Communication quiz - exploring gender differences
is a Key to Closer Couple Relationships
Each partner complete the questions by scoring them
between 1 and 5
1 2 3 4 5
Strongly disagree Disagree Undecided Agree Strongly agree
A We are good at sharing positive and negative
feelings with each other …………
B My partner is very good at listening to me …………
C We let each other know our preferences
and ideas ...……….
D We can easily talk about problems
in our relationship ………….
E My partner really understands me …………
Add up your scores for the questions above Total ………...
Interpreting your score: Range 5-25
21-25 = Your communication is very good
15-20 = Your communication is generally good, but there are
some ways it could be improved
11-14 = Your communication is good in some ways, but also
needs some improvement
5-10 = Your communication needs improvement
Now compare your partners scores and discuss. If you have scored 4 or 5 on the same question these are real strengths which you can be proud of. Discuss the other items and decide how
you can turn them into strengths.
Remember communication involves looking as well as listening as it is through body language that we most express ourselves.
A few tips on how to improve your communication
1. Try everyday to spend 5 minutes to discuss the following:-
What you most enjoyed about your relationship today?
What was dissatisfying about your relationship today?
How things could be made better for each of you?
2. Self- Disclosure
Share your inner most thoughts and most private experiences with your partner on a regular basis
Assertiveness is the ability to express feelings and ask for what you want. It allows you to express your rights without infringing on the rights of others
4. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements.
“I” messages do not communicate blame, they are more likely to be understood. In contrast, “You” messages create defensiveness because they sound accusatory.
“You are so inconsiderate to me in front of your friends”
“I feel hurt when you put me down in front of your friends”
5. Active listening
“We hear only half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that , and remember only half of that!”
Active listening is the ability to listen accurately (remember tone and body language is part of the message!) and repeat back to the speaker the message you have heard.
6 Daily Compliments
Giving your partner at least one compliment
each day may sound simplistic, but it can
have a remarkable effect on
Common Stumbling Blocks to Communication
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships”
2. Drifting from Positive to Negative
“We tend to find what we are looking for, what we are focused on”
3. Failing to Listen
“We have two ears and one mouth- so we should listen with at least the same intensity reserved only for talking”
Strengths of Happy versus Unhappy Couples regarding communication
(Survey findings from 21,000 couples - Olson)
Communication Issues % in agreement
I am very satisfied with
how we talk to each other 90% 15%
My partner understands
how I feel 79% 13%
I find it easy to express my
true feelings to my partner 96% 30%
My partner is a good listener 83% 18%
My partner does not make 79% 20%
comments that put me down
Men and Women -some possible key differences in communication
NB. These differences may be partly due to the fact that men’s and women’s brains are “wired” differently; they may also be due to personality differences, different forms of upbringing or environmental factors.
· Women’s brains are alert to different facets of a situation
· Men tend to want the facts
· Women focus on friendship first
· Men take one task at a time
· Women are usually good verbal communicators
· Men tend to be more conservative in their non verbal communication
· Women can appear more physically engaged but appearances can be deceiving.
· Men are often more direct and less concerned about feelings when arguing
· Women sometimes apologise more to maintain the connections
· Men may view apology as a loss of face
· Women may use compliments to connect while men tend to offer evaluation and advice
· Men prefer action and results in problem solving while
· Women prefer to discuss the problem and feelings involved; they tend to be better at solving a problem.
· Men send e-mails to seek information, influence and respect
· Women focus on relationships
· Men need to understand that women express themselves through verbal communication and their feelings need to be acknowledged as opposed to explained away
· Women need to know that a lack of communication on a man’s part may have nothing to do with a lack of affection