Dear Men: What Works For One Woman Won’t Necessarily Work For Another
Some time ago one of our writers shared a story about how her ex-beau fat-shamed her. He had hit her with a hard truth in a pretty vulnerable moment — during sex — causing some of our readers to sympathize with her situation. Others sided with the ex, while still acknowledging what a jerk move he pulled. Arguments and misunderstandings ensued and, all in all, the responses were pretty standard.
One of our commenters, however, was positively distressed by the story as he tried to figure out what all of the angst over this situation could possibly mean. He shared that he had an ex who would have expected him to be blunt (or even a little mean) with her if she had lost control of her weight. If that’s true, that’s her prerogative. In this instance, however, the woman stated that she did not appreciate a man being so callous about her body, and for some reason the fact that her reaction was so different from another woman he once knew seemed to have completely blown his mind.
The commenter went on to ask what women want from men as far as communication because he didn’t know what to make of this new information. How could it possibly be that two different women didn’t think and communicate the exact same way? How?! The poor guy was out of his depths, and I suspect he’s not the only one. So to anyone who finds themselves in a similar conundrum, I have a piece of advice for you: Learn your audience.
Women are not a monolith. Each one of us is a separate and distinct human being with our own way of moving through the world and interacting with it. Simply put, what works for one person may not work for another and when you encounter a new woman, you must remember that. If you’re concerned about how to reach us and connect with us, then remember to see us as the individuals we are and work from there. You can’t expect to communicate with a stranger like you would speak to someone you’ve known for years from the jump. So, if your homegirl prefers for you to be blunt with her, that is how you operate with her and her alone. Approaching a woman you’ve never met before and speaking with her the way you would an old friend likely will not go well. Realistically, there’s no reason for you to think that it should. You don’t know whether this new person needs you to be a little more gentle with them or maybe needs you to speak more clearly. To gain that level of interpersonal knowledge you need to invest time and attention. Until you have done that, it’s best to give everyone an even, measured, and friendly approach.
It takes time, but you have to learn how to talk to everyone differently. Identify their language and speak it as fluently as you can. Of course, I don’t mean this in the literal sense. One of the most popular books for couples who are about to get married is The 5 Love Languages. It gives readers the tools to identify how their partner expresses love and how they best receive it. Having that information better equips readers to get through to their partner. While you won’t be in an intimate relationship with every woman you meet, the principle of paying enough attention to a person to figure out how to best communicate with them is valuable for all kinds of encounters.
Taking the time to learn someone’s communication style also shows the person that you’re trying to connect with that they matter to you. That goes a long way to building a better rapport because they feel like they can open up to you and show you more of themselves. That only serves to help you better learn how to communicate with them. It’s almost a self-enriching process that leads to meaningful connections.
If you absolutely need a guideline when it comes to women, there is one general rule of communication that goes for all of us: Be respectful. and treat us with common courtesy like you would anyone else. You’ll be amazed at how much better women respond to you when you do that.