How To Talk To A Man So He Will Listen

John Gray

Today, we have become more conscious of the idea that every person has a masculine side and a feminine side. The more modern, soul mate relationship includes a conscious woman and a conscious man who both want to express their true authentic selves.

A woman wants to have the freedom to express her feminine side and her masculine side when she wants and a man wants to express his masculine side and his feminine side when he wants. However, this can often throw a relationship out of balance.

Luckily, women have the power to return to their female side rather easily by doing one of the things that is more feminine than anything: sharing. When a woman can open up to a man who listens with respect, compassion, and empathy, it produces estrogen and oxytocin, which helps lower her stress levels and brings her back to her feminine side.

Sharing vs. Complaining

When women are stressed or overwhelmed by doing too much, the last thing they think they need to do is share their feelings, unless sharing feelings can solve some problem. But sharing feelings with the intent to solve a problem, like to get her partner to change in some way or otherwise take action, is not sharing. It is complaining. Sharing increases estrogen and lowers a woman’s stress, but complaining increases her testosterone and doesn’t lower her stress.

In counseling, when a woman shares her feelings and complains about her husband with me, it helps to lower her stress and is therapeutic for her because I am simply listening and she is not blaming me for her problems. She is not trying to change me, nor is she expecting me to change in any way. She is sharing her feelings to feel understood as well as to understand her own feelings better.

When she shares the same feelings and complaints with her partner, her intent is not just to be heard. She wants him to change. This makes him feel criticized and defensive or moves him into problem-solver mode.

Only once a woman is fully heard does her stress go down. And then, once she has been heard, if she still needs his help to solve a problem, it is ideal for her to approach him at another time with her heart open, and make a clear request for his support.

Men need to remember that listening is not just the first step in solving a problem. When a woman is stressed, it is also a solution. Without having to “do” anything, he can be the hero.

Women need to remember that complaining to her partner about him never works. By learning to meet her need to be heard by sharing problems that are not about him, she can discover her power to bring out the best in a man. As he listens more without feeling defensive, he automatically becomes more empathetic, compassionate, and motivated to help her. With practice he discovers that without him saying anything or doing anything, she moves from feeling upset to feeling good just by freely sharing her feelings.

Venus Talks

It is challenging at first for a woman to talk about feelings to her partner without complaining. So I created a process for making it easier. I call it the Venus Talk. A woman I once explained this process to said to me, “If I am not supposed to complain to solve problems or talk about our relationship, then what is there to talk about?”

With practice, there is always plenty to talk about. Women have a world of feelings and emotional reactions that get dismissed or suppressed during the day. To return to her vulnerable, emotional female side, she needs to shine a light inside and express what is there.

Unless she takes the time to look, she will not even know these feelings exist. Instead she will just feel stressed, with an urgent list of problems that need to be solved. In my book, Beyond Mars and Venus, I list different examples for how a woman can share her feelings with her partner without making it sound like a complaint about her partner.

The Venus Talk is a specific formula for sharing and not complaining. Its specific purpose is to not solve any problems, but instead to help her return to her female side and him to his male side. It's a powerful strategy to help women relieve stress when they feel it mounting.

There is nothing wrong with a woman discussing and solving problems together with her partner at another time when she is not feeling stressed. And there is nothing wrong with a man sharing their feelings or offering to help solve his partner’s problems when she is wanting his advice.

To help women cope with the stress of not being able to talk freely during the day, men can listen without any intention to fix and solve. Meanwhile, the woman talks without the intention to solve her problems, other than her basic need to bond. In this way she can share the details of her day without any specific desired outcome. When she simply shares her day, her oxytocin levels will begin to rise.

A Venus Talk is simple and anyone can learn to do it. I do recommend using the Venus Talking Points listed below. This simple guide includes six questions for you to answer about your day, your week, your past, your childhood, or simply whatever comes into your mind.

Our subconscious mind knows what is bothering us and will release our stress when given an opportunity. By taking a brief time to explore and express what feelings arise with each question, a woman will experience rising oxytocin levels and consequently lower stress.

The Venus Talk Questions
What makes you feel frustrated, angry, or annoyed?
What makes you feel disappointed, sad, or hurt?
What makes you feel afraid, worried, or scared?
What makes you feel sorry, embarrassed, or ashamed?
What do you wish, want, or need?
What do you appreciate, understand, or trust?

Take about ninety seconds to answer each of the six questions and share whatever comes up. If the question is about feelings of anger, but feelings of sadness arise, then talk about what makes you sad, but do take a moment to consider what makes you angry

This is how a Venus Talk should go:

1. He reads the first question.

2. She shares but does not complain about him. At no time is he to offer her advice, suggest something for her to say, apologize, or promise to do something. 
He doesn’t try to fix or correct her while she becomes completely transparent about the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that are giving rise to her stress. (She only talks about the stress at her job or activities that have nothing to do with him.)

3.After about ninety seconds, he says “thank you,” and then asks her the next question.

4. If she stops talking before ninety seconds are up, he can say, “Thank you, tell me more.”

5. After a maximum of eight minutes of sharing negative feelings, even if she has more to say, she takes a couple of minutes to share her positive feelings and thank him. Then she goes in for a five-second hug. (In the beginning, when women have been suppressing their female side most of their life, they can only come up with two minutes of sharing. That is fine, but the goal is ten minutes.)

6. After the hug, they don’t talk but instead they immediately take some time apart. This frees him from his urge to offer solutions. It also frees her to notice how good it feels to be heard without interruptions or arguments. Sharing with her partner any thoughts, feelings, emotions, wishes, and wants that she held back from expressing at work for fear of being inappropriate, misunderstood, or rejected will bring her back to her female side. On an emotional level she is getting naked in front of her partner. Not only will she feel more feminine, but he will also feel more masculine.

The easiest way to be completely transparent and share feelings with your partner is to talk about problems that have nothing to do with your partner. This makes it clear you are not expecting him to change or take action to solve the problem you are talking about.

I suggest a five-second hug because most of the time, couples will hug but only briefly. By counting to five, it helps a man to remember to relax into the hug. If a woman is shedding a few tears then it should always be at least a five-second hug.

The Venus Talk is simple to describe but can be difficult for a woman to do if she is locked into her male side. Most women on their male side have great difficulty connecting with and then sharing their more vulnerable feelings. Men may also find it difficult because most men have difficulty listening with empathy to a woman’s feelings and not interrupting with solutions.

If a woman cooperates by opening up and sharing her feelings while her partner only listens, he will return to his male side and she will return to her female side. Most people do not realize that silently listening brings a man back to his male side, while sharing feelings brings a woman back to her female side.

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