Channel 15: So many books have been written about the difference between men and women when it comes to communicating… break down in simple terms the reason we often have a hard time communicating with men?
Al: Over time men have become more and more shut off to emotions and as a result there has been a bigger disconnect between men and women because women’s emotional expression is growing more and more. When women ask men a simple question like «how was your day?» and they say «good» women feel disappointed as if the man is holding back and choosing not to communicate. Many times it is not that the man is holding back it truly is that they are incapable of feeling to even express his emotions. This leaves women feeling disappointed and like there is a lack of communication.
Channel 15: How does that change when that man is your Father and where do we most often see the communication breakdown?
Al: Children, boys and girls, communicate with there emotions as much as their words. When they communicate with their fathers they expect to feel the emotions from them. When don’t feel that emotion from dad they interpret that as if dad doest love them or is upset at them or even disappointed in them. This actually happens more than people realize. This is the biggest part of the communication breakdown and as a result it shuts downs the children’s emotions and they end up passing that on to the next generation.
Channel 15: Al can you give us some good communication skills?
Al: First, if you feel like you are not feeling the love or openness from the person you are communicating with take time to share that with them. Often times they just need to be aware how their communication is being interpreted.
Second, do not focus so much on how someone responds to you. Focus on what you are communicating to them and the intention of it. Often times we focus way to much on how people react to what we say instead of just focusing on our intention in our communication.
Channel 15: When girls reach puberty, their father’s often pull away from treating them like their little girl.. is this damaging to a daughter’s development? Are there other issues as well that can cause issues when communicating with your father?
Al: I think many girls get confused when their fathers act this way. They interpret is as they are not good enough and what they are going through is a bad thing. It can lead to women rejecting their femininity and as a result it can lead to future health problems with their female system.
Father’s should be more open with their daughters at a younger age communication to them their beauty and to be proud of themselves and their body. To always embrace it with love, honor, and respect. If you start at a younger age getting them to respect themselves and can talk to them about it, it will build a better foundation for them and a more open line of communication.
Channel 15: Men are often closed off emotionally… how do you crack that egg?
Al: Having love and compassion for them. That is the first step in communication. This will help create a safe space for them to communicate with you. It will also allow you to accept them at what ever level of communication they are at. This over time will build and communication will get better.
Channel 15: What can we do to create a stronger relationship with our Fathers?
Al: Communication on your emotional needs and what you are wanting from him. Then, give him time to change, in many cases it can take years so be patient. This is where being compassionate helps. Understanding that he is only a product of how he was raised. It takes time to break the cycle of generations of shut down emotions which cause the poor communication.
Also have less expectations of him and focus more on your sharing and the intentions behind them. If you are only communicating because you want a certain response then you are already setting yourself and him up for failure. Communication is about sharing, not about how someone response. Often times we have it backwards. Your intention should be to share.
Channel 15: How do you broach communications with your father if the relationship is already damaged?
Al: Again this goes back to having compassion and being patient. Understanding that everyone learns to communicate by who was around them growing up. Be understanding and give them time to change.
You also must let go of the old pain and anger you hold for the situation. If you don’t it will rear its ugly head at the first sign of disappointment in your communication. Remember, when you communicate it is about how you choose to express yourself. Is it with love and compassion or are you sharing because you are expecting a certain response? You will almost always be let down if every time you communicate you expect someone to have a specific response. Just share openly and lovingly being happy in your ability to share not in how someone responds.