Detecting Differences to Enhance Communication PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Saturday, 12 June 2010 08:52

Detecting Differences to Enhance Communication
If you haven't noticed, men and women are different. So this local relationship expert points out specific differences and how to work with them to help in your communication.

Men talk an average of 12,500 words per day while women jabber on more than twice as much with an average 25,500 words per day, says Rhonda Audia, owner of Guru for Two Counseling Center.


The exact number of words isn't the main point here, though. It is the stark difference in number that shows that men and women just communicate differently. So Audia offers some tips for talking and connecting with your man.


Audia's top piece of advice is, "Don't avoid conflict!" Being able to communicate effectively prevents ill feelings from wreaking havoc on your mind — and your relationship.


Just because you shouldn't avoid conflict does not mean that you need to address a particular problem right away. Sometimes it actually works better to allow yourself to "cool down" a bit before entering the conversation.


In fact, a biological difference between men and women can make it much more effective to give your man a cool down period. Men generally are much more reactive to conflict, so their heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety levels all go up quicker and higher than women, Audia says.


This biological response often causes men to shut down and "stone wall," which generally leads women to think that their men are not listening or caring. "Oh, they care! They care a lot!" Audia says. "It's their anxiety and they get flooded and then they shut down."


To live up to Audia's "don't avoid conflict" rule, though, you must immediately set aside a specific time when you will revisit an issue to talk about the problem so that both of you are on the same page as to when the appropriate discussion time will be.


And don't think that there won't be any conflicts. Every relationship has conflicts whether it's as minor as how much rice to buy or as major as how many kids to have. The key factor is how you deal with that conflict.


"Research in the field of relationship success says that the couples that divorce and the couples that stay together have the same amount of conflict," Audia says. "The couples that stay together are really good at their repair skills."


These "repair skills" allow a couple to resolve conflict rather than adding fuel to the fire, and they come in two forms: verbal and nonverbal. One important verbal repair skill is to talk about your feelings rather than attack your partner. For example, instead of saying, "You're such a jerk," you could say, "I felt hurt when you (add concern here)."


Nonverbal repair skill can come through the gift of touch. Holding hands while you talk helps remind you of your connection and love for each other despite your current state of conflict. And everyone loves a good hug!


These repair skills also can be used to prevent conflict. Recognizing and understanding your differences really can make a difference between contentment and resentment. Many men use verbal communication to pass on information while women generally use communication as an emotional tool to build relationships, Audia says. So when you're venting and your guy offers you some advice, don't take it as a sign that he thinks you don't know how to handle your problems. Take it as a sign that he is trying to help.


For more tips on relationship building and communicating, head to




Photographer: Neysa Ruhl

Model: Rhonda Audia

Location: Lofts@4120


Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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