Improve Couple Communication: When You Argue Is He Shutting Down

Let’s keep talking about Body Language.

Body language is never more important than when you are having a disagreement. It’s great to know when he’s flirting with you or how to read when he’s lying; but when you are having an intense conversation and trying to reach a compromise, it’s important to know when he’s listening and when he’s just shutting down.

Men are more action oriented and women enjoy an intimate conversation more. One of the easiest ways to drive a wedge between you and your guy is to force him to talk about his feelings. You’ll feel better but he’ll feel trapped and ashamed for not being able to meet your needs. You’ll want to ‘work things out’ and he’ll be hoping it will all end as quickly as possible.

There are signs you can look for when you’re talking that you’ve stepped over the line and his brain has shut off. Once he’s shut down, you can’t reach him and he won’t hear a word you’re saying. At this point it’s time to stop, back off and try again another day. This time, instead of coming directly at the problem, you may want to engage him first in a way he enjoys and get him to open up a bit more. Sitting together and watching a movie, snuggling on a rainy day or after sex can be prime times that he’s more receptive to talking.

But, be aware that if you address your issues at these times, you MUST be gentle, do NOT emasculate him or accuse him of anything.

Keep in mind that nowadays the danger comes from words. He doesn’t understand words in the same way as you. And his brain will ignite the old “fight/flight” processes based on what you say and how you say it.

These are times when he is open to talking but you MUST do it without being negative. You’ll get better results for you and for him.

If you are talking and you notice that he turns his body away from you, crosses his arms over his chest, picks up the paper, book or smart phone, or stops meeting your eyes you know that he’s upset with what you’re sharing, or how you’re sharing it.

Other signs include their eyebrows that tilt toward the center of their face, eyes that squint or a tight mouth. In essence they look ‘closed off’ and unwilling to talk any further. Don’t force the issue because you’ll only make it worse. Instead, it’s time to back away, end the conversation and pick it up again another time.

>