Speak his language.
Knowing how to talk to a guy about what you need and want in relationships feels daunting. Many women worry it could cause tension, start a fight, or lead to a miscommunication that causes a guy to break up or ghost them, so they often leave their needs unspoken.
But there are ways to ask for what you want in a relationship — without making a guy feel pressured — that make speaking up easier and more productive.
The key is to work with his innate psychological instincts when telling a guy what you want, rather than against them.
For hundreds of thousands of years, all humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies, in which men were the hunters and women were the gatherers.
The hunter-gatherer theory of psychology — which has been driving scientific research of men and women’s behavior for years — asserts that those instincts are hard-wired responses for men (hunters) and women (gatherers) that still affect male/female dynamics today.
Like their hunter ancestors who would look for, kill, and bring home their dinner, men have a tendency to use their energy for one single purpose at a time. Most men get a good amount of intellectual stimulation from their work and the media, so when they’re done hustling and being laser-focused at work, they want to let off steam, relax, and have fun in their time off — and when they’re with their partners.
That’s why, when dating, men follow their natural instincts and look for women they find physically attractive that also satisfy their need to have fun and feel good about themselves. They value your ability to engage them and help them have a good time. If a guy’s life becomes all work and no play because his significant other keeps asking him to do more of the same single-focused tasks — even when all you’re doing is expressing what you need in your relationship — he’ll feel unfulfilled.
And that will make you less likely to get what you want out of your relationship.
On the other hand, women, like their gatherer ancestors who foraged for nuts and fruits while they kept a watchful eye on their children, are natural multi-taskers. They focus their energy on several tasks at once to maintain a safe and harmonious environment for themselves and their families.
So when a guy comes home and lays on the couch and plays a video game when there is so much to be done, it’s easy for a woman to feel exasperated, when she has so many needs still yet to be met.
Our hunter-gatherer psychology is why men and women approach relationships and communication so differently. However, once you recognize these differences, you’ll be able to better understand men and get what you want from them in relationships by speaking their language.
1. Meet his focus first
Before you bring something up to your guy, try meeting his focus first — his need to relax after his hunt/hustle. Give him a break when he comes home from work. Maybe have dinner together. Then, after he has refueled, he will be more receptive to your needs when you ask for them because his needs will be taken care of, too.
2. Appeal to his natural instincts
Men, in alignment with their hunter heritage, like to be effective and to provide food and protection for their families. When you ask a man to “do” something for you or, worse yet, blame him for notdoing something you wanted him to do, it drains his energy and confidence.
It makes him feel like he is failing as a man. So when you need something, you will have a much easier time getting want you want if appeal to his hunter mentality and let him know what it will provide for you, your family, or your friends.
3. Inspire him by using the right words
Allison Armstrong, a researcher and educator focused on understanding men, has actually created a ”Hero Language” to help women more effectively communicate with men when asking for what they want. When asking a man for something, try using one of these “hero words” as part of your request:
- It would help me if you would …
- It would save me if you would …
- It would provide me with if you would …
- You would be my hero if you would …
Let him know how he can win with you, and you will not only be getting what you want, but you’ll also make him feel like a hero to you and your entire tribe.
4. Keep your calm
If you’ve communicated your needs, but your man has repetitively left your requests unfulfilled, it can be exasperating. But it is imperative that you calm any anger or frustration first. Men can smell even the smallest hint of blame on your breath.
Try this exercise prior to making your request: Rub your temples, as you take five deep breathes to regain your power. Then, use “Hero Language” to transform man in your life into a superhero who feels really proud of his ability to make you happy.