First, I feel that women and men at times communicate very differently. I think that women tend to express their feelings more and men tend to want to come right to the point and "solve" the problem and have a completion to the issue that they may be discussing. Females are raised that they are supposed to be the caregivers and nurturers and that is perhaps why feelings come into such a play when they are communicating. Women get their feelings out by talking to others, whether it be their significant other or their friends.
Men are raised to solve problems and therefore they want to "cut to the chase", so to speak, and not beat around the bush. They want to identify what the issue is, come to an agreement, resolve the problem and move on.
I am not saying that this is always the way that it works, but I know from experience with my two children that I have to communicate with them very differently. For example, when my daughter Jessica and I talk, we talk about how we are feeling, why we are feeling the way we do, then we discuss and rehash the issue that we are talking about. At that point, we can usually come to some type of agreement about what we are going to do. We usually discuss things several times before we come to a resolution.
With my son, Lewis, I communicate differently. Just this week, I talked to him about his future career aspirations. I have concerns that he is stuck in a rut due to being comfortable. I had talked to him about a job prospect just the other day. He really did not say much to me one way or another. I read this chapter and thought about it for a few days and again this afternoon I decided to talk to him about this issue again but in a different way. I asked him if he was happy with where he is currently employed. I worded my question in such a way that it could not be a simple yes or no. I then asked him if perhaps he did not want to change because he was afraid of the unknown. That seemed to do the trick as then he expressed to me that it is very hard for him to make change and that it scares him. We then discussed a worst case scenario and what would happen if he was unhappy. When he could see that he had options, as one always does, then he seemed to understand the motivation behind my desire for him to find a career that he will be happy with. Had I not taken the time to word my question differently, I may not have ever found out what his fears were.
As far as how different ways of communicating affects our relationships, I think that sometimes one has to learn to truly "listen" to what the other is saying. Not just listen, but also watch and take the time to really be able to understand and contemplate how the other person is feeling. Personally, I know that I am someone that wants to be touched and be reassured that the person listening to me "gets" what I am saying. If I don't think that the person communicating with me is doing that, I tend to get angry and defensive. Perhaps we all need to take the time to step back and think before we speak and jump to conclusions.
Although, it was fairly shorter than my others papers, this was the end of my paper this week. I still have not received my grade on my paper from last week. I did get a 98 on my Chapter Four medical terminology exam. I am now off to study some more.