Guest Writer Spotlight: Enitan Bereola II

Along with being one of our amazing features this month, we thought it would be blasphemy to not allow Mr. Bereolaesque himself to write a little something about what goes wrong when men and women try to maintain relationships without proper communication. Our guest writer, Enitan Bereola II breaks it down like only he can. Enjoy!

Communication Killed Assumption

Written by: Enitan Bereola, II

In today’s news, assumption was found dead and communication has been arrested in connection with the murder.

The miscommunication of male and female relations has led to debate, divorce and death. Man and woman’s understanding of each other is only half the battle. Communication with the opposite sex is like trying to send a text message with a Metro PCS phone on a plane – you attempt delivery, but it just won’t go through. The main problem with a lack of communication is that it forces people to jump to their own conclusions.

Ladies want to know the way men think. They’d like to know why we have double standards, why we lie and lead them on, why we’re not upfront, why we’re so afraid to commit, why we don’t completely answer questions, why we have a hard time communicating and when there will be an answer to all of these questions. When men refuse to address the issues, women begin to assume the answers. Some women think a few dinner dates and some intimacy makes a man her boyfriend, while the man is simply enjoying her company. She then begins to expect much more than her date is willing to offer because they’re communicating two different things.

That’s the problem that most men have with women today. We simply don’t understand how “yes” can mean “no” and why “nothing is wrong” means something is definitely wrong and it needs to be addressed not now, but right now. When she says, “just kidding,” she’s telling the damn truth. When she points out something sweet another man does, she wants you to do it too – but make sure you do it better. Telling her she’s acting crazy is the worst way to get her to stop acting crazy. If she looks upset, she’s upset; and she’s mad at you for you not knowing why she’s mad at you. If she asks, “Is that what you’re wearing,” she probably wants you to change. Sometimes she pushes you away to see if you’re willing to come forward. If she leaves upset, follow her. When she cries, it’s best to hold her tight and not say a word. Women test our reactions; they observe and judge our every action, expression, word and gesture. She notices how long it takes you to respond to a text message and analyzes why it took that long. Women create a connection and sense of intimacy through communication; her personal questions aren’t intended to invade your privacy so don’t be afraid to open up.

If you don’t know how to open up, start by actually answering her questions. A great way to emotionally connect to a woman is to simply let her in. Create a way for her to feel something. Share personal stories that she can relate to. The neurons in her brain will actually generate the same response as if she was right there with you sharing the experience. A woman puts into a relationship exactly what she expects out of it. You can’t watch football with the cable unplugged – you can’t function in a relationship with you unplugged. Relationships are useless with no connection. Communication is cable.

Women really aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be – they just want to be loved and express that much differently than men. A woman wants more than anything else to feel emotion. That’s why she tells us about her day when we don’t feel like being bothered or ask us all sorts of detailed questions when we think it’s unnecessary. To her, communication is a way of emotionally connecting on a level deeper than surface. Mental stimulation is better than sex … chivalry is foreplay.

But the communication barrier is so thick simply because men and women think and interpret information differently. The male mind is based on hard facts & reason whereas the female mind responds more to emotion and empathy. Women are natural nurturers and men are natural workers. Ask a man to go to the store for bread & he’ll bring back bread. Ask a woman to go to the store for bread and she’ll bring back groceries. Understanding this basic concept will help us understand our breakdown in communication.

Some of us may be crazy, but we’re not nuts and you damn sure can’t crack us open. Ladies, never attempt to pry or force communication out of a man. The results are similar to prying out teeth, no anesthesia. Be patient with us more, love us harder, and show us that we can count on you. When a dog begins to trust a new houseguest, it’s behavior changes … well you say we’re dogs, right? Women must understand that most men can’t decipher your cryptic code. Psychics aren’t real, so either try to learn the way we communicate or date a psychic. Your tendency to communicate emotionally & inwardly often leaves us confused trying to figure out what you’re really saying. We often wonder what you want, but it’s tragic when you wonder the same thing. Get to know you before you expect a man to.

As simple as men are, we understand that sometimes ladies just don’t get us. Take a look at my “Five Communications Do’s & Don’ts” to help you out.

Communication Do’s:

  • Do approach with caution. The four words men hate to hear is “We need to talk.” It’s not what you say; it’s how and when you say it.
  • Do acknowledge our efforts. A lot of men won’t admit it, but we require affirmation just like you. So before you communicate that we’re doing something wrong, acknowledge what we’re doing right or even that you know we’re trying.
  • Do be upfront … but not “in your face upfront.” I know that sometimes women aren’t blunt to protect a man’s ego, but speak matter-of-factly so that we understand the serious tone and nature of the conversation. When we see that a woman is sure and clear about what she wants, we’ll definitely straighten up and take notice. Most men like direct women because most men are direct, but there is truly an art to approaching us so that we not only receive what you’re communicating, but also open up to you.
  • Do find the right time we communicate together effectively. Timing is everything. Sometimes an issue will arise that requires communication and since women are more emotionally driven, she may want to discuss things in the heat of the moment. In the meantime, a logically driven man may want to sleep on it & discuss when our mind is settled. She doesn’t understand our logical argument when she’s arguing emotionally. Forcing communication while emotions are high is like sparking a lighter in a gas factory. The way to come to a compromise about finding the right time to effectively communicate is by communicating when nothings wrong. The best time to talk to us about problems is when there are no problems.
  • Do speak in love and pick your battles. Not everything under the sun needs to be communicated. Decide what’s important and what can be figured out overtime or else every day will be another boring board meeting with your boyfriend.

Communication Don’ts:

  • Don’t get mad at us when we laugh or smile when you’re trying to have serious communication. There’s just something so sexy and so cute about her when she’s mad and trying to have a serious conversation. We’re listening … you’re just sexy!
  • Don’t text him 10 times a day to ask over & over where the relationship is going. You have to strike a healthy balance in letting a man know what you stand for & expect, while still allowing progression to happen naturally. As men don’t always go into situations looking for relationships but we get into them because we recognize a good lady when we see one. Forcing yourselves onto us creates a force field around us and blocks you. Set boundaries and state intentions early and you won’t have to bring up “the talk” at all because we’ll gladly do it for you.
  • Don’t always have something to say. Sometimes communication is simply listening. Just like you need to vent, at times we need to vent and prefer you just listen.
  • Don’t communicate problems in public. If you’re out with friends and an issue occurs, keep your class and wait until you’re behind closed doors to discuss it. Maintain your relationship’s privacy and integrity because you’ll eventually forget about your public blow-up but friends & family won’t & some will be happy to always remind you.
  • Don’t ignore body language. 55% of communication is non-verbal, 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, volume, tone of voice) and only 7% is actual words. So listen to what we do. If we’ve scheduled a time to talk about something and we look like we’re not in the mood for discussion but we made an effort to discuss anyway, just change the subject. It can wait and we’ll love you for it.
  • Don’t focus on what we’re NOT saying. Forget what you’d like us to say, take us at face value. It’s a known fact that we speak different languages, but most of the time our communication doesn’t require interpretation. As we understand that we’re both saying the same thing, just saying it differently, then we can begin to move forward in understanding one another. Don’t dive deep into shallow water.

THIS JUST IN: Text messaging has been arrested in the attempted murder of effective communication. Text tried to kill real conversation. If all he does is send you words over a mobile device, it isn’t a real relationship. Oral communication is an intimate act so if a man goes as far as reaching out to pick up a phone and call or wants to talk a lady in person, he’s definitely interested. Now back to your program already in progress.

Communication killed assumptions! The more we attempt to effectively communicate with each other, the more we can begin to love one another. Men and women desire the same thing – to be loved. It’s the way in which we seek out love and attention that causes so much friction. We may speak different languages but that’s the beauty of it. Love is the language that a deaf woman can hear and a blind mind can see. We need to kill this senseless Venus vs. Mars act that’s been going on for decades. We need ladies and they need us. It’s not Venus vs. Mars, it’s Venus with Mars. Let’s focus on everything right with us, instead of everything wrong with us. Learn to appreciate, enjoy and love our differences instead of shunning them; it’s what makes us beautiful.

R.I.P. Assumptions.

24 Comments

  1. All I have to say is, this man must be replicated!!!! He is “THE MAN”! WOW!

    Posted by Lisa on 01 December 10 at 5:53pm
  2. First off, if that’s the picture of the guest writer, ‘Well HELLO!!!! Secondly, the article’s message was articulated intelligently! Very well thought out. My favorite passage:

    ‘A woman puts into a relationship exactly what she expects out of it. You can’t watch football with the cable unplugged – you can’t function in a relationship with you unplugged. Relationships are useless with no connection. Communication is cable.’

    DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!

    Posted by African mami on 02 December 10 at 11:29pm
  3. Very very insightful…I enjoyed this article just like I enjoy all your other words of wisdom…Love it…

    Posted by Cola on 03 December 10 at 12:00pm
  4. Love this, so true! Communication is the fruit that breeds the relationship and its so important to utilize effective communication, especially in the black community. Very good editorial, looking forward to more. Thanks!

    Posted by Victoria on 03 December 10 at 4:10pm
  5. I am a communications major, and I appreciated every word of in this message! I honestly have to say that this anonymous writer has written the most simple, fair, analogous, and prescriptive model of approach for successful communication that relates to the gap that divides men and women…. Shoot, people in general!!!…. And YES, a MAN did it ladies! LOL!!!

    Posted by Jo-Nate on 03 December 10 at 5:35pm
  6. GREAT READ…..very good job.

    Posted by PHily on 03 December 10 at 6:12pm
  7. This was beautifully written. I had to send this out to family, friends, and ex’s. What a wonderful article.

    Posted by Blackcoffee on 03 December 10 at 6:24pm
  8. This man must have been reared by a real man, and a excellent mom. I am not sure how old you (he) is but trust me to be this savvy Negro has had some serious bumps to smooth out. He has lost something in order to find himself. God bless you Black man I feel your depth and respect your intellect. You know your calling don’t you????? If not we sure do….Say amen ladies….

    Posted by San on 03 December 10 at 6:49pm
  9. Another on point message, Enitan!! Thank you.

    Posted by Raycent on 03 December 10 at 7:29pm
  10. VERY, VERY WELL SAID….. Thank You!

    Posted by Paulette on 03 December 10 at 9:24pm
  11. Yes!

    Posted by Monica Watson on 03 December 10 at 9:53pm
  12. Okay:…Your Recommendations are required and embraced by me the reader(smile)..As for me this
    is more than words on paper requiring some casual repsonse such as :wow, thank you, nice, hmmm that was good reading etc…after I read this info it was for me an arresting of my mind, a light bulb moment, a critical “let me dig deep” owning some of the behavior mentioned that caused for failed relationships of my past; be very clear it wasn’t that I didn’t know some of the above mentioned,but, the application process for succeeding in healthy relationship for me needed to be redefined embracing maturity as its foundation along with an upgrading process…Upgrade in Affect…Bless You~I can do this~Peaceful Blessings…

    Posted by msthankful on 04 December 10 at 1:55am
  13. This is impeccable, heartfelt, no-nonsense advice given to both men and women. The part that struck me, and will continue to for a long while, is “don’t dive deep into shallow water”. RIP Assumptions. Thank you Enitan, for posting bail for Communication.

    Posted by Bonnie on 06 December 10 at 11:50am
  14. That was so awesome…please shout this out to the world…Ive been married for 10 years and just started learning about the power of effective communication!

    Posted by Lady B on 07 December 10 at 5:40pm
  15. Fantaaaaastic article. I am very pleased to see a MAN break down the true meanings of communication on both ends. Had I had these Do’s and Dont’s handy in my early years, I would not have been so quick to throw brothers to the curb when what I thought was “hiding something” or “not really caring” or “not taking me seriously” my cue to bounce.. Again AMAZING article!!

    Posted by Dana Briggs on 08 December 10 at 4:18pm
  16. This is a great passage to share with all of your friends (men and women alike) to start the process of effective communication. Your friendships and relationships will thank you for it in the end. Very well done.

    Posted by S W on 09 December 10 at 6:48am
  17. DAMN…NOBDY HAS SAID IT BETTER WEN I HEARD THIS ON THE RADIO…I HAD TO FIND IT AND SHARE IT WITH EVERY PERSON I KNO FRIEND OR ENEMY!!! LOL THANX ALOT FOR SAYN WUT I SOMTIMES CNT EXPLAIN . DIS MIGHT JUS SAVE ALOT OF RELATIONSHIPS.

    Posted by WARREN R. on 09 December 10 at 7:12am
  18. You said it best! I took all advice given… No shame in still learning even if you are married or have been in a relationship for years…. 2 thumbs up!

    p.s WRITE A BOOK, it may be even better! ; )

    Posted by Liz on 09 December 10 at 8:27am
  19. OUTSTANDING!!! My Man has been telling me these very same things for months, but we’re involved, and so I was focused more on what he WASN’T SAYING than what he WAS ACTUALLY SAYING. I think this article will DEFINITELY improve our communication and our relationship for the better… and keep me from doing those “How are we doing?” check-ups so often ;o)

    Posted by MeeYow on 09 December 10 at 2:50pm
  20. I want to sit down with the writer and pick his brain…where does this insight come from?

    Posted by Brooke on 13 December 10 at 7:09pm
  21. This was a great post. I appreciate a man that can communicate his views about the female/male dynamic, without degrading women. As you said we need one another. Well done!

    Posted by TB on 16 December 10 at 2:19pm
  22. WOW !!! !!! !!! …The true reason why we don’t Communicate, well was never uncovered here. First of all someone has to feel safe about sharing their thoughts . Would you continue to share something you valued to your mate only to be told whatever, that’s stupid, something wrong with you, or you should have kept that to your self. So now you feel insignificant and your mate is saying you have issues and they want to move on. Life is easier talking about the superficial things, just to save your self from being hurt and keeping the relationship. Think about this it is easier to be intimate physically with your mate then it is to be intimate verbally why is this??? Physically you feel safe, so you do the do :) sex gives one the feeling of being loved ( for men pleasure ) . Verbally you are scared, past experience reminds you that if I tell you I don’t know how to love you and I want you to show me – You will tell me, I’m am wasting my time… I thought you knew me. So we never tell one another and our needs go unmet till we part. What GREAT NEED IS THAT? The need that every living being has. The need to COMMUNICATE. Don’t believe it??? Think of how you felt, if you have ever received the silent treatment from someone.

    Posted by GS on 22 December 10 at 2:39am
  23. A true masterpiece here Mr Bereola! Very on point, well understood, and digested. Can I just mention to GS above, that your points although valid as indeed been uncovered in the article. I’m particularly struck by this statement you made “Life is easier talking about the superficial things, just to save your self from being hurt and keeping the relationship. Think about this it is easier to be intimate physically with your mate then it is to be intimate verbally why is this??? Physically you feel safe, so you do the do sex gives one the feeling of being loved ( for men pleasure )” This to me is akin to taking the easy road, no substance there I’m afraid. Have you tried to tell her you don’t know how to love her and you want her to show you? As a young woman, I will be very touched if my Man said to me “please show me how to love you” it won’t be considered as a waste of time. Have you discussed this grievances of yours in clear concise terms? That I believe is the communication need here.

    Posted by Dd on 03 January 11 at 2:44pm
  24. Yes Mr. Bereola dose have some great talking points. Dd After reviewing Mr. Bereola article again. I stand once more and say, one has to feel safe to truly share their mind/heart with their partner. Mr. Bereola talks about barriers and interpretation take a look at his words — But the communication barrier is so thick simply because men and women think and interpret information differently. The male mind is based on hard facts & reason whereas the female mind responds more to emotion and empathy. Women are natural nurturers and men are natural workers. Ask a man to go to the store for bread & he’ll bring back bread. Ask a woman to go to the store for bread and she’ll bring back groceries. Understanding this basic concept will help us understand our breakdown in communication. — For the rest of my post, I’m sharing with you what I have learned from others and my personal experience. The people that shared their personal information wth me, just felt safe to talk and tell me this. I know they should really be speaking to the one they care about, but they are scared to.

    Posted by GS on 08 January 11 at 9:32pm