Well, hello. We’re all about finding ways to keep life happy and healthy on this blog! And to that extent, of course, we have to face some unhappy facts — such as this: relationships break up from time to time.
And we all know that, and we’ve probably all been through a breakup — I should think the number of people who haven’t is very small, but doesn’t that mean that we all know something about dealing with break-ups?
Now, now…. NO! I don’t think it does actually….. because, you know, one thing I’ve learnt over the years is that people just seem to repeat the same pattern time after time.
How women can connect with men
Repeat the same pattern — but why? Probably because they are locked into a cycle of hoping one day to find a soulmate, never really looking at the real issues that might be handicapping their relationships.
And when you talk about handicapping relationships, there’s literally nothing more likely to handicap any relationship than poor communication.
I mean have you talked to your partner recently? Really talked, I mean? Yeah, about the stuff that really matters, the deep stuff – (hold your breath guys!) the emotional stuff.
Oh, I can hear you groaning now if you’re a bloke. We don’t like to talk about that stuff, do we my fellow guys? No. And that’s one of the problems in all relationships between men and women — women like to talk about emotional stuff, and how they feel, and men would like to avoid emotions like the plague.
I mean: men and women are different — we all know that. And how different are they? Extremely different, because men and women just don’t communicate in the same way. I suppose my question is, can they learn to? Communicate in the same way, that is?
Who knows, it doesn’t seem to be happening in society at large, does it, really?
And why is that — have you any idea?
The Truth About Communication
I believe that’s fundamentally because men are programmed to “do”, women are programmed to “be” (to be social, in fact). You may get what I mean by programmed to be social — and if you’re not, I mean: to find out what’s going on in the community, the family, the village environment – and so on. And they do that by talking, by being hypersensitive, and intuitive.
Men are programmed to do things — like hunting, working, building: and they form cooperative bodies which are hierarchical, where every male knows his place in relation to every other male in the hierarchy.
So if that’s true, what does it means about communication of men and women in relationship?
When you think about it, is a very good question! In fact, it’s absolutely fundamental to all relationships between men and women everywhere.
Can men and women ever learn to communicate in a way that is harmonious?
You only have to think of what happens when a breakup takes place in relationship to know that communicating harmoniously they can be very very challenging indeed.
The pain, the sense of emotional betrayal, the sense of abandonment, the sense of loss, the anger, the grief, the pain — whatever it is, it all gets in the way of communication.
But when you think about it, problems of anger, defensiveness, self-justification, righteousness, and so forth are insidious in existing relationships anyway. The real miracle is that relationships happen at all, not that they breakup!
So suppose you’re in a relationship that is not going well – what can you do about it? Well, you could learn to communicate better. You could learn to drop the blame, you could drop the self-justification, you could learn to drop the defensiveness.
Above all you could learn to listen to your partner, you could learn to listen to your partner when they speak to you from the heart, telling you how they feel.
“Ah,” you say, “but it’s so difficult.” Yes, true. Because often when people talk from the heart they feel – and then they get into blaming, they get into judging, get into criticising — and that’s no less true for women than men, by the way.
So maybe the truth of the matter is that actually there isn’t any difference in communication between men and women, maybe we are just as inarticulate as each other. Just as emotionally unintelligent.
Maybe the truth is that we all have to learn how to communicate on an emotional level. And you know what, I think is plenty of evidence to show that women and men are no more or less emotionally intelligent than each other.
So if that’s true then what can we do about it?
Get therapy, get counselling, go on a listening skills course?
Yeah sure, all of that’s possible — but maybe there’s a simpler way maybe you can learn it from the Internet.
I’m not joking here either: the Internet is a very good way of communicating things that normally people wouldn’t say to each other (or even seek a way of understanding and learning about them).
So if that’s true, where can you go to learn about good communication with your partner? Bizarrely enough, I think you can go to a place that is designed to help people who have broken up get back together: a program called Text Your Ex Back by Mike Fiore. (Click here to see it. www.textingtolove.com)
I’m not joking here either, because when you think about it there’s no place on earth where judging, criticism, blaming, anger, defensiveness, self-justification, righteousness, and all those other not very juicy and delightful qualities come into play than a relationship breakup.
Could it be, therefore, that a program designed to help people get back together after a relationship breakup might just be the best way of people staying together before they actually breakup?
Well, you know what? I don’t have an answer to that question, but I think it’s certainly worth examining. And in fact, the principles set out in Text Your Ex Back, by Mike Fiore, seem to me to be very sound and sensible psychological principles of communication. It’s not like he’s trying out rocket science work: he’s just pointing out that, actually, there are some ways in which people can communicate with each other which are more likely to lead to mutual understanding and acceptance than others.