Hi there, Single Lady!
In the last episode, I talked about how to tell if a man is emotionally available because that’s what many women want. (Maybe you can relate because that's what you want too.)
In this episode, we're digging a little deeper and talking about how to invite a man to become more emotionally available to you. It requires some practices that perhaps you haven't thought of. And, (good news!) my husband joins me to give us a little guidance. He's such a great sport!
Something important to keep in mind
So, you want a man who will not only commit to you but also talks to you about how he feels? Emotional availability is a great thing to want in a relationship because it’s what makes it rewarding, deep, and fun. Inviting a man to open up to you can be tricky because research shows that most men are emotionally unavailable and use fewer words every day.
Most men are not as emotionally connected to themselves and others as women are--even when they are emotionally available. It’s important to keep this in mind so your expectations won’t strain your relationship.
Understand that men are taught from a young age not to have feelings and to be tough. It’s a cultural influence for men to be men—hence why they are emotionally unavailable.
Invite him to share his feelings with compassion
Fear of criticism and getting hurt could be why a man might fail to open up to you. It would be a huge help for you to be compassionate, patient, and kind when inviting your man to share his feelings.
Remember you can’t make a man share his feelings; you can only create an environment safe and inviting enough for him to feel more inspired to talk to you. You have the power as a woman in a relationship to invite him to share more of himself with you. But you also have the power to create a negative environment that leads a man to shut down and not want to share his feelings with you.
Be honest and open about your own feelings
Men love women who are open and honest with their feelings. A man wants to know that you trust him and being open about your feelings is one way of letting him know you trust him and you’re not afraid of having an emotional connection with him.
It also takes some of the guesswork out of the way because it frustrates a man when you can’t talk about your feelings. Always keep in mind that a guy may not access his feelings as freely as you do, and not sharing yours won’t make things any better.
Start slow when sharing your feelings.
When you start sharing your feelings with a guy (especially at the beginning of a relationship), it can be smart to do it gradually to avoid overwhelming him. It will help you see how he responds and honor his communication style as you get to know each other.
Talk about your feelings rather than trying to presume his intentions or focusing on his mistakes. It will help create openness and not defensiveness. Tell him how you’re feeling, and how you’re doing, and also express your positive feelings—not just your unpleasant emotions.
Watch for his body language as you share to avoid overwhelming him. It is also important to communicate what you need from him to set a great example of connecting and creating a respectful tone in the relationship.
Avoid making him feel judged or criticized.
A man might need extra time and space to process his thoughts before sharing them with you, so don’t push him. Pushing a guy to share his feelings will lead him to shut down and stop altogether.
Make it safe for him by being patient and listening without judgment.
When encouraging him to share his feelings, make him know that you understand what he’s saying and ask for an explanation when needed. Avoid interrupting him, and make sure he knows you’re paying attention to what he’s saying. Watch your tone when asking questions to avoid making him feel emotionally unsafe with you.
Don’t tell him how he should feel.
Don’t try to fix how he feels or make him see things from your perspective. It’s wise to listen, ask questions, and help him clarify where you don’t understand.
Don’t criticize him if he has a hard time being open about his feelings.
If a man is having a hard time being open about his feelings, don’t criticize him. Even though it might be frustrating when he’s not being as vulnerable as you want, avoid criticizing because it will only make him feel unsafe to share his feelings. It’s a better idea to find ways to communicate respectfully and constructively.
Affirm what he does by saying things like “I’d really love to hear what you say about this” or “I love it when you talk to me like that.”
Understand that just because you handle some things a certain way as a woman, it doesn’t mean that a guy will handle them the same way. If you remember this, it will help your relationship. Reassure him that his feelings will stay confidential. And if you choose—between the two of you--to bring in a third party, like a counselor, to help you solve a relationship challenge, reassure him that you will not humiliate or shame him.
Be careful when asking about his feelings and don’t take it personally when he doesn’t share. It takes practice to understand how men are wired, to be able to communicate and have a great relationship. Go easy and be extra sensitive – men also need that sensitivity because they struggle with insecurities just like women.
Listen—and learn more--on Apple Music: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1555536184
Learn more about Shana’s Coaching: https://www.shanaschuttecoaching.com
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