Men are not by nature bad communicators.
Men will make decisions about how, when and how much energy they put into conversing with others. I have met a number of men who are incredibly well spoken in the public world, but struggle to clearly sort things out in their private lives.
As Harold said…
“This was my second marriage. I wasn’t a good communicator. I could talk at work and speak in public but one-to-one I was hopeless.”
In Harold’s case it is not a matter of having a lack of skills to communicate… The problem was his beliefs about putting the same energy into talking at a personal level. So what stops these same men effectively communicating with their partners and others?
When I ask this question men describe ideas from the Old Rule Book
Let’s explore the common obstacles the Old Rule Book puts in the way of communicating well with others.
All of these tactics come from the Old Rule Book and severely limit the process of communicating honestly with others. One of the challenges for men in communicating with others is to become equal in the amount of energy put into sorting out emotional issues, or how much responsibility men are willing to put into caring for the welfare of others - what I call the ‘social work’ in a relationship.
In our society it is often women who are expected to be the emotional caretakers and organisers. Partners, wives, secretaries, all seem to shoulder a greater responsibility than men to ensure that the behind-the-scenes organisation is done.
So what do you want to do differently after reading about communication problems with the ‘Old Rule Book’?
Perhaps a good place to start would be to consider which of these common obstacles is stopping you from communicating well with others. Consider the questions below:
Ken McMaster (MSW Hons, CQSW, MANZASW) has a thirty year history working at the cutting edge of intervention work with men who are violent and who sexually abuse.
Suzi Hall (M.A. Psych) has a background of working in child protection and forensic interviewing of children with Child Youth and Family Services.
Matt Williams (BTcLn, NCALNE) has a 15 year history working within the social service and criminal justice sectors as a trainer and program developer.