Men and women grow up poles apart leading to different communication styles/ behaviours. Women want rapport talk i.e. they want empathy, connection and understanding. As young girls they've used talking as a bonding exercise and a way to build relationships. Men want report talk i.e. they want the basic details and information at hand. Which enables them to go into fix it mode. This alone indicates the different expectations each sex has whilst communicating.
A lot of time when women throw around the statement you’re not listening, men actually are. We’re just not getting the response we want. We've become so familiar with getting a compassionate, time focused sense of agreement reaction from our girlfriends that when we don’t get this from our men it feels strange.
‘Most men have a hard time communicating anything that remotely resembles an emotion. Why? Because emotions are scary to men, who think much more than they feel, and much of the time, many men don’t even know what or how they are feeling....It is interesting to note that women think and feel at the same time, while men can only think or feel.’ (Psychology Today)
Nancy Travers listed the different communication styles between men and women.
1. Jumping topics- Women stay focused on one topic, while men jump from topic to topic.
2. Body language- Women face each other while men talk to each other at angles and look in other places in the room and even sometimes at their conversation partner.
3. Apologies - Women apologize more, hoping to create or sustain connections. Men don't like giving apologies since they view them as a loss of face.
4. Verbal fillers- Women use "mhm," "uhuh" and "go on," as a way of connecting with others, while men are more likely to stay silent.
5. Negotiation- Women prefer discussion, their goal being consenus, while men favor more direct communication and speedy results.
A lack of communication from a man doesn't necessarily mean a lack of attention but has more to do with his makeup. Men tend to express themselves better with actions while women express themselves better through verbal communication. Once the male and female have a better understanding of how each expresses themselves communication should be easier. It is a continuous journey that requires patience, understanding and empathy.