Our juggles are essentially built from relationships─with our partners, children, coworkers and friends. Effective communication is the grease that keeps our busy lives in gear. We need to be able to get our feelings and messages across to those with whom we live, work and love. When that doesn't happen, our relationships and schedules can go way out of whack, sometimes irreparably.
In today's Bonds column, my colleague Elizabeth Bernstein looks at how men and women communicate differently with their friends and with each other. Do women tend to over-share? Do men often keep their feelings bottled up inside? Are those habits harmful to emotional health and to relationships?
Yes, writes Ms. Bernstein. Relationship experts say that it might help for men to 'reveal more to others outside the relationship─and for women to zip it a bit more.' Some men keep their emotions so pent up that they eventually burst in an unhealthy fit of anger or alienate their partners or friends. Women, meanwhile, might find that obsessively talking and fretting over issues, known as 'co-rumination,' can lead to emotional difficulties, including depression and anxiety.
There are deeply rooted reasons why men and women communicate differently with their partners and friends. Many men, raised from infancy to be strong, are fearful of appearing vulnerable, scared or needy. Women, on the other hand, are often taught that it's OK to be emotional.