Women complain they can’t get men to talk. When time comes for intimate conversation, guys clam up, offer a few, indecipherable grunts and expect women to magically understand what’s going on. The number one complaint women have in relationships is, “I don’t know what he’s thinking. He never tells me what is going on with him. How can I get him to open up?”
Women feel shut out, and men feel misunderstood. However, there is something women don’t realize. Men want to talk. Under the right conditions, they’ll talk all night long. Most men desperately need to unburden themselves and let others know what’s going on.
Trained For Silence
Men are silenced by different factors – the roles they are forced to play, lessons they’ve learned from their own families, or hurt from past relationships. They are silenced by prevalent myths of manhood, which often contradict the reality of the lives now.
A common myth is that it is unmanly to talk, to open up and tell all. A man must present an invincible image to the world. As children boys are told – Boys don’t cry. That stuff’s for girls.” Implicit in the idea is that expressing feelings represents weakness. It is as if they say, “I’m powerful, I need nothing from you.”
Putty In Her Hands “If she knows too much about me, I’ll be putty in her hands,” said Robert, a thirty year old executive. “I never let a woman know what‘s really doing inside. Why should I? She’ll only throw it back at you when there’s a fight later.” Robert lives expecting trouble. In fact, he not only looks forward to it, but also does his share to quietly make it happen. It’s the way he releases his pent up feelings.
“It’s okay to fight,” Robert continued. “You get closer later. I mean, if you can survive a good fight, then the two of you have a chance.”
For Robert, communication, via fighting, is for the purpose of establishing rank. This is not communication, but sparring. It is domination, masking itself as love.
Real communication is never about winning or losing. The essence of real communication is always about love
Getting Him To Talk
In order to bring out the best in a man, and hear all of what he has to say, there are easy steps which when followed, will help this happen easily.
“He’s got to feel he’s not going to be rejected,” says Ed Pankau, nationally acclaimed private investigator and best-seller, author of How To Hide Your Assets And Disappear. “Men are afraid if they do open up, someone’s going to laugh at them and they’ll be humiliated.” Men are much more afraid of rejection than women. People don’t realize that.”
Don’t Judge Him
Feeling judged is another form of rejection. “Listen to what he is saying, and beyond listening, offer something positive in return,” Pankau continues. “After he tells you some things you could then say, ‘Well, that’s not so bad. I’ve done worse.’ Let him know you’re on his team, and not sitting there judging him.”
Reveal Yourself As Well
There must be mutual disclosure between partners. “Everybody has problems, fears and skeletons in the closet,” Mr. Pankau continues. “Many guys feel, if I reveal this, she’ll leave me. You have to show that this is not the case. Reveal something about yourself that shows you have as much trust in him as he has in you.”
Let Go Of Past Grievances
If an individual feels his communication will be distorted, misunderstood, told to others, or thrown back at him at a later date, it is impossible for him to open up. Some people hold onto what has been said at one point in time, and never let it go. The ability to forgive may be just as simple as realizing that what was true a year ago, may not be true now. True communication requires the ability to remain in the present moment and to let the past be over when it’s done.
Listen To Everything He Wants To Say
Lewis Harrison, Healer and Director of the Academy of Natural Healing, has a different experience regarding communication.” As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “I, personally, tell everybody everything. I can’t hold it back if I want to. My wife is willing to listen to everything. I don’t have to lie to her at all.
Not only is Lewis’s wife willing to hear what he says, but she is willing to take action to give him what he asks for. This is communication taken to the highest level. Her ability to understand is manifested both in words and in deeds. We all want love and we want to give love but are not willing to do what is required to make that happen, and part of that is honesty.
In order to communicate honestly, you have to accept honesty from others, and many people won’t. Arrmand DiMele, Director and Founder of the DiMele Center for Psychotherapy and the host of the Positive Mind show asked, “Is it even possible to have honest relationships? The assumption is everybody’s going to be honest. The truth is – few people are. The main reason that people are not honest is – the consequences are too big. You can’t do it if the other person is not going to celebrate honesty.”
The ability to accept honesty from others grows as we a realize that true security does not come from the approval of others, but from being true to ourselves.
Be True To Yourself
How can we be true to ourselves if we don’t know who we are? Identity is a complex matter. For some men it consists of clinging to a role, or rigid sense of themselves. This man does not realize that who a person is today, he may not be tomorrow. At different times different parts of himself will emerge, the Warrior, Healer, Lover, Wise Man, Real Guy. We all can and must grow into newer and larger senses of ourselves Unless a man is allowed to explore different aspects of himself he can easily fall prey to compulsions and misfortunes. His love becomes conditional, given one moment and taken away the next.