1. KEEP IT SIMPLE…or SOUND STUPID
Okay, stupid may sound a little harsh. “Unclear” or “indecipherable” are perhaps more accurate terms. The point is, people stop taking in information at some point. If you spend 3 sentences prefacing “the talk” before you get to your point, you probably will never be heard. Your over-use of verbiage can make your partner feel that they have to also come back with big verbal response. That could create anxiety for the other person and stifle their natural ability to respond to a simple question. Before going into a conversation have three clear bullet points that you want to communicate. Apply the same to follow up questions. Ask one question at a time and give him time to respond.
2. MIX UP YOUR MEDIUM
Talking to your partner face-to-face is ideal for many reason. Body language, eye-contact, and other non-verbal’s can provide invaluable information to help you and your partner communicate. Some people have such high levels of discomfort talking about “real feelings” in person that they flee from any opportunity to have a one–on-one “talk.” If you’ve gotten into the dynamic where you can just tell your guy is trying to run whenever you want to talk, be okay with trying a different mode of communication. Yes there is lot of room for error and misunderstanding in things like email, text, and phone calls. There also is room to say EXACTLY what you want to say. You can also try to communicate in naturally less stressful situations like when you are walking together outside side by side, or going for a drive down a non-busy street. These types of situations can be opportunities to help your guy communicate because you aren’t having intense eye-contact (something that makes a lot of people anxious when discussing emotional information.)
3. GIVE HIM AN OUT
People that are not comfortable talking about emotions are going to very easily feel like they are being pushed into a corner whenever you bring up something that sounds like it could be a “relationship talk” or talk of any emotional nature. They will be defensive and look for a way out of the conversation as soon as possible. One of the ways to avoid this reaction is to seem casual about the content of your proposed conversation, and to appear confident and light-hearted. I was thinking about (insert emotional topic) and wanted to run some things by you. Is now a good time? If you seem confident and the way you deliver your words is not heavy and dramatic chances are he will be a little more open.