There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to talk about relationships. It may happen just once, so don’t miss it. I loved the Mars and Venus premise. It really does seem like we come form two different planets much of the time. I suppose that is why men and women usually go pretty well together: Yin and Yang, water and ice, wood and fire. You know.
I’d like to add my two cents to the discussion. If I were to pick the planets we come from, I’d say that women come from “Talk” and men come from “Do”. Women don’t just love to talk. They have to talk. It is how they experience the world, how they live out relationships and how they work out issues. Men are from “do”. They don’t just love to do things, they need to do things. This is how men experience the world, how they live out relationships and they work out issues.
Put a mom and a daughter together and they will talk all night. Put a dad and a son together and they can go fishing all day.
The mom and daughter may get a lot done while they talk, but their time is all about talking together.
The dad and the son will talk while they fish, but their time is all about doing something together.
So when you put a man and a woman together, she wants to talk and wants him to talk. He wants to do something with her: take a walk, ride bikes, play a board game.
She mistakes this for him not wanting to spend meaningful time with her. He mistakes this for her not wanting to do something with him. So they get in an argument.
It is against her nature to do something without talking. However, if you can get her talking, she is happy to do all sorts of things while she talks.
It is against his nature to sit and listen and talk. But if you get him moving around or doing something, he can talk all day.
He has to learn to listen and to talk. Just sit down and listen. Don’t offer advice. Don’t suggest solutions. Just listen. Then when she is done, he needs to tell a story about how he felt when something similar happened to him. The story can’t be what happened to him, but how he felt about what happened to him.
She has to learn to agree to do things with him as an excuse to get time to talk. By the time they are 15 minutes into the hike, she can talk to him about whatever she needs to get out. If she can stand 15 minutes of silence, then she will be able to talk out all she needs to talk out.
He needs to learn to say, “I am listening to you while I am doing ( fill in the blank)”
Otherwise she will think he is not listening or that he is walking away in the middle of a conversation. He can listen without sitting still and focusing.
She needs to learn to say, “I just need to talk something out with you. Then we can do something else”. Otherwise he thinks she is trying to corner him for hours to unload a bunch of emotional stuff. She can talk something out and get it off her chest pretty quickly if someone pays attention to her.
Try these exercises and try this language with your others and see what happens.
As a business speaker I don’t talk enough about relationships. But they are of course very important at work or at home.