PITTSBURGH, Pa. – According to a newly released survey, 75% of American women say their mental health has declined over the past year. Seven out of 10 believe the ways in which they communicate can impact their mental health.
The experts involved in the study have identified five distinct communication styles. Could knowing yours put you on the path to better relationships and better health?
Some would argue women or men are better communicators. One is not necessarily better than the other but they are different.
“Women use more words than men,” said La Keita Carter, licensed psychologist.
Carter worked with New York communications firm ‘Evolve MKD’ to develop a survey for women about social interaction and mental health.
“Women are impacted by other people’s mental health around them,” Carter said.
Carter says most fall into one of five communication styles. Starting with the meet and greeter. These are the “huggers” for them, virtual doesn’t cut it.
“Because they’re just, they’re stuck not being able to communicate in the ways that they find to be really fulfilling for them,” Carter explained.
Some women are oversharers, sharing everything you need to know about them without you asking. The initiator starts conversations and feeds off others’ verbal energy. The observer watches how the conversation unfolds before they jump in.
Finally, the protector finds communication draining and chooses when and how to engage. Thirty-two-year- old Jennifer Mercer worked from home the past 18 months. She’s learned that she is a protector.
“I got to a point where I would tell people in zoom meetings, I’m going to have my camera off. I needed some time,” Mercer explained of constant zoom interactions.
Carter says there’s no right or wrong communication style, but it’s important to know what works for you, and the others around you.
“Sometimes it’s about adapting yourself and women are adaptable creatures,” Carter said.
Evolve MKD, which is founded and led by women, conducted the research with 2,000 adults between August 2020 and March 2021. For more details, or to identify your communication style, the research is available on the company’s website.