How The Sexes Communicate With One Another
It has been my own personal experience that men and women communicate differently. This is especially true when put into the context of communication between the two sexes. During my lifetime I have been witness to the different ways in which men and women communicate, and I have decided that communication between the two sexes can be further broken down into types and/or reasons for communication. These types of communication are Professional, Occasional, and Social. From these forms of communication we can further expand which I will do as I come to each scenario.
To understand the ways in which men and women communicate we must first understand men and women in general. As we all know there are many inherent differences between men and women, varying from physical to emotional differences. Men are the physically larger and with this comes a complex of superiority. Since men, in general are larger and stronger, they tend to feel as though they are dominant and in control. Women who tend to be smaller by contrast seem to struggle with the fact that men feel dominant. This leads to what seems to be a persistent attempt to make themselves become in control. Much like in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales when the Wife of Bath tells her tale, what women want is to “have sovereignty over their husbands as well as their lovers and to be in authority over them.” Basically women want to be respected by men.
The first type of communication between men and women is communication at a professional level. This means situations that occur in the workplace or in any other situation that requires intelligent conversation. In places like offices where the social tradition has seen men be placed in levels higher than women it is no wonder that there is some sort of a barrier or communication gap between men and women. In the places I have worked, it has been the standard that men are in charge and women are in positions of less responsibility. Not to say that the women’s jobs are any less important, just that they are typically not in positions of management. Men in these situations tend to talk to women very differently than men. When listening to men talk to men, there is always a sense of importance to their conversations. However when men talk to women, even when talking about work, their tone is less serious. I have been witness to this phenomenon in an accounting office, a golf course, and an auto plant. All very different yet the communication remains that men address men in a certain way and they address women in another less serious way.
The second type of communication between men and women is the occasional conversation. This is a very broad topic that can cover a lot of situations such as talking to someone in class, talking to a girlfriend or boyfriend, or one of many other things. Basically what it falls into is communication between people that is not in a social setting or in a professional setting. The way in which men and women communicate in this situation is the hardest to describe. It is difficult to make any form of generalization because no one really takes to much notice of occasional speech, it is just kind of a natural process. Although very natural there are differences in the ways in which men will address men in these situations versus the way in which they address women. For instance if I am walking across campus and see a male friend that I would stop to chat to I might say something like “what’s up dude.” Or perhaps something even worse such as “Hey *censored*.” Whatever the case may be, men will tend to address their male friends in ways that would be very insulting if you didn’t know them. However when a guy is walking across campus and sees a girl he knows, he doesn’t usually say something like “How’s it going whore.” I can’t really explain why this is but guys always seem to insult one another but when it comes to talking to women, they talk entirely different. Maybe because women feel as though they are being insulted, I really don’t know. Also communication is not just limited to verbal speech. There are also ways of communicating non-verbally. Women seem to be really good at this. A woman can say a lot by her facial expression. Men tend to have a more difficult time with this.
The final form, and probably the most relevant for college students, is social communication. This includes all types of socialization, parties, going out with friends, sporting events, and much more. It is here where I have seen the largest difference between male/female communications. I have been to quite a few parties the last couple years here at Otterbein, and I have engaged in many conversations with women. I have also engaged in many conversations with men. One thing is for sure, men at parties seem to have one thing on their mind and everything else seems to allude to it. And that thing is sex. This is true in almost all social situations, but is most noticeable in the party situation. And if you disagree with me go to a party sometime and actually pay close attention. Now at parties, men are always on the prowl. It’s like a game. If a guy sees someone he’s interested in he probably won’t just go up to her and say, “I want to sleep with you.” That would be absolutely disastrous. Instead it is a series of events. A guy will first talk to one of his male friends about the girl. Then he will approach the girl, perhaps offer her a drink, and make small talk. This is to test for feedback to see if the girl is interested. If not then the process may start over if the guy has not lost hope and given up. If there is interest, the guy will continue to talk. These conversations are usually about things that can familiarize the two. Things such as what classes are you taking, what did you think of that math test, and so on. The end result of which is on the low end maybe a kiss or a phone number, to on the high end, perhaps sleeping with that person. Whatever the case may be, it is in some way sexual if all goes to plan. Of course this may not always be the case, but it usually is.
Men and women are so different. It is very hard for men to understand women, and vice versa. This is why communication between men and women can sometimes be a struggle. But that is just the way it goes I guess. It has always been a challenge and will continue to be. Some people are just better than others are and don’t seem to have so much trouble talking to the opposite sex, but whatever the case may be one thing is for sure. Men and women talk to each other differently than they talk to themselves.
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