communication

How to Emotionally Connect with Women (Part 3): Listening and Empathizing

connecting 2If 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 thelovemanifesto@gmail.com

Check me out on Twitter @jesse_leake

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23 thoughts on “How to Emotionally Connect with Women (Part 3): Listening and Empathizing

  1. You are brilliant! This is my favorite post so far. I feel like you said what woman fail to explain to so many men or men just can’t wrap their minds around this concept. So, great job truly great blog:)

    1. Well thank you. There is certainly no one answer. But I do think by observing and paying attention we can get to understand each other better. And I hope that people will read this who could use some help in connecting with women and understanding them. I think a lot of it comes down to miscommunication. Which makes sense based on your comment. How women are unable to explain to men what they want their man to do.

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting my blogs. One of which I understand, is probably the other side of the spectrum 🙂 I think you are right, in that by nature, a man does love to fix things. And that is how they relate. By fixing things. If a female complains about her day, he thinks ‘leave your job’… or whatever solution he can come up with. But a woman isn’t looking for this at all, she just wants to be ACTIVELY listened to. Active listening means

    eye contact
    body language
    being present and listening
    repeating back what you have heard

    And that’s it. Then the woman is happy!! I love the book men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Sums it up quite well….. well as long as they are not a sociopath, of course, lol

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog. I think you made some good points. I really want to read that book I have heard good things about it. It is 1 of the few books that I have not made a point of reading yet

      1. It’s is a great book. And I think that it gets the male/female combination down to a T.

        Some authors like Tracey Cox knock it, but I think it is the best one I have read. (for no particular reason, I just worked in a place that had a lot of charity shops, and for some reason, in those shops were relationships books)…. maybe life is trying to tell me something. I lost the men are from venus book (or it was loaned) too many times – and somehow I always ended up with another copy, often for free. How that works, I do not know!

        .

  3. This is so true… And not only for women, I guess. I have learned to say to my friends “I don’t want an advice, I rationally know what to do, I want your compassion”… It does help.

      1. Well… It seems many of the blogs I have unwittingly stumbled across that include the words “love” or “romantic” in their titles are a bit more risque in their intent. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found on your site.

        1. Nothing wrong with risque given the right time and place. But I think there’s plenty of that out there. And I am more interested in sharing what I have learned from deep relationships. And hope to learn from others experiences as well. Because at the end of the day these are the ones that really matter.

  4. This elementary phase ALWAYS works for me and it allows the listener to usually follow suite.
    “When you do_______, it makes me feel like_________.”
    Never fails unless you’re dealing with a very stubborn person.

    Nice blog

  5. I absolutely love the words, Just because you don’t see it that way, doesn’t mean she’s wrong (paraphrased). I also think that it is hard because men that I have known right away hate the words, “I think” or “I feel” but counselors advise not using the “attack mode” by saying “you do this” or “you make me mad.” I even had a man tell me that I was self centered as I was trying to explain my feelings to him! That was the end of that! You are so good at explaining connecting and sharing.

    1. The problem is we are all self centered. It is nature. No 1 else in the world will put you first. So it makes sense that you should put you first. When people complain about someone being selfish they are ignoring the fact that they are selfish in being bothered by someone else being selfish. If that makes sense. Of course 1 of the best ways to please yourself is often to make others happy. In other words we received joy in blessing others.

  6. Thank you for the reminder and I won’t be saying those words ever again (you are so selfish!) Anyway, the best way of being happy is for me to make someone smile. I am hoping I listen well and will connect better each time I try to get closer.

  7. So if a man is supposed to do all of those things, how does a woman “listen” to a man when it just seems like he is spouting all of the same “facts” over and over again void of any real depth? Does he even care if she’s listening? I used to be a great listener early on in my relationship, but after only a few years, I’ll have to admit, I don’t “hear” 10% of what’s being said. I guess somewhere inside I feel like I don’t want to listen to someone else, if they never listen to me. You see the endless downward cycle in this.

    1. I do see what you mean. I think part of what having a good relationship means is learning to have other relationships outside of your romantic ones. So if you are very passionate about cooking. Or hiking. You should find like minded people to hang out with and share your passions with. If your partner does not share those passions find your common ground and don’t worry about sharing the things that you really don’t care about. Does that make sense? I have learned in my few years of relationships that no woman can satisfy all my needs. If I expect to have a woman who is sexual, funny, intellectual, athletic, and everything else that I might want I set the standard too high. For one person at least.

  8. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your website.

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