provides the foundation of a relationship
better communicate well......By Pierre Coda
A question often asked by women is how much private matters they should discuss with men and at what point. Some women are afraid that if they share too
much/too soon they might expose themselves to
the men. It is well known that when women have shared their innermost feelings and secrets to
men, some men
have taken undue advantage of this trust. The complaint that I have heard from men,
though, is that if they do not clearly hear from women what they think and feel, they not only get frustrated but also confused. Many times they just leave the women simply because they do not know if their romantic effort is having the desired effect.
The other related issue is how active a role should a woman play when it comes to expressing her wishes related to romance. For example, if she likes to be hugged more often, should she clearly tell him
so even if men do not necessarily believe in hugging and
cuddling? What if she is afraid that he will leave her if she talks more openly and might come across as more aggressive? (Related
in communication among couples)
The ideal scenario would, however, be that we will all have
perfect communication among us and nobody will be in trouble for sharing what is in our hearts. Unfortunately, this is not the way things work. Particularly in the current environment modeled on the
"Sex and the
city", there is an unhealthy dose of skepticism among all of us when we approach members of the opposite sex.
Accordingly, one has to think of a
strategy for communication with the opposite sex. In extensive discussions with my clients, I have learned that what works best is to follow the rule of thumb:
"Longer the relationship, more the openness". Trying to be intimate early on in the relationship can backfire most of the time. It can be perceived as being unrefined, aggressive, weak, and whatever else the next person can think of. On the other hand, not opening up when the relationship becomes more intimate can present problems -
lack of trust, confusion, frustration, and dilution of intimacy.
(Related: How to
improve face to face communication)
I always advise my female
clients to not ask too many questions early on in the
relationship. This comes across to men as being too nosy and
essentially reinforces stereotypes of women. It is much better
to share a little secret of your own first and then ask a
follow-on question. Men tend to be less comfortable talking
about themselves. Thus, they rarely speak about their innermost
self unless someone probes hard; but, then they get defensive if
someone does that. So it is better to let the men do the talking
when they are ready. That way they can really feel that a
has earned their trust and they are ready to share.
For my male clients, I suggest a "strategy of ignorance". I advise them to start with the assumption that they know little about a woman (isn't it true that most women think that men hardly know anything about women?). That way they can use each new person in their life as a textbook to be studied well from beginning to end. I suggest simple steps: read, think, analyze, reflect, ask questions, and if you still don't understand, then seek help from a teacher. This works most of the time because nothing
a woman more than a man who is seriously interested in
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