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|Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14|
Got a silent or emotionally avoidant partner? Perhaps one of the most frustrating relationship challenges for women is the dilemma over how they can’t get a guy to open up.
Verbal women don’t take silent men well and sometimes it’s hard to get your head around the idea that men connect to others much differently than women do.
They may choose to use humor to communicate their feelings instead of mushy, emotional language.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of opening up and being vulnerable. It just takes some time and practice.
Here are some tips on getting a guy to open up:
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, express and read others emotions accurately. We develop this skill at a young age and usually develop it by parents who model healthy levels of emotional intelligence.
Essentially, it involves being able to communicate feelings using emotional language.
If you begin to use emotional language with your partner (I feel) when expressing your own feelings, he will hopefully be receptive and reciprocate.
Putting your guard up and failing to communicate will likely result in your partner mirroring your behavior.
Prodding, nagging and attacking your partner for not being completely open will likely only send them further away.
Interviewing them or interrogating them will only result in them being more closed off and reluctant to open up.
Sometimes giving your partner the time and space they need is what it takes for them to open up. No one likes to be probed or prodded about intimate personal thoughts and feelings. Doing this only pushes your partner away.
If you ask them to open up about something and they refuse, take it as a sign they’re not ready to talk about it yet and work on building trust and emotional intimacy.
“Opening up takes face-to-face
communication and trust.”
Men often use actions not words to communicate how they feel. Even though he doesn’t verbally open up, look for signs and clues that he is connected and feels emotionally intimate with you.
Many men hesitate to disclose personal details but will show you they appreciate your support and understanding in other ways. He may move physically closer, use affection or even do kind tasks or errands to show his appreciation.
Don’t let his lack of verbal communication scare you off unless you are feeling so dismissed that it becomes detrimental to your relationship.
People who feel uncomfortable with emotional communication might dip their toe in if the water is warm and frothy.
Make cute jokes about touchy situations, not sarcastic digs, and your guy might joke some information right back to you.
Although women have men far from figured out, we can use our emotional intelligence to help us understand our man and his needs.
Unfortunately, emotional intimacy is farther down on a guy’s list of needs than our own.
That is why it’s so important to take the time to create an emotional bond before moving on to a sexual relationship and avoid relying on digital communication to help a relationship grow.
Opening up and being vulnerable takes face-to-face communication and trust, not sexts and emails.
Photo source: madamenoire.com.