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“Communication is key.” This old adage has stood the test of time as the solution to communication chaos within relationships. Yet, I must point out the saying itself is a poor expression of communication. You see, communication is not key, but rather effective communication is an essential ingredient to having a healthy relationship. Men you must understand your communication means nothing if your woman understands nothing about what you have “communicated.” Furthermore, it matters none what you have said, but rather what your woman has heard. Effective communication involves saying what you mean, in a way your woman understands it and can receive it.
Step one: Saying what you mean
Often times in relationships, men find it difficult to express themselves. Whether it is that you do not want to be too sensitive, too forward or simply combat the unstable creature called “woman,” men rarely say what they truly mean. Instead, men express what I call the fruit of the issue. However, woman want to hear what is at the root of your issue. More importantly, it’s key for you to understand the root of your issue as well.
Before expressing yourself, you must understand why you think and or feel what you are going to express. Are you truly upset that your woman is going out with her friends again? Or is this feeling the fruit of a bigger issue? Is the real issue (the root) that finances are tight and she is going to spend money unnecessarily? Or that you both have been busy and you desire some quality time? A man must be the master’s of his thoughts, feelings and actions. Not only is this a catalyst for effective communication, it is a very attractive quality too.
Step two: Helping her understand what you mean
The art of effective communication comes down to ensuring that the listener understands what you have communicated. As aforementioned, “communication is key” is a poor expression, as after hearing this statement one may ask questions like, “What kind of communication? The key to what?” A man must ensure that the essence of what he means is understood by his woman.
Although you can tell her that money is tight, it is far more effective to help her understand what that means for you. Does it mean that only household bills and necessities should be met financially? Does it mean you would rather spend the money on a date with her? Do you have a financial goal you want to meet? Putting your expressions into context and explaining them helps to further facilitate the communication process.
Step three: Delivering your message
I truly believe that you can say almost anything to almost any person as long as you say it in the right way. Bruthas, this is especially true when communicating with your woman. Often times what you are attempting to communicate to your woman is lost in translation due to your delivery. Many times, what turns a conversation into an argument is bad timing and/or the tone a man takes when communicating his thoughts and or feelings. When communicating with your woman, take into consideration the two Ts: timing and tone.
With timing, a man must consider if the time he has chosen to communicate his thoughts and/or feelings supports or impedes an effective communication process. He must take into consideration a number of things. Was it the appropriate setting? Is there an adequate amount of time to have a discussion? While you may be upset that your woman is planning on spending money unnecessarily, rather than stating this in front of her friends, use discretion and express yourself in private. Furthermore, create the space for your woman to be able to express herself as well. For example, rather than asking your woman to step outside so that you two may have privacy, wait until her friends have left to express your issue. It is unfair to present your issue in a space which offers no time for her to be able to process what you have said and go through these communication steps as well.
Your tone of voice when communicating your thoughts and or feelings to your woman can either have her as open as the best wide receiver or putting up a wall that the Great Wall of China would be jealous of. Communicating using a calm, respectful tone helps your woman to receive what you are expressing, even if it may be a hard pill to swallow. A calm, respectful tone sets the mood for your communication process. It can take the statement “I don’t want you to go out” from one she receives as controlling in nature to one she believes to be caring and nurturing. Simply stated, it can be the difference between starting World War 3 and having a happy ending to your night (pun intended).
Now while these steps may seem impossible, I beg to differ. The reality is many of you practice effective communication daily in another relationships: the employee-employer relationship. Case in point, your employer does something that upsets you. Do you rudely burst into your employer’s office and tell him what is on your mind? No! You take time to figure out what you want to say, you ensure that he is available to speak with you and you communicate it in a calm and respectful manner– that is if you want to keep your job. So, why not apply this same behavior to your relationship? That is, if u want to keep your woman.
There are a number of ingredients to having a healthy relationship and effective communication is an imperative one. Expressing the true essence of what you mean, having your woman understand and receive it and her being able to do the same creates time for more enjoyable experiences in your relationship. I can think of a few, how about you?