John Gray’s ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ has helped millions of couples transform their relationship. Now viewed as a modern classic, this phenomenal book has helped men and women realize how different they really are and how to communicate their needs in a way that conflict doesn’t arise and intimacy is given every chance to grow. Men and women will learn how to understand each other better by reading this book.
LESSON 1: Mr Fix-It and the Home-Improvement Committee
The most common complaint women have about men is that men don’t listen. Here the complaint is that he ignores her when she speaks to him or he quickly assesses what’s troubling her and then offers a solution to make her feel better. He gets confused by this when she doesn’t appreciate. She just wants empathy but he thinks she wants solutions. Stop giving unsolicited advice and show compassion and listen to your partner.
On the flip side, men complain that women are always trying to change them. She thinks she is caring for him while he feels he’s being controlled when all he wants is her acceptance. She presumes a man doesn’t know what to do and he can’t do it on his own. Men want to prove their competence by achieving things themselves.
You may have noticed by now that John Gray the author of this book tends to stereotype genders ignoring the fact that people are unique regardless of their gender. We’ll discuss this at the end.
LESSON 2: Men Go to Their Caves and Women Talk
Men and women cope with stress differently. Men become focused and withdrawn whereas women become overwhelmed and emotionally involved. During these times men feel better by solving problems while women feel better by talking about their problems. In times of stress men will retreat to their caves and becomes quiet over a solution and then gradually comes out of their cave. If he can’t find a solution he’ll do something to forget his problems like watch TV or play a video game. He needs space. Women on the other hand feel better by talking about their problems. She wants to express herself and feel understood before finding solutions. A woman will appreciate a man if he truly listens.
LESSON 3: Men Are Like Rubber Bands and Women Are Like Waves
A rubber band is a metaphor for the male’s intimacy cycle. Men get pulled away and then get close again. Men have an instinctive urge to pull away from time to time. This is commonly misunderstood by women especially when they try to share their feelings. However a man should at least reassure their partner of when they’ll come back.
A woman is like a wave. A woman’s self-esteem rises and falls like a wave. Men can get confused and frustrated thinking that they’ve made her upset. Let’s return to lesson one, don’t give unsolicited advice during this time. Also after listening to a woman don’t expect her to feel better straight away.
LESSON 4: Scoring Points with the Opposite Sex
No matter how big or small a gift of love is for a woman it scores just one point, but in a man’s mind a bigger gift means more points. Let’s say Danny raised his income from $50,000 to $100,000 to support the family. To him that may be worth 50 points but to his wife that’s only 1 point. Likewise if he bought an expensive car for his wife as a gift of love it would still be worth one point. No matter how much he paid for the car. This can explain why men get confused when their wives aren’t satisfied. Giving your wife two kisses, hugs and a compliment could score you many more points than if you were to buy her an expensive watch.
LESSON 5: Speaking Different Languages
“Honey are you okay?”, “I’m fine” she says. She might be fine but she might not when a guy says he’s fine. So to fully express their feelings women speak poetically. They use superlatives, metaphors and generalizations. Men mistakenly take these expressions literally and misunderstand the intended meaning. So what should you do? Look deeper and find the underlying issue.
Here’s an example, Sally says “The house is always a mess.” and Cecil replies “Are you kidding me? I always clean the house and before I’m finished you mess it up again.” Now this is a bad way of responding because what she really may mean is “I need to relax today but the house is messy. I’m frustrated and I need to rest. You clean a lot for me but for today could you please offer to help clean.” Try not to take everything literally especially when emotions are running high, otherwise you’ll get frustrated.
Lets take another example. Sally says “You don’t love me anymore” but what she really may mean is “Today I don’t feel loved. I know you love me. I’m just feeling a little insecure at the moment. Would you reassure me of your love?” Don’t expect to be perfect at reading women straightaway. It takes time and effort to get to know how your partner behaves.
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Also published on Medium.