Terri: Hi, welcome back. I’m Terri Suresh. This is the Wellness Curve and I’m here with The Relationship Coach and menglish expert, Andrea Jones. We were just starting to talk about the differences between communication and common examples of misunderstandings between men and women. I know you and your husband speak together and he speaks to the men on how to communicate well with women, but as women, how can we maybe avoid some of those common mistakes and miscommunications?
Andrea: An example is we women are taught early on not to be high maintenance. We say, “Don’t be high maintenance,” which we translate into being okay with everything that’s going on. We do this now still up to today.
For example, your husband or partner asks you, “Where do you want to go out to dinner?” You’re taught to say, “I don’t care.” While he’s driving, we’re praying that he’s going to take us to the restaurant that we want to go to. Then we make little hints like, “Did you know that our Italian place has a patio now?” and he just says “yes” and he keeps on driving. Then we end up at whatever, a Chinese place or somewhere we didn’t want to go eat, we sit there pouting the whole night, and he didn’t know what he did wrong because he did ask us but we said we don’t care.
That’s one example where we think high maintenance means “to go with the flow” which you start as a teenager.
Terri: Don’t ask for what you want.
Andrea: Don’t ask for what you want, while men on the other hand consider women high maintenance as women who don’t know what they want. Women who are never satisfied – they consider women like that high maintenance.
Terri: So the man would much rather, when he says, “What do you want to do?” you tell him “I want to go to the Italian restaurant and sit on the patio.” Help me out here.
Andrea: No. The man still wants to win with you and he wants to be the man. So give him two options. Say, “I would either like to go to the Italian place or I would like to go to the sushi place.” Both are okay with you; either one is fine with you. Let him make the decision. Make him be the man and make the final decision. Don’t tell him “I want to go there.” They don’t like that either. But give him two options and then don’t sit there pouting, because for a lot of women, this is a big mistake.
Terri: That’s a great example. We need some more. Give us some more miscommunication or things that you see commonly that women do that they probably shouldn’t or ask a different way. I know I’ve called you privately several times and I say, “Okay, I have this situation. How do I present this to get the result that I want?” It sound manipulative but it’s really not.
Andrea: It’s just taking care of his needs too. Because we women tend to fulfill our own needs and then think we’re doing a good job and we’re not.
Another prime example is Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday for any man out there because the only thing he can do is fail.
Terri: He never wins.
Andrea: No, he never wins. He always fails because whatever he does, we make sure he finds out that somebody else did something better. So if the flowers are not there by 10:00, we start texting “Do you know what today is?” He knew, he sent it, and even if he sends us a big bouquet of flowers, we still make the little remark later, “My friend, did you know, she received two dozen roses and she got candy and a teddy bear?” So for him, it’s again “I didn’t do as well as I should have done.”
Terri: Do we do that purposeful? Are we trying to be ugly about it or are we just sharing information because we like to talk?
Andrea: Exactly. Ours is not to point out to him because we’re happy with the flowers he gave us. However, certain things we say, we talk just to talk as women. We can go from this topic to that topic, and have 15 topics in between just to share information. If I like you, I share information with you. Men don’t do that.
When we share a story of a friend who received those extra flowers, he thinks we’re telling him that for a reason and we’re not. We have to be careful what we mention to him. Is it really important for him to know that? Is there a point behind it? If not, then just don’t say it. Call your girlfriend and tell your girlfriend.
Terri: And talk about the other person that got the roses and you didn’t get it. That makes total sense. Is this sounding like good information to have? Because I know it is for me. I think, as women, we don’t always intend to and we’re not trying to hurt the people that we love but it comes across that way.
Andrea: We do, yes.
Terri: You’re also giving some seminars and workshops and keynotes in corporate America on this topic – “menglish,” gender communication. Let’s talk a little bit about that. We have been talking about it but specifically let’s get there.
Andrea: The same mistakes we make in our private relationships we make in corporate America. A lot of corporations now have a lot of women. Over 50% of college degrees are now in the hands of women. A lot of women come into companies and a lot of companies used to be male dominated. Engineers, for example, it used to be a mostly male dominated area. Now we have tons of female engineers.
They enter those companies but there’s a male culture in that company, so two things can happen. She can feel she has to act like a man to fit in. But trust me, the men don’t like the woman acting like a man, so she’s going to get rejected. Or she makes a lot of mistakes in interacting with those men, which disqualify her too.
But on the other hand, the companies need to be careful because if you don’t have enough females in high positions, you’re considered conservative. There was a McKenzie study that even showed that companies that have a lot of women in leadership positions outperform companies that do not have a high female representation.
Terri: So when you come in to some of those corporations and you’re trying to help these females in these new roles, what angle do you go about? What are you teaching them?
Andrea: Anything from how to act, how to behave, what to say, what not to say. There are a lot of different angles, and women have to be aware that they are not in their own culture. Again, it’s that culture thing. They have to be careful because if there are women there, too, they cannot act towards the women as if they are in their culture because then there’s a disconnect there. So it’s a dangerous walk there. But if you have a basic understanding, it makes it so much easier not to say or do the wrong thing in corporate.
Terri: That makes total sense. I know there are lot of women that are strong women out there saying, “I shouldn’t have to change the way I talk and communicate and all those kinds of things.” That’s not the case. We’re trying to discuss how to be successful in those communication styles and those relationships so everyone is happy.
Stick around with us. We’re going to talk a little bit more when we get back with Andrea, more about some of the keynotes and speeches and things that she does and things that she’s teaching as well in private relationships, the intimacy genre, not just business. So stay with us. There’s a lot more to come.
This is part 3 of a 4 part TV show that I (Patrick Dougher) produced a few weeks ago. Terri Suresh is a Nurse Practitioner in the Southlake TX area specializing in hormonal health and wellnes… In fast that is her website. http://hormonalhealthandwellness.com/
Terri’s guest on this show is Andrea Jones. Andrea is a communications expert between men and women. Her site is, http://www.menglish.com/our-trainers.html