FEMALE PERSPECTIVE ON “INTERPRETING AND EXPRESSING FEELINGS” By Mercy Karumba How many of us, have or had mothers who were very good at non-verbal cues that whenever they...

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How many of us, have or had mothers who were very good at non-verbal cues that whenever they looked at us in a certain way, we knew we were in trouble?

Women have long been known to be more expressional of their feelings and thoughts compared to men, and this reflects similarly in their interpretation of feelings.

Whereas one may simply express themselves by their words, women go beyond to interprete the facial expressions as well as, the body language. Research documents disparities between men and women’s nonverbal behavior, particularly when it comes to non–verbal immediacy – that is,  behavior that create psychological closeness between people for example, smiling, eye contact, gesturing, vocal variations, and physical contact while communicating. Generally, women are more accurate in interpreting and expressing this form of nonverbal communication than men.

Many of us grew up knowing when our mums were happy, angry or stressed and we knew how to behave accordingly! However, dads seem to be very mysterious when it comes to their thoughts and expressions; and that’s why many would actually say their dads have never expressed love to them despite providing everything for the family. On the flip-side, women are very sentimental and show love and concern explicitly to those around them.

Similarly, where a woman will easily hug, smile, show excitement and even cry, depending on how she is feeling; most men seem to be very indifferent in their expressions. In the same way that a man takes what he is told as it is; a woman will always struggle with, “did he really mean what he said? What if he means ABC instead of just AC?”

The breakdown in communication therefore, may be a hindrance to many who may feel either misunderstood – as a woman you may believe that he cannot get what you mean through your cues and body language or as a man, you may think she is reading too much into what you are saying.

Has this been a barrier for you? What’s your say?  Be sure to check out my colleague’s male perspective.

MALE PERSPECTIVE ON Interpreting Feelings By Mitchell Odhiambo

You cannot begin to imagine how differently men and women interpret feelings until you begin to study them. I was once in a forum where the speaker asked the attendees; “Tell your neighbor ‘I love you’” Surprisingly women had no issue with this. It came so easy to them as if it were second nature. The men though, you could see the difficulty in their faces. It felt so wrong. It’s unbelievable.

I have seen and heard women complain about how bland men can be. It is often that the man does not plan surprise parties, or trips or picnics. Issues which to women are huge but to men, not so much especially if you find yourself a choleric, you’re in trouble. No problem though, these habits are acquired and can be taught and learnt.

I have seen strange things happen that I couldn’t imagine happening between men. For example, women writing each other letters just because they are friends. I am certain if a man sent another man a letter during our high school years, there would be questions. It’s almost abominable.

How then do men express emotions – it is made brief and conveyed in anecdotes. I guarantee you, no matter how brief it appears, it is dished out in full measure – no holds barred.

I find women will forever be extra, and men will occupy the other extreme. We should add value to one another and learn to interpret what is being conveyed by the other party. Until we speak again, I am your host Mitchell Odhiambo. Welcome to a man’s new world.

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