Communicating In Relationships According To Linguists, Psychologists, And Writers.

940 words - 4 pages

Communicating in a relationship can be challenging and must be approached in a particular way. Many problems can be created without the proper kind of communication, including misunderstandings, which can lead to fights or arguments. By following some simple guidelines set by linguists, psychologists, and writers, such as Susan Page, Deborah Tannen, and John Gray, couples can learn to understand each other, therefore having healthy relationships with one another. As Susan Page states, "The quality of communication in a relationship is a decisive factor in whether it is able to thrive"(26).One of the biggest problems that takes place in a relationship is unclear communication that leads to misunderstandings. Deborah Tannen believes that men and women differ in their languages of conversation. She claims that women speak a language consisting mostly of rapport-talk, meaning they use talk as "a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships", while men speak a language of report, which means that talk for them is "primarily a means to preserve independence and negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order"(10). In order to understand each other, men and women must realize that they have different ways of talking and must sometimes compromise their way of talking for their partner's way. Both should make minor modifications once in awhile. As Deborah Tannen states, "A woman can observe a man's desire to read the morning paper at the breakfast table without interpreting it as a rejection of her or a failure of their relationship. And a man can understand a woman's desire for talk without interpreting it as an unreasonable demand or a manipulative attempt to prevent him from doing what he wants to do"(15). Another problem that causes misunderstandings is how women tend to express their feelings. According to John Gray, "To fully express their feelings, women assume poetic license and use various superlatives, metaphors, and generalizations. Men mistakenly take these expressions literally"(17). Men have a tendency to misinterpret what women say and can completely misconstrue its intended meaning. They must understand that when a woman complains, usually the meaning is not what it is first thought to be and that she is also "asking for a particular kind of support"(Gray, p.18). Gray also claims that when men are upset or stressed they will automatically go to their "cave" to work things out. Women should understand that when a man is in his cave no one is allowed in it with him. They should allow their men to go into their cave without interruption, and after a while they will come out and everything will be fine again. Women should also be able to recognize when a man is either in his cave, or about to go to his cave. For example, when asked, "What's wrong?" a man might say...

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