The first of many books, written by Dr. John Gray, on the differences between males and females in the ways that they interact and communicate. Gray asserts that by understanding these differences between the sexes, we can often avoid conflict, confusion, and stress to create lasting relationships.
Some highlights of the book are:
1. "Men go to their caves and women talk."- Gray asserts that when faced with problems or stress in life, men and women have different ways of dealing with them. Men are inclined to isolate themselves, to deal with the problem on their own, and are threatened when a woman tries to move in on this because it implies that she does not think that he can handle it on his own. Conversely, when women are faced with problems, they want to talk them out with someone else. When a male retreats into himself, she is made to feel that she is not worthy of discussing the problem with, and is hurt.Also males, not knowing that women need to talk out their problems, to be heard more than anything, often listen very shallowly and offer quick solutions. This is not what the female wants and she often feels that he doesn't care.
2. Gray also discusses the different ways that the sexes are motivated. He states that "Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed, whereas women are motivated when they feel cherished." Males need the opportunity to show a female that he is able to take care of her, that he is responsible and able to be depended on. He needs her admiration. He wants her to see that he can fulfill her needs, and wants to see this for himself. Women on the other hand, need to feel that they are appreciated. Clasically women tend to give too much in relationships, and Gray states that for her to continue to be motivated to be in a relationship she needs to feel that she is not taken for granted.
3. Gray also discusses the male intimacy cycle. He says that "Men are like rubber bands." He sates that males feel a constant need for autonomy, while simultaneously wanting to be intimate with a woman that he loves. When a man becomes closer to a woman, his amount of independence lessens, his rubber band is not pulled so tight. At these times, he needs to pull back and regain some of his "self" which he feels he has lost. Once he feels that he has regained this, that his rubber band is "tight" again, Gray says he will come springing back to his partner.
While a lot of the book is a stretch, there are some things in it (specifically the above) that ring true, and merit a reading of the book. The understanding of these types of differences may very well make it a bit easier when trying to navigate the murky world of interpersonal relationships.