that is not always true. If you want the work done, you have to either ask or state it to a man. The more words you add in your sentence and the more you beat around the bush, the less a man is actually listening to you or comprehending anything you are saying. Trust me, I know what I am saying. I used to communicate indirectly and in a subtle manner but it all changed when I realized that my indirect communication and hints were the basis of the arguments that broke out. The minute I learned to communicate directly, I noticed that less arguments occurred and my relationship was better and more happier. Imagine that you were in school again, listening to that boring teacher talk about a boring lecture everytime you meet. That is what we, as women are to a man when we do not communicate directly. We drag and drone on and on for an hour or more to a man about our problems or in a fight. A man can only take so much! Break the conversation down to about five minutes on an important topic. Then, when you are finished making your point, take a break so that he can process the information and so that you can state another problem or express how you feel. The conversations should not last more than 10 minutes, even ten minutes may be too long. Pretend you are writing an introduction sentence, remember that attention getter, try that. You need to hold his attention. If you go on a tangent or talk about one topic and then ease your way into another, a man may get lost or start day dreaming. In the end, they are left with the questions, “where is she going with this and what she is saying?” Another thing, it would be beneficial if a woman learned to think in a man's perspective from time to time in order to understand him. By doing this, a woman can better communicate with a man, make better decisions and not jump to conclusions. Another flaw women have is that they jump to conclusions. A woman usually dominates the conversation but hardly lets a man speak. So, how can we know what a man is thinking or allow him to ask any questions if we dominate the conversation? By dominating the conversation, we hardly ever hear his side, therefore we jump to conclusions. We assume either he doesn't care, he's not listening or we assume for instance, that he's having an affair when he's really at a sports bar avoiding his bitchy wife. The point is don't jump to conclusions. Allow him to express himself when he wants to or ask him if he has anything that he wants to say and allow him to talk! Stop dominating the conversation! Women should also stop suffocating a man. Yes, I said it, stop suffocating him! A woman should not be around a man 24/7. She needs to give him room and stop being so clingy! Some women naturally want to be cuddled too much, are insecure about themselves, or are afraid to lose their man to another woman, so they cling to him even more. I'm afraid to tell you women, that by clinging to him even more you are creating your own fear of losing him. You are making him want to further escape from you until he can't take it anymore and eventually leave. Also, give him some privacy! A man needs space, privacy and “guy time” “Guy's night out” is his way of relieving his stress. This is similar to when a woman needs to talk to her friends and have a “girls night out.” Lastly, don't be suspecious of him having an affair during the whole time you have been with him. This will make you want to stalk him, have access to his personal bank account, check his bank statements or change his voice on the answering maching to yours. This is a Big No, No! First off, this shows your insecurity to him and makes you less attractive and more annoying to him. Next, this may

Pembroke 3 actually give him a reason to actually have an affair since you are already suspecting it, why not just do it? Thirdly, it makes you look obessessive, crazy and psychotic. Fourth, it may actually make him more careful if he is really doing it, therefore making it harder or close to impossible for you to catch him. Fifth, again, it will push him away and both of you will become estranged to each other to the point that he will simply leave you or leave you with another woman that won't give him a headache and make him stressed out al lthe time. Therefore, trust him, until proven guilty but don't look for reasons to not trust him and trust your instincts. Women who are intuned or are intuitive have incredible instincts that tells them when a man is cheating so listen to your gut feelings. Men's flaws/Fixing the Problem Yes, men communicate more directly, however, they hardly listen. They may hear and regurgatate what you say but are they really paying attention to you? Men can comminucate more by actually listening more to a women. They should do more than just simply nod or smile. A man should wait for a pause and then state his opinion, in put or advice. A man should also be emotionally available for a women, meaning that when their woman needs them, they should be their ears or shoulder to cry on. A man can also express his emotions and problems more to a woman. Most of the time, a man goes off into his “cave” wherever that may be to retreat, escape, sulk, think about the situation/problem or not think about it at all. Yes, a man needs space but he should also make his emotions and problems known instad of letting it build up over time and then it all boils over in an argument that gets out of hand. When this happens, a woman is left wondering, “wow, where did all this come from?” It is therefore healthy for a man and for the relationship for the man to express his emotions and problems. If a woman can do it, why can't a man? After all, they are both in the relationship. So, who cares about society's notion that a man cannot or should not share his emotions and problems! These notions are perhaps all fake anyways. Next, a man should show that he cares by cuddling with her, spending time alone together, and making time for her and “together time.” Yes, this may be not be macho but the goal is that you want to keep your relationship not break it. As a guy, you can have you “man's night out” but you also need to balance it with together time with your significant other. A woman may not perceive or may over-look you fixing the sink or repairing objects as your way of showing that you care. They are more overt in this area whileas a man is more covert in this area. Women need actual direct, obvious and overt signs to see that you care. These signs don't have to be enormous just obvious to her eyes such as buying flowers, cleaning the house, and taking her out to dinner or on a date. Both sexes need to... Both men and women need to communicate openly in their relationship. Both men and women also need to stop blaming each other. Instead of saying “you never listen to me,” say “I would feel better or appreciate it if you listen to me more often so that we can avoid this problem again.” Or state, “I feel that I am not being listened to,” therefore nobody is to blame and nobody feels belittled or

Pembroke 4 inferior or ready to retaliate with another comeback. So, avoid words “never” or “you never” and start using “I” sentences. Don't use the word “you” because the other person will feel like they are being attacked and will attack back or withdraw. The other person takes it personally, therefore once the damage is done, it is hard to undo. To conclude, to solve communication breakdown between the two sexes, women should speak directly, don't jump to conclusions, not dominate the conversation, let their guy to have their privacy, “guys night out” and don't always suspect him of having an affair. Trust him and trust your gut feelings! Men, on the other hand, should listen more, express how they feel and make quality “together” time with his significant other. Both sexes need to communicate openly, not blame the other person and avoid using “you never” or “never” sentences and start using “I” statements.

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