One woman reveals the secret to understanding men and guess what? It's no secret.
2. Secondly, stay concrete. Take what he says as what he means. If he says, "I like your red dress better," don't turn that into "He thinks I'm fat, he hates me, he thinks I'm ugly, I'm leaving." Simply take what he says to mean exactly that. Don't read into it, don't exaggerate it, and don't use it as an excuse to attempt to have him soothe your insecurities. If you're insecure, say so. But don't turn his innocent words against him in an effort to seek reassurance.
3. Finally, communicate directly. If he asks what's wrong, tell him. If you're angry, say so. Don't expect him to read your mind, and don't expect him to chase after you all day in a futile attempt to drag out of you whatever is bothering you. Take responsibility for expressing your own thoughts and desires effectively. Communication isn't a guessing game, but manipulation is. Don't confuse the two.
Effective communication with a man is no more difficult than expressing yourself honestly and directly. Chances are, if you're experiencing difficulties interacting with men, you're experiencing difficulties interacting in general.