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Bridging The Gender Gap

Both men and women talk about different things. Main topics of women include relationships, appearance, clothing, personalities, the actions of others, where there is a component of personal business relationships, and emotionally charged issues. Men, on the other hand, enjoy talking about themselves, where they went to, what their achievements were, sports, news, mechanical gadgets, technology, tools, and are more apt to talk about sex and music. Being more aware of what their personalities are, we can try and find a compromise and to improve our relationships and meet each others needs. This adds reconciliation and unity in speech communication between the sexes.

What is somehow unsurprising is that when women are introduced to any person, be that male or female, smile 93% of the time. The response of the recipient of that smile is the surprising factor – men respond with a smile in only 67% of cases whilst women respond with an equally convincing 97%. So who’s the grumpy one now?

Women tend to be more open in their praise, and give more nods of approval than men. They also use more complimentary terms in their speech patterns and vocabulary usage. Linguist Robin Lakoff discovered that women tend to utter more “um-hums” to give consent when listening to other men and women.

Men, on the other hand, tend to fail to concentrate on the visual aspect of the conversation and tend to focus on objects or body parts (usually below the neckline)around them. They also interrupt a conversation more often when a woman is speaking. When men and women speak together, men interrupt much more than women do. In fact, a classic study at the University of California shows that men made 75 to 93 percent of all inter-gender interruptions. Another study showed that a woman interrupted a man in just one out of 11 conversations, but the man interrupted the woman in all 10 of the others. In addition, it seems that, once so rudely interrupted, women become increasingly quiet and pause more than usual during the rest of the conversation.

Women also tend to use tag-endings when asking questions or requesting feedback from their partners. A researcher, Dr. Robin Lakoff,who confirmed these findings discovered that women tended to use more tag endings, added questions to the end of what could and often should have been declarative sentences. “This salad is delicious, is it not?” is a perfect example of this type of qualification. Instead of voicing their opinions clearly and unambiguously with “I love this salad” or “This salad is delicious,” the female speaker will qualify them with a question. Such a tendency contributes to the persistent image of women as being the less confident in conversations.

This is a book which delves into the realms of gender differences and aims to help couples understand each other through communication. The book includes lots of questionnaires to share with your partner to reveal what they really want for you and themselves. A must-have for any couple!

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