Good communication forms the cornerstone of any good relationship. However, people often find it difficult to communicate what they really want and need. Men and women sometimes have different communication styles, which further complicates matters. You can best communicate what you need and want from your man by practicing assertive communication techniques, being up front and direct and listening to him in return.
Pick the right time to talk. If your man is in the middle of his favorite television show, exhausted from a long day at work or just in a rotten mood, wait for a more opportune time. Choose a time when there are no distractions, you both have plenty of time to talk, and you’re both calm and relaxed.
Be direct. Sure, it would be great if your man could read your mind and know exactly what to do and say, but most men can’t read minds. Many men aren’t even good at taking hints. Do yourself and your man a favor and just come right out and tell him what you want and need.
Phrase things in a positive way. For instance, instead of saying, “I want you to stop watching football all the time and pay some attention to me,” say something like, “I’d like you to spend some more time with me. Let’s do something together that we both enjoy.” Avoid criticizing him for not doing what you want and just focus on telling him what you want and need from him.
Listen. Listening is an important part of good communication. Pay attention to what your partner says when you tell him what you want and pay attention to what he wants, too.
- If you find it very difficult to communicate what you want and need from your man, consider seeing a couple’s counselor together. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (see Resources section) provides referrals to qualified couple’s counselors (couples don’t have to be married) that can help you and your partner learn to communicate better.
- Remember, communicating what you want and need doesn’t guarantee you’ll get it. It does, however, increase the likelihood you’ll get what you need. Be willing to compromise if what you want doesn’t match up exactly with what your partner wants. Understand that not being able to meet all your needs doesn’t automatically mean your partner doesn’t care about you.
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