Perhaps you have seen the video It’s Not about the Nail that has millions of views on YouTube.
As a couple sits on the couch, the female describes relentless pressure and pain in her head that won’t go away. While she vocalizes her frustration, the scene expands enough for the viewer to see a nail in her forehead.
The male says to her, “You do have a nail in your head.”
Her response? “It is not about the nail.”
An argument ensues. She accuses him of not listening and of always trying to fix things when what she really wants is for him to listen. She continues to talk about how much pain she is in, how she is not sleeping well and that every sweater she has is snagged.
He looks at her and says, “That sounds really hard.” Her facial expression softens and she reaches out to touch his hand as she realizes he feels her pain. She leans forward to kiss him, only to hit the nail in her head. Once more, he tells her she just needs to get the nail out of her head, and off to the races they go…again.
Men are notorious for wanting to fix the problem, but women just want men to listen.
Sound familiar? There probably isn’t a couple on the planet that can’t relate to this scenario.
If you have something so obvious like a nail in your head and you aren’t willing to listen to your spouse that is a problem, BUT not everything is that simple. Sometimes, not everything sticks out like a nail in the head, but guys try to fix it anyway. And, there are many instances when guys really do need to just listen.
Did you know there are ways to bridge this communication divide? Here are some tips to help you communicate with the opposite sex.
- Stop trying to change each other. Men tend to communicate with purpose to solve a problem. Women spend a lot of time communicating to bond and build relationship. Neither way is wrong.
- Before starting a conversation with your husband, tell him what you want. Do you want him to just listen or do you want him to help solve the problem? Doing this could spare both of you a lot of agony.
- In general, men tend to think things through before they talk. Instead of saying nothing is wrong because you aren’t ready to talk about it, tell her you aren’t ready to talk and give her a time when you will give her the download. Women, this is your cue to back off.
- If you want to keep your husband’s attention, cut to the chase and be direct.
- Learn to listen. Listening does not come naturally. It takes effort to focus on what someone is saying.
- Avoid mindreading. Assuming you know what someone else is thinking can create a lot of unnecessary drama.
Men, learn to look past the proverbial nail in the head. And ladies, don’t be so quick to dismiss a potential solution to your problem.
Instead of getting irritated because your spouse doesn’t communicate just like you, take it as a challenge to learn how to engage and understand each other’s point of view.