We all experience communication problems in our relationships and we need to be aware of the different ways men and women interpret what is said. Women, for example, often interpret things as a statement of their worth, resulting in hurt and misunderstanding…

I attended a course called Ancient Paths a few weeks ago, and I would honestly recommend it to anyone that finds themselves with habitual thought patterns. There was a little story that was told that illustrated something that we all experience in our relationships, and I would like to tell you about it…

A middle aged American couple go for a drive on a Sunday and the man says to his wife:  ‘My dear, I love you, and I would like to take you for some ice-cream. ‘

‘Oh Henry, that would be lovely, thank you. ‘

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

They walk into the ice-cream parlour and he asks what she would like to have. She replies ‘ooh, I would love a banana split.’

He remains silent and looks up at the price list and exclaims in an extremely loud Tennesee drawl : ‘Five dollars and 45 cents??’

Well, every lady in the room gasped and his insensitivity, and the woman retaliated that he was selfish and only thought about money etc etc. They end up leaving fed up with each other, and neither knowing what has just happened.

Communication errors can cause a lot of pain and misunderstanding

The speaker then turned to all of us and said : ‘Let me explain to you guys what this woman just heard….’ YOU ARE NOT WORTH $4.50 ‘ and then ‘ Let me translate for you ladies what this man thinks he just said ‘ Wow, we haven’t been for ice-cream in ages, look how the price has gone up ….’

I was shocked at how the different level of communication caused such a huge misunderstanding.

Our male/female communication skills need a lot of work

My husband that night, much to my dismay said ‘I can’t believe that woman took what he said to mean what she thought he meant’, and the fact that every woman in the course took offence to the man made me realise that  our male/female communication skills need a lot of work….

Women often interpret things as a statement of their worth

Women do tend to interpret things as a value judgement or take things that are said and interpret them as a statement of their worth. The worrying thing is the amount of energy we are wasting feeling hurt when all he thinks he said was a statement about something or other â?? the cost of things, or the pace of life.

The next time you feel a twang of pain or a stake through your heart because of something he says, replay the actual words, and for a moment tell yourself that what he said is just and only that â?? what it is on face value, without any interpretation about your personal worth, or how hard your are working, or what your comparitive contribution or wifely, or motherly skills are. And then relax and tell yourself you are doing the best you can with what you have to work with, and find things to be grateful for and be happy about.

Spell it out and be specific

And when you say something to the male race, realise that in general the relational or ‘interpreted’ message will be lost, and that what you say will often be accepted at face value. If you need to say something about your relationship, you actually do need to spell it out in the simplest terms you can find and be specific.