Effective Communications between Men and Women
Many men and women find it quite difficult to understand exactly what their mates want.
With the new boom of self-help books this is no longer a problem. Whether it is bad communication or dealing with petty arguments, there is a book out there for you and your partner. Although not all of the author’s agree and there are many critics of these works, they do offer helpful insight into the world of communication in relationships between men and women.
For women, understanding their husband or boyfriend can be very difficult. In these cases it may seem as though men and women are from different planets, the main point to John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. According to Gray, men and women communicate completely differently almost speaking two languages. The male or “Martian” language is used most as “ a general warning that he is either in his cave or on his way to the cave.” This “cave” is a general term that Gray attributes to the quiet retreat men take in order to sort out their feelings or deal with a problem. When in their cave men want to be left alone in quiet solitude and may respond to women’s inquiries about their problem with, “I’m okay” or “it is okay” (22). This is a frustrating situation for a concerned woman but according to Gray not worrying for a Martian will help him to exit the cave quicker and give him one less thing to worry about (25).
Women react quite differently when faced with problems or when communicating with their mate. According to John Gray, “to fully express feelings women assume poetic license and use various superlative, metaphors, and generalizations.” Gray also explores how when taken literally by a Martian that this poetic Venusian talk can be easily misunderstood (17). It is these instances where men and women miss the exact meaning of each other’s words, and for this reason Gray includes a Venusian/Martian dictionary in his book. This could be quite helpful in order to sort out certain misunderstandings in a relationship.
Similar to John Gray is Deborah Tannen, a more academically qualified author who conveys comparable ideals in her work “Put Down the Paper and Talk to me.” Tannen’s book revolves around the idea of “rapport-talk” and “report-talk” as well as “cross-cultural” communication between men and women. The language of women is mostly rapport talk, a language used to establish emotional relationships and making connections in a private setting. According to Tannen this is because from childhood women “feel their closest connections at home, or in settings where they feel at home…in other words, during private speaking” (Tannen 10).
For men speaking is used for a different reason, “to preserve independence and negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order.” This report talk is used to show the man’s skill or knowledge as well as to become the center of attention in social situations. Deborah Tannen...