Some men know how to communicate. Look at Shakespeare. He laid down lines of verse, wrote in iambic pentameter, and dashed off masterpieces of literature. Unfortunately, most men aren’t so sophisticated, as I’m sure you ladies know all too well. But fear not. That grunting, mumbling, heap of man slumped on your couch may not be Shakespeare, but he’s perfectly capable of carrying on adult conversations. Here are six Dos and Don’ts men advise for talking with your guy.
No. 1: Don’t Be Too Emotional.
Ask a man about grilling or beer, and he’ll give you a thesis on what he thinks. Ask a man about what’s in his heart, though, and he turns into a bumbling wreck.
“[Men] are not raised to know and acknowledge their feelings,” says Joe Mansfield, a psychotherapist in Nashua, N.H., whose aptly named website, HelpforMen.com, is about aiding men with their relationships. “Men are cut off from emotions.”
Say you have a serious issue with your guy, and so you decide to have a “talk” with him. And let’s say, during the course of your talk, you end up crying or even screaming. To communicate effectively (keyword) with a man, this show of emotion is a bad idea. “That jams the guy’s circuits,” Mansfield says. “They find it threatening and distasteful.”
A better strategy for women is to get clear on what you want to accomplish first before having that talk. Take a walk. Call a girlfriend. Then raise your concerns in a straightforward manner.
No. 2: Don’t Take Offense to a Man in His Cave.
If a man is comatose on the couch, silently staring at the screen and showing as much life as a piece of furniture, don’t be alarmed. This is normal behavior. “Men can just hibernate, we can just zone out in a vegetative state in front of SportsCenter,” Pete says.