Yesterday’s post got me a few emails from gals who were upset or uncomfortable with the word “bitchy.”
I don’t much like the word either, but I recognize it as a reality when it comes to men and how they can see women (the post I quoted was written by a man to men).
That said, women typically have “many words.” If you add a grumpy attitude (however valid or not) to the “many words” it feels very “bitchy” on the receiving end. I think if anything, we need to learn from this perspective and try to beat it.
But how do we do that? How do we communicate anger, hurt, need, etc. without sounding “bitchy”?
My general thinking is that men and women need to bend toward each other’s gender language when they can.
(It would be really, really nice if guy’s could just jump right in and understand that we need to talk out our angst (sometimes at great length). It would be great if they were amazing listeners and then would open up and share at a heart level. While some men are better at this than others, it’s still a language that they are trying to learn and a challenging ongoing study for them.)
But since this is a gal’s list …
… I will speak to you (and me). On our part we need to understand that simple and to the point is a good thing. Speaking respectfully and kindly are also good. It’s OK to be angry, hurt, etc., but launching into loud recriminations are not going to get us heard or solve the problem. It’s likely to give us the label “bitchy.”
Communication is a two way street and we need to keep our side of the road clean and driveable (my spellchecker doesn’t like this word, but dictionary.com says it’s OK)
I think as a matter of maturity, we ought to pray, settle our emotions, gather our thoughts intelligently and then find a time that is good for both husband and wife to share about our concerns, our needs, our wants, etc. I like word pictures. They help your spouse connect with concepts and keep what you are saying from sounding like an unending stream of words (guys really can get overwhelmed by sheer volume).
Look for red flags. I watch for things like repeating myself multiple times, dragging in other issues (keep it simple and focused), frequently interrupting my sweetie, changing my tone or volume (in the not good way) and character assassination (you always or you never). If I see any of these things, I stop, apologize if need be, and explain that I’m obviously not communicating well. I take a break, take a breath, look for an analogy or ask for prayer.
I figure just like guys get to learn and practice, I get to learn and practice too. I’m a grown up. I can talk (relatively) calmly about an issue and make my perspectives plain.
So can you.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31: 26 ESV
Image credit © Paul-andré Belle-isle | Dreamstime.com
A nice challenge from Do Not Disturb ~ 30 Day Challenge: Communication + 30 great questions for conversation starters.
Discover The value of acceptance in marriage. I love the story Robert shared from Dr. Gary Chapman’s conference. (from Ferguson Values)