Say What You Mean (And Mean What You Say)

For all you men who would like to communicate better, I offer you these Sunday morning tips in today’s entry. This seems to be the theme this week, from a number of different experiences I have had. It’s true – men play a lot of games when it comes to communication. So, here’s a Cliffs Notes of Mens’ Communication for you, from the Counselor for Men.

1. Don’t make assumptions. If you suspect something, or have certain ideas in your head about your partner, check them out with your partner first before reacting to your assumption. It takes fortitude to practice mindfulness, the art of becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings and experiences in the present moment. Communicate your assumptions, and start by saying: “I am making this assumption that you…” or “I am having this fantasy that you thought or did this….”. A lot of the times, our minds dupe us into thinking that an assumption is our reality, when it is not.

2. Don’t attack. Sometimes the verbal attack comes from when we guard our fearful place, and then react to not become wounded or hurt by our partner’s words. Stay with your inner feelings, and speak from that place – your thoughts, feelings, sensations, assumptions, whatever. Just stay on your side of the fence, and don’t jump it to attack your mate. Things are sure to get worse if you do attack.

3. Say What You Mean. Take your time and get in touch with what is going on inside of you. Speak from physical points of pain in your chest or your heart. This is difficult to do, when our minds tell us that the other person is to blame, so let’s spend the time going to get her. You may be scared instead of being angry, which you may not know until you check that out inside yourself. You may feel insecure instead of rageful that your partner said something about your personality that hurt you.

4. Talk, talk, talk. If you are like many men, walking away and avoiding the situation is common and easier to do, because we want to avoid the pain, which creates conflict and tension. Pain is a common experience for people to want to avoid, as is taking personal responsibility. But, even if the words come out wrong, hang in their and have the difficult conversation with your wife or girlfriend, because if you don’t, the anger, avoidance, tension and conflict will build up over time and cement, making it a lot more difficult to help yourself in the future.

Happy Sunday to all of you guys out there. Leave a comment, and tell me what your experiences are about the difficulties that you have had in communicating with your partner.

-Jason

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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