I think Elayne Boosler had it right when she said, “When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”
Half of the people that live on this planet are wired differently than the other half. For example, a wife wants her husband to compassionately listen to her latest frustration. The husband wants her to get to the point so he can give his wife the solution to her problem. Unfortunately, her sharing is the point, the solution isn’t, and her husband is sleeping on the couch—again!
A mother attempts a meaningful conversation with a son who interprets her effort as invading his space. A daughter feels her father doesn’t have time to listen to her innermost thoughts while the dad thinks he is doing pretty well to listen to her during halftime of the football game.
These differences also show up in other relationships where the sexes have to converse. A man can interpret a woman employer as bossy and domineering when she sees herself as confidently overseeing the details of the business. A male soccer coach wants to take his young team to view a professional soccer game, yet he has to convince a soccer mom that the trip will be safe and they will be home on time. She apparently has a funny feeling about the security of the trip. He thinks she’s nuts.
God made us different for a purpose, because it is only together that we reflect Him and His image. Remember, God made Adam and Eve in His image—male and female together. In order to fully represent the image of God through communication we need to seek to understand how the other sex communicates.
Ellen Tien conducted an interview with 25 couples and found some genuine differences in the way men and women behave and perceive events. See if you can relate to these differences:
1. Men consolidate while women diversify
2. Men want to get going while women want to get ready
3. Men care about what things do while women care about how things look
4. Men go for the big picture while women cherish the details
5. Men rely on information while women depend on intuition
What communication differences between men and women can you add to this list? Have you found that honoring these differences allow a place for the Spirit Holy to manifest himself in your communications?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
This Post Has 2 Comments
Gender studies was big in my college psych department. I was a psych major and came across much of it. Research was being done all the time. They found that men prefer talking side by side, women face-to-face. Women give listening responses, like “uh huh” and nod to show they are listening and men usually do not, and they interpret a woman’s nod as agreement to what they’re saying, which can cause real misunderstandings! It was also theorized that men cannot self-disclose as deeply and detailed as women, but found that they can, but only will in the right circumstances.
Thanks for the insights, Carrie. I’ll need to write these down and learn to avoid misunderstandings better. Less nodding and more talking side by side with my man. 🙂