Certainly I am not the first woman who was told by her partner or spouse “we just think differently.” This usually leads to the conclusion, “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.” This term was coined by author John Gray nearly ten years ago when he wrote the well-acclaimed book Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus. In view of his success, he has gone on to write another book, called Venus on Fire, Man On Ice. Now this title really resonates with me!
Gray continues to update his initial premise to help both sexes understand and determine gender differences. In this new book he discusses how differently men and women cope with stress. In general, women are more emotional and just want to talk, and men want to fix. Sometimes this ends up in frustration. Because of these differences, Gray suggests men simply allow the woman to talk. In other words, listen and don’t talk. Don’t be judgmental or dismissive. Listening is not always a skill inherent to men. In fact, Gray says that most men cannot tolerate listening for more than ten minutes. Sometimes women just want a hug and to be supported emotionally, especially when they are upset or stressed. They do not always want a man’s opinion.
Many comments Gray made resonated with me, but one really stuck after putting the book down, and that was that when women are stressed or depressed, more often than not it makes them feel better to help others. I found this to be an interesting and true observation. This is a win-win situation. From the male perspective, according to Gray, so much is affected by their level of testosterone. He claims that men have a need to feel strong and competent at work and at home. Supposedly men use a lot of testosterone at work and one way they tend to rebuild it in their bodies (other than with supplemental creams) is to ‘veg’ in front of the television. This is such a classical site. The woman in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, while the man is vegging in front of the TV. This was the first time I heard this factoid about rebuilding testosterone by watching TV. In the end, Gray recommends proper supplements for both men and women, and if you are not already taking some, perhaps this is a good time to start!
The tone of both Gray’s books are positive in that they help men and women understand, respect and appreciate one another and their differences. As a PhD and a relationship expert with more than 30 years experience, surely he has poignant tidbits to share.
Just for entertainment, you might be interested in viewing his website, which offers tips and ideas on dealing with the opposite sex and who could not need that type of advice?