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The communication differences between men and women

SHARE Consider the following scene involving a conversation between Sarah and Jack, two seventeen year-olds who have been good friends for a while. You have lots of positives. I am sure you will get in. Sarah waits for a while, expecting him to say something about her situation. Definitely lower than what I was expecting. You are basically a shoe-in.

I am always there to support you and you never support me when I need it. What the communication differences between men and women I say that made you so pissed? Why are you so clueless?

Jack and Sarah miss each other here because of common gender differences in how their conscious experience frames their world. She also expects others to have the same basic experience of the world, which means that if they do not show the support toward her that she expects then she becomes angered that she is not being attended to in the way she deserves.

He expects others to have the same experience of the world. He is certainly willing to support others in the problems they face and in many situations is very giving and helpful.

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However, he is much less attentive to the subtle needs for emotional support and thinks mostly about support in terms of helping others solve their problems, rather than recognizing or validating their emotional world. But instead of being grateful for this, Jack seemingly rejects this supportive communication from Sarah. Indeed, experiencing disappointment may well result in the secondary feeling that he is weak or ineffective and that is the last thing he wants. Instead, he wants to resolve the situation by identifying an instrumental solution to the issue.

Understanding Menglish (or communication differences between men and women).

And, understandably, she wants it to be reciprocated. And since they have been long time friends, she assumes he must know this about her. In doing so, she is essentially testing him to see how much he values her. He fails this test by not saying anything. But instead of getting validation, she feels him attacking, distancing and dismissing her.

This seems outrageous and uncalled for from her perspective, given the communication differences between men and women she was there for him.

And he is actually subtly acknowledging that he is in worse shape than she is. In doing so, this raises another reason why he wants to avoid thinking about her negative feelings like disappointment, shameor helplessness. If she is feeling those things and he is in worse shape, then he really should be feeling those things. But from his perspective, her attack comes out of the blue. And thus, there they are: The reason for their confusion is that their conscious experience of the world is different in some fundamentally important ways.

However, if they had insight into the fact that Jack has a more agentic-instrumental way of being in the world and Sarah had a more relational way of being in the world, then they would at least have a valuable map of the situation and the communication differences between men and women a much greater chance of avoiding this kind of miscommunication that leaves both parties feeling frustrated and misunderstood.