If you are following this series, I’d suggest reading the first two articles before reading this one (Part 1 and Part 2). While they are more background and less practical, I think we often look for quick fixes only to be disappointed that they don’t work because we failed to understand the foundation behind them.
So let’s say you are interested in pursuing a woman and you want to learn how to communicate with her. You will find yourself constantly frustrated if you rely entirely on concrete conversation skills to communicate. If you spend all your time telling her facts about your day or asking her facts about her life, she will either read a wide array of emotions into your communication or she will grow board because you simply aren’t connecting emotionally.
Now don’t get me wrong. You don’t want to go to the other extreme and talk about your feelings all day. Women also enjoy talking about the facts of life as well (some more than others). The point is to learn balance. Concrete subjects, good natured debates, and empathetic communication all have their time and place. If I sound like I’m coming down hard on guys, I’m not. I’m just pointing out the particular area we tend to be less adept at.
If this makes sense, the next logical question is then “how do I connect emotionally with a woman?”
You must realize that all women are different so you can’t just say “do it this way” and eureka you have the solution. Remember, women don’t usually want you to solve their problems as much as they want you to relate to those problems. Or perhaps more specifically, women want you to relate to their feelings about their problems (or anything in life). So think of this lesson as learning to relate rather than solve a communication problem.
First of all you need to start by listening. This is pretty straight forward. Start really listening to what she is saying. Don’t sit there thinking of what to say next or how you will defend yourself if you are arguing. Remember this is not a concrete conversation. This is about connecting. So listening without involving your own thoughts will allow you to get into her world. Part of listening involves showing that you are listening. Did you know that most of our communication is nonverbal? So use your posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and the occasional question or supportive comment to indicate you are actually paying attention.
Second you need to allow yourself to accept the idea that she may have a different perspective on things. In other words, just because you don’t see things the way she does, doesn’t mean she is wrong. In fact this goes for all communication, with anyone. Looking through someone else’s life lenses is an art that takes time to master. It involves putting aside your biases and presuppositions and trying to see from the other person’s background, upbringing, place in life, and personal story to get the picture of the world they are seeing.
I personally think that many fights in relationships could be avoided by these two points: listening (actually processing what is being said and thinking about it) and seeing from the other person’s perspective. That’s why I’ve listed them first.
So practice this for the next week or so and come back next week for the rest of it.
Personal questions or comments? Need advice? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Check me out on Twitter @jesse_leake