They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but is this really true? Are there truly gender differences in communication?
If you’ve argued with the opposite sex then you know automatically men and women are different. And this especially is seen in gender differences in communication.
For women, we don’t understand why men are not talkative when expressing their feelings. For men, they don’t understand how a woman can constantly talk about her feelings. As a woman, I feel the need to defend us here—talking about your emotions is healthy!
If you consider going into a relationship or wonder how to solve an issue with someone of the opposite sex, the best way to approach these things is looking at it through their point of view. This isn’t always easy, but understanding the opposite sex is necessary when it comes to effective communication. If not, you just end up asking yourself hundreds of questions that don’t really solve the problem or help you attain a specific goal.
Like I always say, communication is essential for any relationship whether it’s a friendship or romantic relationship. Whether you’re a man or woman, you need to know the gender differences in communication.
#1 There are good and bad differences. Listen, this isn’t about starting a gender war over which one is better. Both men and women have pros and cons when it comes to the way they communicate. The point is to understand how you and the opposite sex communicate and work towards improving it. [Read: The battle of the sexes in the bedroom!]
#2 Women are great listeners. Usually, men are more selective when it comes to listening. They listen to what they need to listen to. Ignoring things that aren’t relative or important to them. Women tend to be great listeners. Hence, why we’re so good at gossiping. We listen to all the small details, ask questions, and remember most of the information, whether relevant or not. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener in your relationship]
#3 Men get to the point. Men aren’t into explaining every detail. They focus on just getting to the point of the story. When you’re in a business meeting or talking to a male friend, they usually go straight to the point of what’s happening, etc. The language they use is more direct and brief. Whereas women go into detail and meander around the point of the story.
#4 Women are more empathetic. This doesn’t mean that men are not emotional, they are. And they are empathetic, but when it comes to communicating, women are more capable of showing empathy to the person they talk to. This is also because they’re better listeners. In addition, they’re more likely to show emotions, thus, come off as empathetic. [Read: Why empathy is so important in a relationship]
#5 Eye contact. You may think men use more eye contact, but you’re wrong. In typical conversations, women are more likely to use direct eye contact. This is because they work to develop a connection and relationship. Whereas men use eye contact to assert dominance or challenge a position.
#6 Women use more facial expressions. Now, this doesn’t mean we look like animated characters when we speak, but, out of the 10,000 facial expressions that humans have, women use more of them. This is because women rely heavily on facial expressions to read people and their emotions.
#7 Space matters. You may not have noticed, but the space between men and women when communicating is different. Usually, men take up personal space and prefer face-to-face communication. However, women are typically more comfortable talking to someone from the side and don’t mind another woman in their personal space.
#8 They lead differently. Both women and men lead differently. Women typically lead by consensus. Men are more hierarchical and usually only have one person next to them during the decision process. When you think about male leaders, you see the leadership dynamic more clearly. They usually have a “right-hand” man next to them. [Read: Tried and true ways to becoming a better leader]
#9 Touch matters. Who would have thought that men and women touch differently, but it’s true. Men typically pat or slap the shoulder or back of another person, either male or female to assert dominance. And, usually, upon first introduction, they shake the other person’s hand, setting the tone for the interaction. But women touch the arm or shoulder of another person to connect and support the other.
#10 Men talk more. Usually, men talk more than women, specifically in the workplace. Women minimize the amount they talk, ensuring equal talking time within the room. I know, you’re probably surprised by the fact that men talk more than women. Men also tend to cut off other people while talking more than women.
#11 Men are task oriented. Men focus more on completing tasks as opposed to women. They do not feel the need to build relationships in order to complete something. Instead, they go straight to the task at hand. Women, on the other hand, are relationship oriented and accomplish tasks through the building of relationships.
#12 Processing information. Women and men think differently when processing information. When women make a decision, they examine their options usually out loud. Men examine their options by processing the information internally until they find a solution.
#13 Women like paralanguage. Paralanguage is the filler words such as “umm, er, ah, mhm, uh, oh.” Women use these words more during conversation because they show the other person they understand what’s being spoken. Men use paralanguage as well. But on a lower scale, like simply saying, “yes, no” or “I agree/disagree.”