15. Communication: Insights on Gender Differences Part 2

Posted on July 5th, 2011

Hosai Mojaddidi goes on in her study to talk about how men and women live in two different worlds when it comes to communication.

She says that most of the couples that she has spoken to have a major breakdown in communication long before other more serious problems present themselves such as:

  • Trust
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual/Intimacy issues
  • Financial issues, etc.

"When talking about a problem," she says "women want empathy and understanding but men offer solutions."

Therefore a woman’s sense of self is defined through her feelings and the quality of her relationships. While a man’s sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results.

Women are relationship oriented while men are goal oriented.

Here are some mistakes women and men make in conversations:

  • A woman follows her natural tendency to offer unsolicited advice, but the man sees it as questioning his competence and ability.
  • A man follows his natural tendency to offer solutions, but the woman sees it as invalidating her feelings.
  • Women cope with stress by reaching out and talking while men cope with stress by withdrawing.
  • Women want to feel cherished; men want to feel needed.
  • Women want respect and devotion; men want appreciation and admiration.

Here are some other differences she has outlined:

  • Men live in a world of status; women live in a world of connections.
  • Men see conversations as negotiations for power; women see them as negotiations for closeness.
  • Men want to preserve independence; women want to preserve intimacy.
  • Men seek to win and avoid failure; women seek closeness and avoid isolation.
  • Men avoid taking orders (since that means low status and loss of independence); women are ok with taking orders (if it is perceived as forming a connection).
  • Men seek control; women seek understanding.
  • Men prefer inequality and asymmetry; women prefer equality and symmetry.
  • Men are adversarial (with conflicting goals); women are synergetic (with common goals).

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