Always talking but nothing gets resolved? Here’s how to speak ‘man’ and be understood.
You know the expression about doing the same thing and expecting a different result? If you feel your relationship discussions keep going around in circles, it might be time to change your communication MO.
Listen to understand, not to argue
Most of us are guilty of listening to the other side of the argument purely because we want ammo for our clever comeback. But sometimes being happy is more important than being right, and this requires understanding why your guy does and says certain things. Even if you think what he’s saying is complete garbage, he’s telling you something he means and he needs you to get it. Stop planning your response and start genuinely hearing what he’s saying.
Reflect back what he just said
This is couples counseling 101, and it’s a trick most psychologists employ to force you to really listen to what the other one is saying. So, after he’s been talking, in your own words reflect back what you think he has just said to make sure you have understood. Then, you talk and have him do the same thing. Just the act of repeating each other’s words will have a calming, reassuring effect, and help keep you communicating rather than butting heads.
Stick to the topic at hand
While it’s immensely gratifying to remind him, in the heat of the moment, of the time six months ago he was a complete chop, letting the discussion spiral out to include all kinds of other, irrelevant details means you’re never going to reach agreement on the topic at hand. As much as you’d like to mention everything else about him that annoys you, be disciplined and focus on what this discussion is about if you truly want to see eye to eye.
Don’t do naggy voice
The best way to get your guy to metaphorically put his hand over his ears and go lalalalala is when you do naggy voice. If you want to get your point across, keep it simple and speak like an adult. Men usually respond to a logical argument. And stick to the facts, which means resisting saying things like ‘always’ and ‘never’. He doesn’t really ‘never’ pick up his clothes, and if you tell him that he’s going to get defensive and stop listening to what you are saying.
Say what you mean
We women love talking in code, and while it’s perfectly obvious to other women what we’re getting at, men just are not wired that way and don’t understand this subtle language. You need to give it to them straight. Don’t say one thing when you mean another. You have a problem with him seeing his ex for coffee? Don’t say it’s fine and expect him to read between the lines. He won’t, and you’ll have a fight. It takes courage saying how you feel and owning that, but if you want resolution and understanding it’s the only way to go.