Often times, men and women experience misunderstandings because of communication problems. People have long since studied the differences in communication of men and women. There have been arguments that men and women communicate similarly and that the difference lies somewhere else than their genders. This difference is not tackled in this paper as the author believes that there are significant differences in how men and women communicate with other people. This is evidenced through the research of relevant literature, which are cited to give support to the author’s position.
The literature showed the numerous differences of men and women and their communication styles. In the end, the author was able to prove his position but also stated that the differences in communication are not limited to gender issues but also to one’s individuality. Psychology – Do Men and Women Communicate Differently? Communication is an essential part of people’s everyday lives. “The easiest way to think of communication is through its common meaning in several languages: as transportation, or a means of getting a message from one point to another” (Eadie, 2009, p. 4).
It is used to relay what one wants to impart to another person through the use of words (verbal) or body language (non-verbal) (Thompson, 2002, pp. 3-5). Without these forms of communication, people would have a hard time expressing themselves. In addition, people communicate in different ways because of their backgrounds. More specifically, men and women communicate differently. “Gender has a significant impact on the way people communicate. Starting at an early age, men and women learn different communication styles.
Communicative behaviors that are considered acceptable for little boys are frequently frowned upon for little girls” (Solovic, 2003, p. 43). This shows that gender does not only mean differences in the anatomical features of men and women but also in the way they express themselves. At an early age, most girls are taught by their parents to be soft-spoken and act lady-like. On the other hand, boys are trained to be more aggressive and to say what is on their minds. Still, girls are allowed to show their emotions while boys are supposed to act manly at all times.
These things that are taught at home, or even acquired through popular media and the society, influence how men and women think and act, which are carried on into their adult lives. Women like to build relationships and connections when they communicate. They like to relate their own experiences to connect to others. This is probably because they want to hear confirmation and support from their audiences, which is typical in their nature. This is apparent in support groups and clubs that are more frequented and participated by women.
Women like to share their feelings, especially to close friends, even if it means revealing too much about themselves or becoming too vulnerable in front of others. This is how their bonds are formed and this is when they feel that they can trust the other person. It is also apparent that women tend to be more calm even when in anger or distress making sure that they keep their composure at all times. Women are known to communicate through the power of listening. They know exactly when to say something and when to start listening.
This is probably because they believe that communication is not always about talking and that there are times when it is best to listen to the other person than to say something. Women are also more touchy believing that this is a way of showing their support and care to the other person. However, women are also known to be very indirect, especially when communicating with the opposite sex. They do not say what is exactly on their mind and expect men to understand them and know what they want.
This is not advisable since it would promote misunderstanding and conflicts may arise because men might get the wrong ideas, which can aggravate the situation even more. On the contrary, men are more slow when it comes to responding to others and this is probably because they want to be clear and accurate with what they are saying. However, they tend to be more boastful when it comes to presenting themselves to others. They do not like to appear as weak and vulnerable. They tend to brag and put their best foot forward even when in the company of their close friends.
Still, even with all these loud talking, men are more quiet and reserved when they are occupied about something. They tend to keep things to themselves and solve their conflicts on their own. They do not believe in touching or being too close to a person because this would show their vulnerable side, which is not manly for them. Men also tend to respond by asking disconcerting questions or by asking details that are not relevant to the topic at hand, which is in contrast to how women respond, which is by giving supportive feedback and responses that would facilitate the speaker to elaborate more on what he or she is saying.
“Thus, women use more conversational strategies aimed at eliciting disclosure and reducing conflict and enhancing solidarity. Men, on the other hand, are ostensibly more concerned with clarity, comprehensibility, and economy” (Unger, 2004, p. 246). Personal Comments: I believe that men and women communicate very differently as evidenced by the points stated above. Cultural differences and different backgrounds, as well as difference in agendas make each gender to react and communicate differently.
Admittedly, there are exceptions to the evidence at hand. There are women who do not believe in touching the other person just to show that they care. There are also those who talk and talk because they feel that this is they can support the other person. In addition, there are men who tend to be more vocal about what they are feeling. Some prefer human touch because this will make them feel better and more special. However, these people are only a small percentage compared to the general population who act in behaviors such as those presented above.
Men and women cannot communicate or act similarly because of their upbringing, as well as their individualities. It is not surprising, therefore, that there are numerous self-help books in the market that tackle the issue regarding communication problems and strategies of men and women. Still, I do not believe in making generalizations. People should not base their impressions and actions from a person’s gender. This is because, as mentioned above, there are always exceptions to the rule. People should communicate the best way they know how without hurting the other person or stepping on others’ shoes.
It is also best to express one’s thoughts in a clear manner so that there are no misunderstandings and conflicts in the future. If unsure about something, it is always better to ask than to react in a wrong way, which can make any situation worse. References Eadie, W. F. (2009). 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook. California: Sage. Solovic, S. W. (2003). The Girls’ Guide to Power and Success. New York: AMACOM. Thompson, S. (2002). Communicate in the Workplace. Australia: Software Publications. Unger, R. K. (2004). Handbook of the Psychology of Women and Gender. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.