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How to Communicate with a Man Who Won't Communicate

We all want a relationship in which we can have deep heart-to-heart talks with our partner and be each other’s best friend. However, what happens when even after many tries, your man refuses to communicate? Can a man who is not good at communication ever come out of his shell? If yes, how?

We will find out why some men refuse to communicate and learn the tips that will help if your man is not the best when it comes to sharing with you. 

Why Do Some Men Refuse to Communicate?

Men and women communicate differently. While most women speak what they feel, often men’s emotional processing capacity is slower. Oftentimes, they are silent because they are processing things or are afraid that if they engage, it will result in a conflict. 

Some men do not talk about their problems because they feel doing so will make them appear weak in front of their partner. Many times men keep silent because they do not want to worry their partner and do not want any advice or any ‘told you so’ from them either. 

13 Tips on How to Communicate with a Man Who Won't Communicate

Some people are brought up in an environment where open communication is frowned upon, which makes them poor communicators who hide their true feelings even when they grow up. 

This sort of behavior can make their partners feel alone and unheard.1 Read on to learn about the tips that will help you have better communication with your man.

1. Start with only ‘I’ statements

How you communicate your feelings to your man can make all the difference in your relationship. Effective communication takes place when instead of playing the blame game and giving them the silent treatment, you verbally communicate your feelings to your man. You can do this by communicating your emotions and using I-statements.

So, instead of starting the conversation about what your boyfriend is doing wrong in the relationship, talk to them about how you feel. Once your man sees your raw emotion, they will understand your bad mood and where you are coming from.

2. Try to read their body language

If your partner is not ready for verbal communication, you can try non-verbal communication by picking up non-verbal cues. 

When trying to talk to men who don’t communicate, try to study their eyes. If your partner does not maintain eye contact while talking to you, it can be a sign that they have something to hide or are bored of you. If they are looking down while having the talk, it shows their nervousness. 

However, if they maintain healthy eye contactwhile talking to you, it could mean they are being honest. If your man’s eyes blink a lot more often during communication, it can mean they are thinking about what is being said or stressed.

When trying to study a man’s body language while communicating, you should also make it a point to study their mouth. When you communicate with a man and their mouth is slightly turned down while you talk, it shows their sadness. 

On the other hand, if his mouth is turned up, it is a sign of happiness. Pursued lips can be a sign of distrust, and lip biting can be a sign that they are afraid.

If you are looking at how to communicate with a man effectively, make sure to pay attention to their hands and arms when they communicate with you, as you can get important information from their arm and hand gestures. 

If your partner is sitting with crossed arms while the communication takes place, it is a sign they are being defensive. Fidgetingis a sign they are bored or impatient, while arms on the hips show aggression or their readiness to change the situation. 

The body posture of a man can also reveal a lot if you feel there are communication issues in your relationship. If your man is sitting up straight, it means they are paying attention, while a hunched back is a sign that the person is bored. Crossed arms are a sign of unfriendliness or anxiety.

3. Improve your listening skills

improve your listening skills

When it comes to communicating a message to someone, active listening is an important part of it because good communication cannot take place if you only hear your partner and do not listen to them. If your listening skills are not good, it can result in misunderstanding and communication of a false message.

Many couples communicate as if they are in a fight that they have to win rather than putting in an effort to listen and understand what the other person is saying. Being an active listener does not mean you cannot speak, but many times people want so much to feel heard that they forget to listen, which should be avoided at all costs. 

To improve your listening skills, you should pay attention when your partner speaks and speak only when he is finished. You should stop doing whatever you are doing whenever your partner shares their problems and show with your body language that you want to listen to them.

Make sure you ask questions when you are not sure about what it is that your partner wants. Most men only want someone to listen to them and do not always appreciate the advice. So keep your advice to yourself and give it only when asked. If your man wants your answer on something, take your time and respond clearly. 

Remember, poor communication and ineffective communication can create stress in the relationship, and working on your listening skills is an important part of improving your communication skills.

4. Do not give the silent treatment

When their partner refuses to communicate, many women simply stop talking altogether, which makes sense for them, but, in reality, it can break the communication further. Instead of using the tit-for-tat strategy and completely stopping talking to your man, you should give them space but let them know you will be there for them when they need you.

Giving your man the silent treatment can push him further away and result in a total communication breakdown, which can have a negative impact on your relationship. It would help if you could be a positive example for your partner and show them how communication takes place in healthy romantic relationships.2

Start by expressing yourself in a healthy way and give all the details of the important events that took place in your entire day. Make it a habit to keep communication with your partner open, and at a certain point, they will also feel comfortable having an open conversation with you.

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If it seems like your man is not in the mood to share his feelings, rather than completely avoiding or making more comments about his emotional state, try to change the topic and ask some general questions like, “What would you like to have for dinner tonight?” or “Do you want to go out for a coffee?”

Talking about something fun and totally unrelated will change your man’s mood, and they will slowly start to open up.

5. Explain how you feel

explain how you feel

Your partner may be keeping his problems to himself because he is a big believer that as a man, he needs to protect you. Therefore, when trying to communicate with your man, your best bet is to understand that your man will not change his attitude in an instant, and you should expect some resistance when it comes to him opening up.

In such a situation, it is best to let him know you need him and how his being emotionally unavailable for you is affecting you. It is important to understand that your partner is not a mind reader, and it is necessary to verbally tell them how you feel as he might have his own issues that might be making him feel overwhelmed. 

Remember, being direct with your man can prevent a lot of miscommunication, and your straightforward approach might encourage him to open up to you about their feelings.

6. Spend time with each other

To communicate better in a relationship, it is important that you both set aside some time to talk to each other. Now, spending time with one another does not mean you are both watching your favorite TV show in the same room, but it is about spending quality time where you both can have a conversation with each other.

You both can set aside one hour per week where you give each other your complete attention and have an open and honest conversation without judgment with each other. Doing this will help you understand what your partner wants, and there will be fewer misunderstandings. 

7. Try to understand him

Accept that communication in a relationship is not about making a conversation with your partner. Instead, it is about forming a connection through verbal, written, and physical skills, which help you understand each other. 

While you might be someone who is always honest and open about how they feel, your partner might be someone who needs time before they can open up. At times, you might feel you know what your partner is thinking and might make a wrong assumption, which might result in a misunderstanding.

So instead of expecting your man to behave in a certain way, try to understand what your man wants and avoid making mean comments, so he does not feel blamed.

8. Show your vulnerable side

One way to make your partner communicate with you is to show them your vulnerable side, as when they see you open up, there are chances they will also open up to you. When you open your heart to them and tell them how lonely you feel, they will see another side of you and find you more approachable. 

You will be surprised to see how this approach will make your man open up as they know that they are in front of a vulnerable woman, a partner in front of whom they can be themselves. On the other hand, if you let your frustration take over and act like a scary, loud lady who keeps reminding her man about his past mistakes, it will make your man want more space.

9. Do not play the blame game

Even if you feel that your man has made a mistake, it is not the right move to start the conversation by placing the blame, as it will only make him defensive. If you keep blaming your partner, even if they are wrong, they won’t accept it and will avoid communicating with you altogether.

To take out your man from his shell, show him that you understand him, and slowly, when you think the time is right, tell them what you want in the relationship. Do this without placing the blame on your man.3

10. Learn his love language

learn his love language

One reason for communication problems in relationships is that the people involved have different love languages. The words of affirmation you are trying to communicate might not be the love language of your partner. Therefore, it is important to understand your partner's love language and try to talk to them in it.4

11. Leave notes for him

If your partner is giving you the silent treatment and not sharing his worries with you, instead of nagging him, you can leave him notes about the small things in your life. This will not only give them the required information but will also show them you care about them enough to keep them in the loop even when they are being indifferent.

12. Ask open ended questions

If you are looking to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your man, it is important you ask open ended questions from them rather than close ended. Now, your partner can choose to give brief replies to these open ended questions also but it will at least give them an opportunity to open up in front of you.

13. Shower him with compliments

Everybody loves compliments. When you shower your man with compliments, they will feel loved and appreciated, possibly making them more receptive to the changes you suggest when it comes to their communication skills.

FAQs

What are poor communication skills in relationships?

Silent treatment, criticizing, blaming, interrupting, and not paying attention are some of the poor communication skills that can destroy a relationship. It’s important to work on fixing these for a healthier connection.

What is the key to a healthy relationship?

Some of the important factors in a healthy and happy relationship are honest, open communication between the partners, trust, kindness, respect, compassion, willingness to forgive, and loyalty.

How can you become your boyfriend's best friend?

To become your boyfriend's best friend, you need to stand by their side no matter how difficult the situation is, and that too, without judgment. You should also spend quality time with each other and do fun things together.

Conclusion

Open and honest communication is a big part of any happy relationship. However, due to several reasons, your man might not be comfortable opening up in front of you. In such a situation, you should not lose your patience and show him your love and soft side, so he is comfortable in approaching you.

Have you ever been in a relationship where communication was poor? How did things work out? How do you deal with men who don't communicate? Let us know in the comments.

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4 Sources:
  1. De Netto PM, Quek KF, Golden KJ. Communication, the Heart of a Relationship: Examining Capitalization, Accommodation, and Self-Construal on Relationship Satisfaction. Front Psychol. 2021 Dec 13;12:767908. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767908. PMID: 34966329; PMCID: PMC8710473.
  2. Courtney N. Wright, Michael E. Roloff. (2015) You Should Just Know Why I'm Upset: Expectancy Violation Theory and the Influence of Mind Reading Expectations (MRE) on Responses to Relational Problems. Communication Research Reports 32:1, pages 10-19.
  3. Morris, K. L., Kimmes, J. G., & Marroquin, C. G. (2022). Changing the blame game: Associations between relationship mindfulness, loneliness, negative partner attributions, and subsequent conflict. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 0(0). 
  4. Mostova O, Stolarski M, Matthews G. I love the way you love me: Responding to partner's love language preferences boosts satisfaction in romantic heterosexual couples. PLoS One. 2022 Jun 22;17(6):e0269429. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269429. PMID: 35731784; PMCID: PMC9216579.
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