This book was published in 1992 by John Gray who apparently has little credibility the book is rated three and a half out of five stars based on 5200 reviews on Goodreads. Which is considered low on this website. In the day and age of the feminist movement many argue that the author is a sexist pop psychologist who pigeonholes people into gender stereotypes. Whilst I do partly agree that’s not to say we should ignorantly flush it all down the toilet. This book has genuinely helped me in my relationship regardless of your gender here are five important points that everyone can benefit from:
- Don’t give unsolicited advice
- Understand people need space sometimes
- Listen to people when they talk
- It’s little things that count
- When someone is upset don’t take words literally – try to understand the underlying issue
Lesson 1: Mr. Fixit and the Home Improvement Committee
- The most common complaint women have about men is that men don’t listen. He completely 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 as hell when she doesn’t appreciate it. She just wants empathy but he thinks she wants solutions.
- Stop giving unsolicited advice, 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. Instead he just wants 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 competance 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.
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 Men become focused and withdrawn, whereas women become overwhelmed and emotionally involved.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. He becomes quiet, mulls over a solution and then gradually comes out of his 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 intimacy cycle. Men get close, pull 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 but their man pulls away. 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.
- 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 one 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
- When she says she is fine, she might not be actually. When a guy says he’s fine, he’s fine.
- To fully express their feelings women speak poetically, using superlatives, metaphors, and generalizations. Men mistakenly take these expressions literally and misunderstand the intended meaning.
- So what should you do? Look deeper, what is the underlying issue.
- Here’s an example, Sally says the house is always a mess. 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 part of it. Try not to take everything literally. Especially when emotions are running high. Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated.
- 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. It’s up to you on how you decide to use this information.