By nature men and women are inter dependent. Therefore, they have to establish a mode of coexistence to benefit most form this interdependent relationship. One of the marked features of this relationship is communication. Despite the fact that men and women try to establish a means of communication understood to both genders, they usually end up in disagreements. This is because men and women are as different form each other as much as they are similar.
The differences are due to various factors such as upbringing, motivation and their personal priorities. These differences, even though affect the way they relate, need not lead to disagreements but enhance a better understanding of the opposite sex for a more fulfilling relationship. Thus factors that make men different also have an effect on their behavior which in effect affects the way men and women relate to each other and the people around them
To begin with, women esteem the place of communication in a relationship than men. To women, communication is a more intimate affair as it is purposed to getting intimately closer to a partner.
Women want the men in their lives to talk to them as a way of showing intimacy and connection. On the contrary, men do not see the need to hold a conversation longer in a marriage. Men are much more comfortable remaining silent. They claim that if their wives do not carry on the dialogue then that dialogue is as good as dead (Tannen 245).
Angier explains that the basic difference between men and women is that men seem to self-detract (1). The self destructions come from the fact that instead of talking when they have a problem, like women do, men divert their feelings towards an action, such drinking, body building, taking walks or even road trips.
Even though psychotherapist encourages this kind of behaviors, they ultimately lead to an increase in the number of deaths in men than in women (1). Ironically, men are much better at taking care of their health. They are much more likely to do exercises to maintain a good healthy body and adapt healthier eating habits. These self-destructing behaviors eventually do strain their family members. When men die out of this self-imposed death, their families suffer.
Another difference between these two genders is that while men see listening as belittling, women see it a basis of founding a meaningful relationship. This is because of the facts that the two are socially constructed differently. Socialization between men is away of maintaining independence, so, listening makes men feel subordinated (Tannen 245; Angier 2).
Women want men to do more active listening and use both affirmative words and actions to show that they feel what the woman is saying. The problem with this is that men, when they do listen offer an alternative opinion, something women translate as lack of concern. The result is that women always complain that men do not want to listen to them.
Men have very different listening habits than women. These different listening habits, if not understood, lead to a lot of strain in relationships and even divorce in marriages. While men tend to be silent listeners, women are more active in their listening. Women prefer affirmative listening characterized by a close face-to-face dialogue while exhaustively discussing a topic.
Men on the hand avoid eye-to-eye contact and concentrate on other things while talking. Their conversations do not centre on a particular topic (Tannen 246). The paradox in this particular difference is that it highlights the similarity between men and women; both genders are annoyed at each other’s conversational habits.
Despite these obvious differences, men and women have noted similarities in their behavior. Both genders want each other to carry on a conversation. Husband expects their wives to sustain a conversation at home. They give their wives the opportunity to do the talking in their marriages and prefer to be the listeners. Wives also expect their husbands to be partners they can talk to in a marriage; that is being actively involved in a conversation (Tannen 245). When men keep quiet and give women a chance to talk women feel ignored.
Another similarity is that just as women form intimate relationships with fellow women, men also do with fellow men. These inter gender relationships are characterized by sharing of secrets and other intimate issues. Men share secrets and problems with fellow men as women do with fellow women. The effect of this organized inter gender relationships leads to a sense of solidarity of the members within he same gender.
It is evident that there are glaring differences between how men and women behave. These differences can be used positively if both genders understand them as gender cultures rather than as good or bad. It men understood that women are need an emotional connection and respond appropriately then women will be more happy.
Women also need to understand that silent listening dies not show lack of concern. They should understand that men are inclined to show their intelligence in a conversation and thus offer alternative solutions rather than just affirm what the woman is saying. It is such understanding that cements a bond between men and women.
Angier, Natalie. “Why Men Don’t Last: Self Destruction As A Way Of Life.” Research and Composing in the Disciplines. Custom Edition for the University of Texas at San Antonio ed. New York: Longman. 432-35. Print.
Tannen, Deborah. “Sex, Lies And Conversation: Why Is It So Hard For Men And Women to Talk To Each Other.” Conflict, Order and Action. Third Edition Ontario: Canadian Scholars Press. Print