Presentation on theme: "Communication: extremely important. Most problems involve communication failure Patterns of Interaction: constructive vs. destructive constructive."— Presentation transcript:
Communication: extremely important. Most problems involve communication failure Patterns of Interaction: constructive vs. destructive constructive interaction strengthens human bonds and enhances self- esteem Intimacy entails mutual self- disclosure. Need for truthfulness, leads to trust. Trust strengthens intimacy.
◦ Communication in Sex: private vs. public talk ◦ Importance of non-verbal communication (90%) ◦ Intent: what you mean to say ◦ Impact: what the other hears ◦ Need for frequent clarification of both
1. Message sent vs. Message Received Check! “I am hearing... XXX” 2.Gender Differences Problem solving vs. empathy & concern
SEXUAL COMMUNICATION Good sexual communication enhances sexual satisfaction in intimate relationships. It also reduces unsafe sexual practices, reducing the risks. Sexual self-disclosure is an important factor, and usually includes: ◦ sexual likes and dislikes, what turns you on or off ◦ sexual needs and desires ◦ sexual fears and concerns ◦ discussion of STIs ◦ past positive and negative sexual experiences ◦ personal sexual values and morals ◦ personal conditions for a sexual relationship
What are the barriers? lack of information (this course might help) insecurity about vocabulary (e.g. clinical terms feel too impersonal and stuffy, street slang feels too crude or shocking) embarrassment sexual taboos (upbringing, social milieu) fear of being judged fear of rejection difficult to overcome if there is no trust, which builds gradually
The four pitfalls in communication: criticism contempt stonewalling/withdrawal defensiveness Criticism: ◦ it's legitimate to have a complaint (e.g. I need longer foreplay) but not a personal attack (e.g. you never do what I need)
Contempt: ◦ disrespect and hostility toward partner, usually as a result of unmet needs and lack of communication e.g. you know he doesn’t like the taste of smoke, you are a smoker, and you have a smoke just before love- making. Defensiveness: ◦ reaction to perceived criticism, denial of responsibility e.g. blaming someone or something else for your negative actions, replying with a complaint of your own that is unrelated to the event, denial of wrongdoing, accusations of being unfairly persecuted, etc. etc. Stonewalling: ◦ stop engaging altogether, refusing to talk, getting busy with something else, walking out of the room, focusing on the computer or TV and ignoring you.
In general ◦ Men tend to use language for information, status and one-upmanship ◦ Women tend to use language to get close, for intimacy, sharing, rapport ◦ Ambiguous vs. non-ambiguous messages ◦ Misinterpretation of sex signals
Constructive Patterns ◦ Active Listening: attentive body language, appropriate facial expressions, asking questions, making brief comments ◦ Paraphrasing, showing true understanding of the message: rephrasing in own words what the listener heard. Opportunity to clarify misunderstandings.
◦ Feedback: communicate verbally our reaction to the message ◦ Acceptance of message: I really appreciate your telling me this. Your disclosure sheds a lot of light on our problem. What you told me makes it easier for me to understand where you’re coming from. ◦ Validation: conveying that the partner’s concern is real and legitimate
◦ When questioning, use open-ended questions rather than yes/no questions E.g. of yes/no: Do you like oral sex? Did you come? E.g. of open-ended: What gives you the most pleasure? Where do you like to be touched? What are your feelings about oral sex?
◦ Use “I” statements” “I feel ignored” vs. “You don’t care about me”. “I’m upset” vs.“You upset me”. “I feel unloved” vs. “You don’t love me”.
When arguing try to use ◦ Documenting: stick to specifics ◦ Leveling: be honest and clear ◦ Editing: leave out hurtful comments
◦ Alexithymia: Inability to verbalize one’s feelings or emotions, or even be aware of them. Very common in men. Mostly due to gender role socialization.
◦ Alexithymia: Fear, sadness and shame: transformed into aggression Caring emotions: transformed into sex
Disagreements and arguments are normal in an intimate relationship. Create an emotionally safe environment: avoid hostility, put-downs or belittling, and behaviourally convey commitment. Treat your partner with politeness and respect.