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November 2001 - He Won't Talk to Me

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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November 2001

He Won't Talk to Me

Many people, especially women, complain that they can't get their spouse or some other man to talk to them. There is probably truth in what they say, for someone has determined that women speak about 25,000 words a day, while men speak only 10,000. So how can you get him to talk? Here are seven hints that might be helpful no matter who you are trying to get to talk.

  1. Stop talking. You can't listen if you're talking.
  2. Give positive feedback. Look and act interested. Positive head nods, alertness, and smiles all offer encouragement to the speaker.
  3. Show that you are interested in what the other person says by what you say to them. Ask questions. Questions that show interest and attention encourage communication.
  4. Empathize with the speaker. Put yourself in the speaker's place; this will help you understand the person.
  5. Keep confidences. If the information is sensitive, don't share it with others. Nothing shuts down communication much faster than sharing information with others that was given you in confidence.
  6. Don't argue or find fault with what the person says. In other words, suspend judgment.
  7. Share information with them. We tend to tell things to those who tell us things. So if you want the speaker to share information with you, share information with the speaker.

I would be willing to bet that given time, these will work. Let me know.

John Kline
Troy, Alabama

November 2001 - He Won't Talk to Me
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