You’ve finally found a great guy. But now there’s a new challenge…how to get him to open up and talk about his feelings.
Knowing how your man feels is an important part of a healthy relationship. But getting him to open up and talk about his feelings can often be frustrating! I know sometimes it can seem as if you’ve tried everything. Yet, he still doesn’t open up and communicate the way you’ve hoped he would.
You aren’t alone. There are many women that struggle with this issue. And it turns out there’s good reason for that. Mostly, it’s because we approach our conversations with men as if they think like us. In other words, as if they communicate the same way that a woman does.
1. Don’t Assume You Know What He’s Thinking
One thing that I see many women doing, (and I confess have been guilty of in the past), is assuming you know what a man is thinking and feeling. Assumptions that often have disastrous consequences that can result in resentment, tension and conflict.
2. Talk About His Faves
While listening to him reel off baseball stats may not feel like bonding, Feinberg points out that “dismissing small talk as superficial is a mistake.” Engaging over lighter topics your guy cares about can actually bridge toward more emotionally charged subjects. When you say, “Let’s talk,” to a dude, he senses something is wrong.
But casual chitchat about his interests reinforces that this isn’t an interrogation. If you take his side about that ump’s bad calls, he may be more likely to open up about stuff that matters to you later.
3. Let Go of the Past
Have you ever had a “discussion” with your partner that ended up turning into a litany of past grievances, the things he did wrong, the ways he hurt you, and what he owes you now? It happens at some point in nearly every relationship, but the fact remains; men cringe when they feel this coming.
When a man fears that his words will later be distorted, misunderstood, told to others or thrown back at him, it is impossible for him to open up. And the only way to move beyond this communication trap is to realize that whatever happened in the past, whatever he did or said, you were involved as well. All relationships are dances. No one is entirely good and no one entirely bad. In fact, rather than seeing anyone as good or bad, it is more useful to notice the roles being played in the relationship and the ways in which all of us become stuck in patterns that we don’t know how to get out of.