Language is the way we all communicate with each other. The type of language we speak and how we use body language is all a part of the culture we grew up in. Even when we all speak the same language, though, there is a lot of room for miscommunication especially when that communication is taking place between men and women. This is because the way that men and women use language can be very different. The same words may be used, but in general it is believed men will use less words while women use more and women will use their words more to express their feelings compared to men who use them to communicate problems; however, these differences may not be as deep as we tend to believe.
The number of words that men and women use are often very different. Men tend to only talk when there is something that needs to be communicated while women like to talk just to fill in the quiet spaces. Men listening to their conversation will often just roll their eyes and believe the women are just gossiping. The women, on the other hand, feel they’re sharing important information about their world and the worlds of the people they love. They’ve been trained to do this since they were girls and expected to share everything that happened in their day with their mothers. To them, it’s not a way to fill up the silent places as much as it’s a way to ensure people who might be on hand to help in any unforeseen emergency are already filled in on any important backstory to the events that led to the emergency. Communication, for women, is a means of maintaining connections between people even when they don’t see each other for a long time. Men, on the other hand, use as few words as possible to discuss what is happening in their lives and tend to avoid talking about what is happening in other peoples’ lives. This is due, in part, to their own childhoods in which they were not encouraged to talk about things like girls were. They were just expected to take action.
While women are busy using plenty of words to discuss the news of the day, men tend to restrict their communications to just what is needed to know in order to solve a problem. Again, the focus is on taking action, everything, including the words they use, are supposed to be put to a purpose. This is not just evident in the way they talk to each other, tending more often to just ‘hang out’ together rather than having lengthy conversations unless they are politically oriented, but also in how they talk with women. When a woman complains about something in her life, a man will immediately start talking to her about solutions to that problem and not understand why she is getting more and more upset. The reason she gets more upset, though, is that she wasn’t talking about her problems to solve them, she was talking about her problems as a means of processing her emotions about that problem. This is something men don’t usually understand because that is not the purpose of communication in their minds. At the same time, men don’t usually tend to use their words to talk out their feelings. They usually prefer to work their feelings out through action rather than talking.
There is also a tendency to believe women will use words more specifically than men. This may be related to the idea that women use words more often than men. When women speak, they choose words that more precisely match what it is that they want to say. When men speak, they tend to use the most basic words to convey all the things they want to say and get frustrated when women try to pin down their meaning with more words. Men are also perceived to be more willing to use coarse words and curse words than women, again related to the refinement of language skills. When men do use precise language, it is in relation to ensuring the problem at hand is taken care of correctly while women are focused on making sure their feelings about the situation is clearly understood.
In reality, though, even though we tend to think that the way men and women use language is very different, it usually isn’t that pronounced and has less to do with gender and more to do with purpose. Men can be very feeling and expressive of their feelings while women can be very coarse and sparing about using words. The differences between how men and women use language is based more on how they are raised than gender. Language skills develop with use, so men who are encouraged to share their experiences may be more expressive with their language than men who were encouraged as boys to watch and listen and then later do. Women may also be reluctant to talk more than necessary based on how they were raised. The tendency for women to focus more on feelings and men to focus more on practicality is also more of a rumor than a reality. Context, relationships between the people involved in the conversation and other factors can play a large role in how people communicate. The main issue should not be on how men and women communicate differently. It should be on what type of communication style would be most appropriate in a given situation.