Different Words, Different Worlds: Male and Female Communication
On today’s episode of “The Language of Love,” Dr. Laura Berman talks about how communication is a muscle that couples have to learn to exercise throughout their relationship. She explains that many of us operate under the assumption that our partners can read our minds and hear our inner monologue, thereby understanding our motivations and our needs as we move throughout the day. But, she warns, our partners often understand our inner lives much less than we actually imagine, which leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and unnecessary arguments.
Then, Dr. Berman talks about the difference between the way men and women communicate, and how this can lead to issues between male partners and female partners. Dr. Berman explains that when men communicate, they often have a competitive stance, looking for subtle or not-so-subtle ways to ‘one-up’ each other or be the alpha dog in the room. On the other hand, when women communicate, they generally seek out opportunities for connection rather than competition. Hence, they are not aware of the fact that when they talk to their male partner about a household issue such as forgetting to empty the dishwasher, he is already primed and prepared to be in that defensive stance due to male communication patterns. Hence, even the criticism can feel like an attack on his very character or even his worth, which is why a simple complaint about dishes can blow up into a massive argument.
Next, Dr. Berman talks about how communication in the bedroom is positively crucial, especially when it comes to women speaking up about what turns them on and what they need from their partners when it comes to sex.