Ever feel like you say the wrong things to men?
Effective communication is one of the most valuable skills to have in a relationship. Poor communication styles can cause fights, frustration, and hurt feelings. But if you express yourself well, you can let him know your needs without putting him on the defensive or getting into an argument.
If you are looking for a happy, healthy relationship, here are 4 phrases to ban from your vocabulary:
- “I hate it when you…” This immediately puts him on the defensive. Many men won’t hear you if they feel criticized or attacked. Instead, they’ll gear up to defend themselves, which pits you two against each other. Instead, try sticking to “I” statements – how you feel, rather than what he is doing wrong. Try something like “I feel frustrated when you call me late at night to hang out.” Even better, try emphasizing what you do like, rather than telling him what you don’t like. John Gottman, Ph.D., encourages a more positive communication style, saying that happy couples have a five-to-one-ratio of positive to negative interactions. For example, you could say, “I love it when you call me early in the week to make plans for the weekend. I feel like I am your priority.” When a man feels like he’s making you happy, he’s more likely to keep doing whatever it is that you’re telling him you like.
- “You make me feel guilty when…” This may sound strange, but no one can make you feel anything. Plus, this will again put him on the defensive, because it puts the blame on him. Try to think about why you really feel that way deep down. Is it really all his fault? If you’d like to talk about your feelings with him, try to keep blame out of the equation by using “I” statements (“I feel guilty when…”). It will be easier for him to hear you if he doesn’t feel attacked. Stay tuned for next week’s blog to learn why so many women feel guilty saying “no” to men.
- “I’m fine.” Has a guy ever asked you “What’s wrong?” and you responded with “I’m fine” (or something similarly vague)? Were you really fine? Or were you upset? Often, we’ll say something like “I’m fine” when we feel a negative emotion but don’t know how to express it. It can feel scary to speak up if you feel angry, frustrated, or disappointed. Maybe you feel afraid of conflict or you’re just not sure how to express your emotions. But bottling up your feelings won’t do you any good. Remember the 4th guideline to being your own Brand of Sexy: Your Voice Matters. Men can’t read your mind, so he won’t know how you feel unless you tell him. Try something like “I feel uncomfortable when…” or “I’m upset because….”. If you let him know that you’re unhappy, you give him a chance to change. If he cares about you, he’ll want you to be happy. If he doesn’t care, you’re better off without him.
- “As a modern woman I should…” This might be something that you say to yourself, rather than to a man, but it’s still a phrase that should be completely banned from your vocabulary! These days, it’s easy to feel like we “should” sleep with a guy by the third date, or we “should” split the bill at dinner. But do these rules work for you? That’s the only question you need to ask yourself. When it comes to dating and relationships, every woman is different. What works for your best friend might not work for you. Being your own Brand of Sexy means doing what works best for you. Click here to take a quiz to find out if you are being your own Brand of Sexy!
Getting rid of these 4 phrases can help you feel heard and respected, without picking a fight.
My new ebook, What to Say to Men on a Date: Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, is full of more tips on how to effectively communicate with your date or significant other. It shows you EXACTLY what to say when dealing with men, including how to answer basic dating questions that most single women regularly encounter, as well as advice on how to handle men who are upset, unreasonable, or who aren’t treating you well. This ebook gives you a variety of responses to choose from ranging from serious to playful, so that you can pick the perfect one for you. It’s important to answer these tricky questions in a way that you are comfortable with and fits your personality.
What phrases do you try to avoid with men? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and on Facebook and Twitter.
You can do this. Join the revolution. Be your own Brand of Sexy and get what you want.