Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Communication Between the Genders: "That's Not What I Meant!"


"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
Genesis 1:27

Have you ever found yourself in an argument with the opposite sex and wondered why he or she just isn't getting your point of view? Or you start to explain something only to have your partner suddenly take offense and become upset? What happened?

A frequent topic in therapy is communication breakdowns between men and women. After many firsthand observations and hearing common stories of communication problems in my practice, I am surprised that the most basic communication efforts are successful between the genders. Yes, men and women are that different. The way in which each gender uses language and views the world is unique and sometimes opposite of each other.

So, how do you effectively share ideas, opinions, and viewpoints to a member of the opposite sex? How can you successfully work through issues and conflicts without having the discussion turn into a yelling match or having someone storm off in a huff?

I thought I would tackle this subject over the summer. In the first article, I will discuss the radically different viewpoints of each gender. Then, I will cover how men and women's world perspectives affect language and communication styles. And finally, I will end the series with some practical suggestions on how to help reduce common misunderstandings.

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