Double Talk: What you say vs. What he hears and Why?

When it comes to communication between the sexes many of the self-proclaimed relationship gurus resort to the played out logic; "Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus" I personally think it is a cop-out. Instead of encouraging the sexes to be clear about their intentions through their language, too many agree that women are a mystery and men just do not understand. I think we need to break that complacent mold and do better.

There are things that we say that encourages an unwanted reaction, we may say one thing but he hears another. Here are some examples along with some tips on how we can do better:

We Say, "What is our status?" or "Where is this relationship going?"

He Hears, "Are you going to commit to me or not? We need to get thang going!"

The Problem: He is feeling pressure to make a decision he may not be ready to make, which may force him out the door or into a serious relationship prematurely. I understand the anxiety of being in that "kinda dating, kinda committed" limbo, but don't let your uneasiness dictate the pace of the relationship. If you feel uncomfortable about being in limbo by all means communicate that but don't attempt to put the pressure on him by forcing him to define the relationship, you're the one with the problem so you propose the solution or better yet where you'd ideally like to be. For instance, "I like the way things are going now, and I believe I am ready to date exclusively, do you think that is something you are ready for? (if he hesitates then follow up with) You don't have to answer now, but I'd like to know soon if you feel the same or differently."

We Say, "I've been hurt in the past"

He Hears, "I have some unresolved issues with men and trust, by the way can you help me carry some of this baggage."

The Problem: Ask yourself, What is the purpose of telling him this? The only sound reason to tell a man "I've been hurt in the past" is as an explanation as to why you are not ready to be in a relationship. And I mean an explanation that is not up for debate, discussion, or reconsideration depending on how he responds. Telling a man this is admitting to him and yourself that you are not ready to be in a committed relationship. All too often women say this thinking that it will serve as a warning for the man, discouraging him from potentially hurting them. They also say this with hopes they will hear the man say, "I will never hurt you, you can trust me" or something of affect, giving them reassurance and "permission" to engage in a relationship. While, you may feel good about the sugar-soaked words he's dripping in your ear, you need to know by saying that you have opened yourself up to game. If you're not ready for a relationship don't allow a man to reassure you otherwise and if you're saying it to hear some genuine reassurance you are better off keeping it to yourself.

We Say, "I'm not mad"

He Hears, "I'm not mad"

The Problem: You ARE mad. It is okay to be upset, it is most destructive if you don't communicate that with him. He is think everything is all good, despite you slamming the cabinet doors or ignoring phone calls and texts, he is going to be convinced that you are not mad, because you said you weren't. He can't read your mind, and if you're upset he probably doesn't truly want to know, so he's not going to further inquire. It is up to you to initiate the resolution if you have a problem. And even if you said you weren't mad, and later realized you are, know that it is not too late to say, "Babe, I know I said I wasn't mad, but I've done thinking and it does bother me…" Be clear about your emotions; don't be afraid to initiate the progress you deserve.

We Say, "Just calling/ texting to say 'Hi'"

He Hears, "Just checking on you because I have nothing better to do with my time…"

The Problem: Before you call or text, have a purpose, and don't spend hours trying to think of a purpose I am certain you have better things to do with your time. Yes, you are probably thinking about him and wondering if he's thinking of you too… He probably is, but consider how productive and interesting the conversation will be if you actually have something to talk about. You are improving your relationship or increasing the chance of a relationship by opting for quality rather than quantity when it comes to phone calls.

We Say, "You will never find another woman like me"

He Hears, "You are making a mistake passing me up, I challenge you to find happiness without me and I am certain you will be back!"

The Problem: You have just challenged him to find happiness elsewhere. He may have too much pride to admit that you are a good woman and now want to prove to you that he can find another woman, even if she isn't on your level. This is an instance when you have to let your silence do the talking, if you want him to come back don't insult his potential instead let him learn on his own that he's missing out on a good thing. Sometimes we have to learn when to be quiet… it is a skilled that I have yet to master.

From these examples I hope you can understand the importance of communicating effectively and clearly, it takes effort and it is worth it.

Thoughts? Do your words get lost in translation?

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