Ladies, there’s a communication breakdown between you and the men in your life, and it’s not your fault. Men and women are wired differently when it comes to communicating and processing information. To put it really simply, according to the journal Neuro-image, men only listen with half their brain. Women use both halves. So here’s how to get through to men:
- When you have something heavy to discuss, don’t do it face to face. Do it side by side. You may have always thought eye contact was key when talking about important issues – but in this case, it can actually make the problem worse. That’s according to relationship psychiatrist Dr. Scott Haltzman. He says looking a man directly in the eye can make him feel threatened – and he’ll kick into survival mode and want to exit the conversation as quickly as possible. Instead, sit side by side to put him at ease. Even better, have the talk while you’re driving together, because when a man is driving, he feels more in control.
- Cut to the chase. There’s a reason men can listen to each other drone on and on about car parts. When a man hears another man’s voice, it grabs the attention of his brain, but a woman’s voice activates the part of the male brain used for processing complex sounds, like music. So for men, the female voice is more complex and more difficult to hear and understand. So women need to make their point as quickly and simply as possible to cut through that fog. So use direct statements like, “The bottom line is this.” or “Here’s the reason I’m upset.”
- The final communication tip may sound sexist – but there’s science behind it. If you want a guy to do something, feed his ego. Men have a lot of the hormone testosterone – and that makes them competitive. When you compliment a guy, like “Wow, you did a great job on the laundry!” it makes a man feel important and superior – it feeds right into that testosterone. It makes him feel challenged to do it again, to get that same compliment buzz.