Let’s face it: Although men and women may carry equal responsibilities, we will always be monumentally different in many ways. It is clear that men and women see the world in very different ways. Closely analyzing the distinct ways in which men and women communicate is the key to understanding these differences.

Why do we talk?

Men will only start a conversation when they have a clear and defined motive. For them, there is a specific purpose behind every conversation. There is a message that needs to be conveyed or a problem that needs to be solved. As a result, men use communication to arrive at a solution as efficiently as possible.

For women, on the other hand, communication is a way to express emotion. Women use communication to determine what they want, and to express those desires in detail by sharing them with others. A man speaks to provide his partner with solutions, whereas a woman speaks to strengthen the bond between her and her partner and to rid herself of negative emotions.

How much should be said?

In everything a man does, efficiency is of the utmost importance. Communication is no different. Even if you want a man to tell a story in a detailed manner, he will still sort the information out in his head to determine what is important and present only the information he considers essential. No wonder we use the expression “man of few words” but commonly ask, “Why do women talk so much?” The answer is simple: Women use communication as a way to organize their thoughts. Their goal isn’t necessarily to arrive at a solution; rather, they want someone to listen and understand what they are feeling. For this reason, when women speak, they aren’t concerned about which information is excessive versus which information is necessary; they will narrate a story exactly as it happened.

What does it mean to listen?

By nature, men are active listeners. When men listen, they interpret what is being said by asking themselves, “What can I do about this situation?” When a woman initiates a conversation, a man assumes that, in one way or another, she is indirectly seeking advice or assistance. This assumption is incorrect. As long as a woman feels satisfied that someone has listened to her, she may not want to take any further action. One reason that some women stay in abusive relationships is that, at some point in time, their abusers actually listened to their complaints and assured them that they would change. This attentiveness to their needs made them feel as though they could endure any difficult experiences.

Responding to difficulties

When a man is faced with an obstacle in life, he tends to withdraw into his “cave,” so to speak. He becomes quieter than usual, and focuses on either finding possible solutions, or creating an alternative. His alternative activity might be attending a soccer game, watching television, or reading a newspaper, to name a few examples. During this stressful period, he might communicate less with his partner. When approached by his partner, he might distance himself even more, because he may feel as though she doesn’t trust him enough to handle the situation on his own. In that event, his partner would likely misinterpret his silence as a sign that she has not been successful in fulfilling her responsibilities at home. She would likely respond by trying even harder to communicate with him, and when her efforts to communicate continued to fail, she might assume that her partner was no longer in love with her.

When a woman is upset, on the other hand, she will not respond by retreating into her own shell. Instead, she will use words to express herself and to understand her emotions. In doing so, she is able to process and subsequently rid herself of negative emotions. Women value support and nurturing, which is why sharing makes them feel fulfilled. A woman feels loved and cared for when her partner shows an interest in her wellbeing by expressing heartfelt concerns and asking thoughtful questions.

When is communication likely to break down?

Communication between a woman and her partner is likely to break down when he feels as though he is being told what to do. Men have a natural aptitude for being in charge and respond well to feeling as though they are in control. For this reason, when a woman questions a man’s competence, he will not only feel hurt, but will also attempt to justify his actions through resistance; that is when communication begins to break down.

When a man is wrong, a woman should not attempt to correct him by saying, “You were not supposed to do that. Do this instead.” She can more effectively confront him by saying, “That was ok, but do you think this might be better?” Or, “What do you think of this?” In any event, the trick is to improve his behavior without giving the impression that you are dictating what he should do.

For a woman, communication is likely to break down when her partner makes her feel as though her problems aren’t as tangible as she thinks. Her partner might think that he is easing her concerns with statements like, “You are simply being over-emotional about the situation; just relax.” Although his intentions may be good, she might interpret his response as a sign that he isn’t taking her seriously and is minimizing her feelings.

It is important to acknowledge these differences between men and women in order to create an efficient, enduring model of communication. Doing so will not only contribute to lasting relationships with our partners at home, in peer groups, and at work, but it will also bridge the gap between men and women by fostering effective communication.

Even after we’ve addressed the differences between men and women, a question still remains: How do we bridge those differences?

Technology lovers who have encountered the “Dawghouse” app would likely agree that the app is an efficient tool for solving issues with communication. If you haven’t already tried the app, you can install it from the Apple store or the Google Play store. First, though, you should read the following ten proven ways to bridge the communication gap between men and women:

  1. Clarify the exact need: In order for communication to flow freely without any problems or misunderstandings, both the woman and the man must determine and state exactly what they are expecting or seeking from the conversation. Men are natural “fixers,” whose primary instinct is to offer solutions. However, in order to fully understand their partners, men should ask them whether they are looking for solutions, or simply want someone to listen. Women tend to be sensitive, so men should avoid being misinterpreted by listening first before offering advice.

  2. Ask to define meanings: Some women have a tendency to make statements that have a very different meaning than they intended. To avoid confusion, it is best to ask for clarification of the true meaning of the statement; avoid making assumptions. Women should also ask questions before assuming that they understand what their partner is trying to say. When the meaning of each statement is made clear, communication flows. Therefore, it is important to make an effort to explain our statements in a way our partners can understand.

  3. Give undivided attention: In today’s modern world, we have become so desensitized to the term “multi-tasking” that we have become blind to its effects on our relationships. We may have a lot of distractions vying for our attention, but as the saying goes, “There is a time for everything.” To bridge communication between ourselves and our partners, we need to give them our undivided attention. By doing so, we can reassure them and remind them how much we care about them.

  4. Discuss preferred communication method: Have you ever considered the potential damage to your relationship that frequent text messaging can cause? Due to our busy schedules, we have substituted the act of hearing our partners’ voices for simply texting them using Emojis. Although texting can be a quick way to reach out, texts can also be misinterpreted easily. More importantly, actually hearing your partner’s voice is far more assuring than merely assuming that they are okay.

  5. Establish social media boundaries: Social media is an excellent source of connectivity. Over the years, people have personalized their social media accounts to such an extent that most of their “secrets” can be seen on those accounts. Some people have even gone so far as to post about their marital problems online. Although expressing these issues can be useful for gaining others’ perspectives, it is important to establish boundaries in order to avoid unnecessary problems and misunderstandings. Establishing social media boundaries can help to prevent each partner from prying into the other’s private affairs.

  6. Adopt appropriate conflict resolution: Be careful not to put the fate of your relationship into the hands of outsiders. Doing so will have the effect of making your partner feel incompetent. Before a problem escalates to the point of seeking help from professionals or others, discuss the issue with your partner directly and find a way to solve the problem internally.

  7. Practice transparency: For a relationship rich in sound communication, each partner should be the person they desire their partner to be. If all you do is lie, then you can’t expect the truth. Both partners should be completely honest with one another and ensure that their actions line up with their words.

  8. Check yourself: Before initiating a conversation, it is important to fully understand your own emotions and to know what you desire. Once you have taken the time to truly understand your own feelings, it will be easier to convey that message to your partner.

  9. Be supportive: We all want someone to support, encourage, and motivate us. In order to maintain sound communication with others, we need to avoid being judgmental and try to be supportive of others even when we don’t share the same interests. Instead of criticizing others, we should offer words of encouragement.

  10. Be correctable: Men often feel that, because they are in charge of a group, they are therefore beyond reproach. This is not true. None of us are perfect. When we make mistakes and are corrected, we need to adjust to avoid repeating our mistakes; this is true of both men and women. Unless we become teachable, others will not be able to communicate freely with us.

Overall, the communication gap between men and women results from differences between the sexes. In order to bridge this gap, we must acknowledge and accept these differences.

The good news is that there is smart technology to help overcome these differences.  Thanks to apps like “DawgHouse”, you can better manage all the snags and loose ends in your relationship, even those annoying squabbles that often come between couples.  This app will help provide greater transparency on what needs to get done so communication breakdowns don’t happen.

Plus, the DawgHoused app can also anonymously post your argument to the DawgHoused Facebook page so you can get an unbiased opinion when communication is failing. Within 72-hours, the votes will be tallied and a verdict issued for quick resolution. Finally, you and your fight adversary can be free of the burden caused by unresolved arguments.