The differences in the ways men and women communicate and how to build a bridge of understanding

In my practice, I increasingly meet women and men who claim that the problems in their relationships with the opposite sex stem from communication. Women say that very often they do not get the understanding they need from their partner and he cannot communicate with them in the way they expect. Gentlemen, on the other hand, tend to be annoyed by ladies’ attempts to get them to discuss a topic when they are not ready to do so. It’s no secret to either sex that they speak in “different tongues,” but is this surmountable or can it become a cause for separation?

Communication is an essential element in all interpersonal relationships, but we are not always aware that the way men and women communicate can be different. Everyone knows from personal experience, regardless of gender, that these differences are not inevitable sources of conflict.

As a love psychologist and relationship coach, I can argue that instead of being a source of conflict, differences in the ways men and women communicate can

 be used to improve mutual understanding and connection. It may seem unbelievable, but the differences between the sexes can be used to build a bridge between them that strengthens intimate relationships.

Why there are differences in the ways the two sexes communicate

Who is to blame for the misunderstanding between the sexes? We cannot point fingers at either women or men here. Instead, it is right to look at their differences and pay attention to how the two sexes communicate. This will help us gather the materials for the bridge of understanding.

According to many psychologists who are concerned with understanding the communication skills of the sexes, the differences in the ways men and women communicate are rooted in social, cultural and biological factors. Centuries of cultural influence and social stereotypes have shaped the communication styles of men and women differently. Today, we still observe rote modes of communication that are defined by gender, social and cultural divisions.

  • Social role

The structures of society usually define different roles for men and women. These roles shape expectations of what is considered acceptable in communication.

  • Biological differences

Some scientific studies have shown that male and female brains may function differently, influencing how they perceive and communicate information.

  • Stereotypes and upbringing

Society encourages different communication styles in men and women. For example, men are encouraged to be more forceful and decisive, while women are encouraged to be more emotional and caring.

These differences in communication styles should not be seen as an obstacle but as an opportunity to enrich and strengthen the relationship between the sexes. Next, we should look at the areas where the most significant gap between men and women in communication is manifested.

Ways of listening

Active listening is a very important part of couple communication. In this way, both partners show that they are interested in what they have to say to each other. It is important to know that men and women listen differently.

How men listen: They often look for solutions to problems and tend to offer advice. They are usually solutions and action-oriented.

How women listen: They often seek emotional support and want to be heard and understood. They focus on emotions and connection.

How to Create a Bridge of Understanding: Men can learn to listen with more attention and empathy without necessarily offering solutions. Women can express clearly what support they want and be more open to advice when appropriate.

How men and women express their emotions

Expressing emotions is extremely important for building healthy relationships. The two sexes express their emotions differently, which often leads to misunderstandings between them.

Men: They are often more closed off in terms of expressing emotions. They may hide anger or fear by avoiding talking about these feelings.

Women: Usually express their feelings and emotions more easily. They tend to discuss emotional experiences and even engage in more frequent conversations with their partner about how they feel.

How to build a bridge of understanding:

It is important to create a space where both genders can freely share their emotions and feelings without fear of judgment. Men can practice expressing emotions and women can understand that men sometimes express their feelings differently.

How men and women resolve conflicts with each other

No matter how well you and your partner get along, conflict is inevitable. Instead of generating negative emotions, conflicts can be events that give you valuable guidance on how to develop your relationship.

Men: Usually focus on solutions to problems and strive for practical action. They may avoid confrontations.

Women: Many women resort to open and honest communication to express their feelings, needs and concerns. What hinders them in most cases is their strong emotionalism, which does not allow them to have an objective conversation.

How to build a bridge of understanding: Discussing the merits of each method can lead to a better understanding and finding a balance between practical solutions and the emotional aspects of conflict.

Non-verbal communication

Body language reveals a lot about how a person feels in a given situation. To communicate better with your partner you need to learn to read their body language. Of course in both sexes, there are some characteristic manifestations of non-verbal communication.

Men: Often use fewer non-verbal gestures and facial expressions. They may be more restrained in expressing emotions through gestures.

Women: Usually express emotions and thoughts through non-verbal means such as facial expressions, gesticulation, and their body.

How to create a bridge of understanding: Learning to read your partner’s nonverbal communication can improve mutual understanding. Men can learn to be more attentive to nonverbal cues, and women can be clearer in expressing their feelings through nonverbal means.

How to improve communication in a relationship

Of course there are ways to improve communication in your relationship. These can be very successful if both partners work consciously in this direction. From my experience of working with couples, I can say that partners will not always be equally good at every aspect of communication. Sometimes one will be a more active listener and other times the other will be more level-headed during conflict.

The point is for both partners to make an effort to build a bridge of understanding by following these recommendations:

Active Listening: Active listening is a way of showing that you are interested in what your partner is saying. Show empathy and ask questions to better understand his or her feelings and thoughts.

Clear communication: Strive for clarity in your communication. Express yourself openly and honestly without fear of your partner’s reaction. It is important that you both have the opportunity to express your needs and desires.

Learning the Differences: Understanding what makes you and your partner unique can help for better understanding. Learning about differences in ways of communicating and accepting them as a positive thing can improve your relationship.

Work together on improving communication skills: This may include discussing your progress often, sharing how you feel about a situation, and setting a time to discuss a controversial issue when you are both calm.

Patience and respect: Every relationship has its difficulties. It is important to be patient and respectful of the person next to you. Work together to resolve conflicts and improve communication, taking into account the needs and wishes of both parties.

Differences in the ways men and women communicate are normal and unavoidable but can be overcome through mutual understanding, patience, and efforts to improve communication skills. Building a bridge of understanding can improve the quality of your interpersonal interactions and the relationship as a whole.

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