In Communication Pt. 1, I focused on the need to just talk to one another as well as the need to talk face to face so that eye contact was made during the conversations. In Pt. 2, I want to focus on the words that are used and how they are to be used while we communicate.
“What is the big deal about what words are used?” I am glad you asked that question. You see, men and women do not speak the say language. Yes, if you are reading this that means you understand English (my version of English, anyways) and I know both men and women are reading this. (At least I think both men and women read my blog.) What I mean by speaking different languages is that men and women use language differently and are motivated differently. Understand that as I write this, I can name some individuals that do not necessarily fit into the generalizations that I will be making. But those individuals are the exceptions to the rule and not the norm. The lines are being broken down more and more between the way God create male and female, yet the principles of male and female are still and always will be the same.
Now, let me get back to how to communicate between men and women. Men speak most of the time to compete with someone. Have you ever noticed how men get together to talk about the latest fishing trip, last night’s sporting event, or even their sales account that they have landed? Every thing is so full of competition with or against the people they are talking with. You know, we can even keep score at how many times we’ve done the dishes or washed some clothes. We men like to compete with whom we talk.
Women on the other hand like to complete the person they are talking with. Women are always looking for connecting points to the person. My daughter-in-law is pregnant with my second grandchild and when she told my family, my daughter began connecting with everything that is going on. She asked about morning sickness and then what kind of plans she had for the birth, etc. You see my daughter just gave birth a few months ago, so all of this was fresh. My wife joined in the conversion, because of course she too could connect with her.
A second way that men and women differ is that men like to give a report while women like to build a rapport. When you ask a man how was his day, he will tell you what he did and who he talked to. Ask a woman the same thing; she will add stories and details.
A third way that men and women differ in their speech is that men use action words while women use emotional words. Men like to do things and fix things while women like to feel. Now again, I know that these general statements are not true in every relationship. Your husband might be very emotional and can’t fix anything, while you like to carry the electric drill and fix everything in and around your house. Or both of you are very competitive and have to win at all costs. But for the most part, these generalized statements help us to understand the differences in the way men and women communicate.
Several years ago, there was a very large movement to help women learn to speak in a man’s business world. One book was even entitled Gender Talk, which was a book written specifically for the business woman along with the business man trying to succeed in the business world as the gender lines were being crossed. John Gray wrote Mars and Venus Together Forever in which he described the differences in how men and women speak to one another. I am not recommending either of these books, but I am mentioning them to show how we have come to realize that the skills of communication not only deal with being able to talk and listen, but also we need to learn to “hear and understand” the language of our spouse…because they are speaking differently than you.
1 Peter 3:7a (NASB)
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way…