Is one of your New Year resolutions to have better communication with your mate this year? It is for me because when it comes to communication, my husband and I are in totally different worlds. He uses the least amount of words possible and backs that up with the least amount of details. Everyone knows that my catch phrase is “Fast and Easy” and that I am all about Conservation of Time, Streamlining, and Multitasking. . . but not when it comes to communication. I like a balance somewhere between every last detail and barely a crumb. As an example, we will be lying in bed (me reading my kindle and him reading the news on his phone) and he will blurt out “Wow. That’s a lot of cats!” and then follow that with complete silence. (He does this frequently where he just throws out a tiny nugget of possibility and doesn’t elaborate.) This KILLS me because I like to know some DETAILS!
So I wait a minute or two (my eyes in slits and sighing loudly in my head) then against my better judgement I ask, “what about the cats dear?”
And he mumbles something like, “Oh I don’t know, some person somewhere found a bunch of cats someplace.”
Then I repeat with intention, “But What About the Cats?”
To which he responds with his normal reply, “Oh, um, I am already reading a different story.”
Then I lie there wondering what the heck happened with all those cats and he starts snoring never to think of the cats again.
Many couples experience confusion and misunderstanding simply due to these types of issues in expressing one’s self verbally. Some of us need to hear things a certain way to understand. Others don’t need depth and get overloaded with too many details. This is why it is important for couples to work on compatible communication styles.
“Can you relate? Do you like some background information and a few facts with your story? Does your man talk like a “typical guy” and make everything simplified by leaving out the obviously important details?”
Here is a test for you and your guy to take that will show your differences in communication. This can help you to understand each other’s styles and be more aware of how to improve future conversations. Or it will simply verify again that women communicate better than men! (Ha ha)
Test To Show Communication Styles:
1. Set a timer for exactly 3 minutes. Both of you look at the photo below. On your own separate pieces of paper write as many details as you can about the scene. (Do NOT attempt any sort of communication during this time.)
2. After the 3 minutes are up, sit together and compare your notes. The types of details and the number of details will help you understand how the other person processes things. Then you can dialog about how you both can change the way you deliver details in future conversations to create a more balanced understanding.
3. This exercise may prove that you provide too many details that are irrelevant to your guy (whether the people in the story looked good in what they were wearing, for example). And he might realize that you like to hear more details about things, (like when he forgot to mention that his “important business lunch” consisted of him drinking beers with friends at the bar all afternoon).
“WHAT the – ”
Getting together to find out more about each other is helpful in a relationship. Better communication can be a really good thing.
TIP: Set boundaries about how much you really want to know and how much you really want to divulge. (Like that new designer purse that you paid way too much for but just HAD to have) Do you really want to share everything with your mate? And do you want to know every gory detail about his day at work when you really only have an hour to read before bed while he is jabbering on and on and on about his day?
Conversation is a two way street and is important for couples to stay connected. I personally recommend texting as a wonderful solution to keeping in touch!
What are your secrets to better communication? Leave them in the comments below to share with our dapper friends.