As blokes we get told all the time, "Men just don't talk!"

One of the things that never cease to amaze me in the job we do, is that given the right circumstances blokes will disclose their issues and tell their story. Every bloke that I have met has a story and/or issues and wants to talk about it.

Blokes do talk, firstly we have to acknowledge the differences between how the genders go about this. There are also some other factors that need to be considered in how we go about talking with blokes.

The differences are real and we need to acknowledge some of the communication differences between blokes and ladies:

  • Blokes only talk one third as much as ladies in a day (approx. 7000 to 21,000 words).
  • This can be explained by the fact ladies think and speak in a narrative way where blokes prefer dot points.
  • Single word responses to questions like - Yes, No, good, bad and grunting are considered responses by blokes.
  • Blokes find it uncomfortable to talk about their emotions. We have been conditioned not to and are hard wired differently, often focusing on problem solving, providing and protecting, rather than how we feel, let alone talking about it.

Some other factors that need to be considered by both blokes and ladies may contribute to having a more productive outcome when having that talk:

  • Choosing the right environment to communicate is essential. This is not when we are distressed and out of control, but when we have calmed down.  Also, avoid being under the influence of alcohol, which can act as a "mood enhancer" and alter our state of mind.
  • Timing is also an important factor to consider. Agree on a designated time to talk, avoid times when you are preoccupied with other tasks, or when there are a lot of things happening.
  • Be prepared to listen The most important part of talking is LISTENING. (I think this is an OXY MORON!)  Having respect, connection and some empathy with whom you are talking will give you more chance to become and active listener.
  • Getting help with having a talk with your bloke Don't be afraid to seek help in having a talk with your dad, husband, son or mate i.e. use and independent person, your GP or a counsellor.

Considering the above factors and "giving permission" to blokes that it's ok to talk about things that cause us discomfort or pain may assist with blokes talking, but sometimes this does take time.

From little things big things grow (just like this year's crop),  Blokes do talk Sow the seed towards a meaningful conversation.

Cheers
Owen & the Team RMHI