Thursday, November 1, 2012
Male Speak For Females
When women speak, do men really hear them? After years of studying communication patterns between men and women, Allison Armstrong, creator of the "Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women," workshops discovered that women may not realize men hear best when spoken to in a more natural "male language." Given the history of male and female roles in the evolution of our species, where men were hunters as women tended the home and hearth, men are biologically wired to solve problems, and focus on immediate tasks at hand to protect and care for their loved ones. If a woman uses language that resonates with his desire to protect, solve and care, her words will be most effectively heard. Allison looked at what made men and women feel safest. For men, producing creates safety. When his ability to produce is thwarted, a man will feel a sense of tension or anxiety. If a man is trusted and respected, he feels supported in his efforts to produce results. Women, on the other hand, need connection to feel safe. When a women can't connect, she may feel at risk, unsafe and all alone. Attention and interest help a woman feel connected, If a woman does not feel connected, she will experience tension and anxiety. Here is where understanding male language makes a world of difference. If a good man wants to help, protect or provide for a woman, but the way she is speaking to him does not give him a clear target or a likelihood of success, the woman may actually be thwarting the best intentions of the good man. Here is an example: A woman really wants her partner to go with her to see a movie. Her greatest desire is to have him sit beside her and be close to her, so she can feel connected. If she asks, "Hey, do you want to see 'XYZ' movie with me, the man may very well say no, unless he happens to be really interested in that movie." The woman will feel disappointed, because he won't be sharing time with her. If instead she asks her question in a way that gives her male partner a better target, "Hey, I love to spend time with you and feel connected to you. Going to see "XYZ" movie on Saturday would make me really happy," the answer is more likely to be yes. Realizing that good men WANT to make their loved ones happy helps a woman understand that it is not just what she wants but how she communicates what she wants that makes all the difference in her connection with the man she loves. Men respond well to language that gives them a clear target. Being told, "here is a problem I have to solve," gives a clear target. Being told, "I need help with the following situation," also gives a clear target. Because men want to make the women they love happy, being told what will make a woman happy also gives a man a clear target. Being able to success at solving a problem, helping or making a woman happy, gives a man the good feeling of producing, which helps him feel safe and successful. When the woman sees that the man she loves is indeed solving problems, helping and doing things that make her happy, she feels connected and loved. Perhaps much of the tension between men and women can be eased by understanding some of our primal drives and language that can help us bridge the gender gap. How men and women react to problems is different based on this wiring. Men tend to hone in on a very specific goal and keep a very strong focus until the goal is achieved. If a man decides the goal is not likely achievable, he will quickly drop it and move on to something else that is more likely to yield success. Women, who are biologically charged with the task of keeping babies alive, will come up with an endless list of possibilities how to solve a problem, care for a loved one and make a relationship work. If something that really matters does not seem achievable, women are less likely to drop it and more likely to find a creative way to succeed, against all odds.