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‘Talk to’ me, do not ‘talk at’ me



The word ‘talk’ is an informal verb used in a familiar or personal setting. The addition of the prepositions ‘to’ and ‘at’ gives it another meaning entirely.

Relationship is all about communication and interaction at all levels. A healthy one has the presence of mutual respect for both parties.

The ability to carry on a healthy and long lasting relationship is tantamount with the way partners converse. Just like I said earlier, mutual respect is a key feature of a healthy relationship.

What does it mean to ‘talk at’ people?

Engaging with another person in an almost monologue without leaving room for his/her perspective. The main purpose of talking at people is to offload an unpleasant emotion, to make the other party guilty, sad or downcast. Talking at people is a selfish way of communication, an effective communication must have a feedback. You not giving the other person a chance to speak simply means an effective communication has not taken place.

In our society today, most parents are prone to talking at their children. This is the number one stepping stone to low self esteem. When a child gets used to people at home screaming and talking at him, he would not be able to defend himself when he goes outside, or he might see violence as the sure way to defend himself, this eventually results to bullying.

In any form of relationship, whether between parents and children, husband and wife; teacher and student, girlfriend and boyfriend; brother and sister etc, selfish form of communication should be eliminates. Let us help build our confidence level.

What does ‘talking to’ someone mean?

Well, logically we would know that this is the direct opposite of ‘talking at’ someone. ‘Talking to’ is the act of conversing with people with the aim of inviting them into your discussion, not to offload struggle, but to seek different perspectives, pieces of advice, correction or to give encouragement. Talking to people is a prerequisite for effective communication and it brings about personal development. The crucial principle here is that the recipient of the message is seen as more than a muted audience and the reason for speaking is more than an emotional release. ‘Talking to’ is a productive kind of conversation with the sole aim of improving, reforming and changing a course.

Why ‘talking to’ is important in a romantic relationship

Let us get down specifically to romantic relationship. It cannot be refuted that everyone in this kind of relationship love to have mutual one-on-one intimate interaction with their partners/spouses. Everyone wants to be heard and listened to. Why is this so? Because we all have different opinions on the same issue.

Preventing your partner from defending himself/herself during an argument is tending towards egocentrism and narcissism-it is very selfish. It takes two people to be on a relationship and it also takes two people to make it work. If you do not want him/her to contribute to any conversation that crops up, then go and date yourself, marry yourself and argue with yourself. That way, you would not have to listen to other people’s opinion, you would be in a relationship with yourself and no one would be hurt.

In conclusion, everyone in a relationship should be given that respect to talk as an individual and rational being. When you love your partner, you would always want to listen to him/her. So, I believe that love is the driving force.

About Afolabi Franca

Afolabi Franca is a graduate of mass communication from Adekunle Ajasin University. She is a writer, a blogger and a journalist.

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