Communication Tips For Men
By Genie Joseph, PhD

Not everyone is a born master in the art of communication. The good news is that with these communication tips for men, you can dramatically improve your communication success with women. We'll begin with the art of empathic listening.

The quality of communication in a relationship is a direct reflection of how well things are going in the relationship. Good communication leads to better connection. When both people feel heard, they feel more connected to their partners and are less likely to seek out other sources of “being understood.” This means that improving your communication skills needs to be a top priority in both dating and maintaining a healthy relationship.

Sometimes men think they need to have the perfect words to say to their woman.  Truthfully, what women often need is a good listener. What women want is a man who makes them feel like they are really listening to the heart of what they are saying. This means don’t react or respond to every detail of the story. Don’t get hung up on a minor presenting complaint. Learn to listen for the core need or emotion that is driving the story!

If she is complaining, don’t feel like you have to rush in with a quick solution.  What she may really want is your understanding of how she feels.  She is looking for some compassion about what she is experiencing.  Unless she specifically asks you for advice, refrain from giving it.  Instead, listen for the emotion that is driving the story she is telling you. If you don’t know what emotion she is feeling, you can ask a simple question.   

“Wow!  That sounds awful.  How did it make you feel?”  

This simple question will melt her because you are showing empathy for what she is feeling. But if you try just to solve her problem when she is angry, she may defend her emotional response, and even take it out on you. So, don’t get tangled up in the details of the story, instead focus on how the situation makes her feel.

Just because women want you to listen to them doesn’t mean that they don’t want you to talk. It is just a matter of listening first, talk second. Wait till she stops talking before you speak--that is always safer!

Communication Tips For Men
Be A Better Listener

People who are good at communication have an easier time in life. This is because most of their interactions are either friendly, productive, or connection building.  Some people seem to be born with these skills. The rest of us can learn to develop them.

Specifically, good communicators are good listeners. They don’t interrupt. They don’t interject. They don’t make snide comments about what the other person is saying. They refrain from the temptation to be sarcastic. Let her finish her thoughts without throwing a curve ball. If you want to improve your communication skills and be someone who people like to talk to, become a better listener.

Being a good listener doesn’t mean that you say nothing. You just choose your moment to say it. Your partner wants to feel that you are engaged and connected to their words. This means that your body language is focused on them, and you not doing other tasks, texting, fidgeting, or looking elsewhere. Eye contact shouldn’t be staring or unblinking but should match the intensity or degree of connection your partner prefers.  

Communication Tips For Men:
Eye Contact And Body Language

When it comes to eyes, some people prefer more direct eye contact than others.  Western cultures tend to value direct eye connection, and Asian and other cultures prefer more fleeting meeting of the eyes. You will know what your partner is comfortable with by observing because they will show you with their behavior how they want to be treated.  By watching carefully how your partner uses their eyes, you will learn what their preferred style is.

Watch two girlfriends chatting.  Even if you can’t hear their words, you can see their body language.  They are probably very focused on each other, maybe even facing each other.  One is talking, and the other adds little auditory cues like “ah huh,” “yeah” “um” or other little sounds that mean without saying it: “I’m listening, go on, what you’re saying is interesting.” Without these cues, the talker will not feel as if the other person cares to have them continue.

Communication Tips For Men
Ask Open-Ended Questions

To keep communication dynamic and engaged, ask open-ended questions like: “How was your day?” rather than closed questions, which have only a yes or no answer. If you ask: “Bad day?” you might get a “yes,” or a “no,” and then the conversation comes to a grinding halt. Open questions require more lengthy answers, and this invites more back and forth conversational momentum.

Communication Tips For Men
Reveal Something Personal

Reveal something about yourself and your feelings if you want to move the conversation out of the polite and trivial realm and into a more connected zone.  Layering in personal information should be a give and take. It is not about you dropping excessive personal details like a bombardment. It should be like pouring a bit of cream in a cup of coffee. Each person has a kind of “just right” zone for how much they want to hear, and too much is too much.

Having good communication with your partner will leave you feeling more enriched.  When you have a good conversation with your partner, you both feel more uplifted because it feels like a true connection. This is what everyone wants to feel from the person they love.

As humans, we all crave real interactions and genuine connections. Healthy communication lifts our spirits.  So if you want to be happy, and make your partner happy, practice these communication tips for men and see how much it improves your relationship.

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