A lot of women say that they drop major hints for their “honey” but it seems like he just doesn’t seem to get it. On the other hand, a lot of men complain that women tend to have expectations that they will do things without actually saying what those things are. You’ll often hear guys grumble, “I can’t read minds!”
It turns out the guys who complain about not being able to read minds are on to something because new research shoes that men struggle to read women’s facial expressions. Men do better with deciphering a man’s emotions by looking at their eyes than they do with looking at a woman’s eyes to read her emotions.
Even though your guy may not be great at guessing your emotions based on your gaze, there are simple ways to boost your communication so you’re both on the same page. Make these tweaks to better understand each other:
Set it up right
As tempting as it is to start ranting when your guy shows up an hour late, take a breath first and wait until you can rationally say why you’re upset, says Bloom. “I’m not suggesting you edit your feelings, but that intensity and tendency to attack when you feel vulnerable can shut someone else down,” says Bloom. Set up the conversation by saying something like “Can we talk about something that’s been bugging me?” Not only will this help your guy get prepared for what you’re about to say, but it also helps you to calm down a little so you don’t launch right into an argument.
Stay away from certain words
If you’re trying to tell your partner you’re upset, avoid words like “never” and “always” while describing their behavior. “It puts someone on the defensive and then they miss what you’re really saying,” says Bloom. So unless you want them to tune out after your first sentence, focus instead on explaining why a very specific event or action set you off—rather than accusing them of always doing something.
Be prepared to repeat yourself
In the beginning of a relationship, there are tons of opportunities for miscommunications—you may not know each other very well or understand the other person’s pet peeves. So don’t be surprised if you have to explain something—like that you dread going to clubs or get annoyed when someone is late—more than once. “Saying something once doesn’t mean you’ve covered it for all time,” says Susan Campbell, PhD, author of Truth in Dating: Finding Love By Getting Real. “Sometimes we need to hear over and over what a person needs—not because they don’t care about us, but because people don’t learn a new behavior that quickly.”