Sunday, November 16, 2008

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992)

This was a classic book, published in 1992. The book is supposed to cover the relationship between men and women, and it does do that to a large extent. However, as the book grew more successful, the criticism also grew. There was a lot of analysis of the antecedents of the author, John Gray, trying to prove that his credentials were incorrect (that his degree was false, that he was an associate of the cult leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and that association was his background). The book was also criticized for presenting generalities, for not having enough depth, that the book was sexist, that the book did not reference too many details and research.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - by John Gray (1992)

The book title says it all - the book says that men and women are wired differently, so different in fact that it would seem that both of them are from separate planets and are on Earth together. The way they think, the way they deal with tension and stress situations, and the way that they communicate with each other, a lot of that is described in generic terms. Does this describe all males and females, does this have the required depth ? No. However, you could describe this book as the Idiot's Guide to the man - woman relationship, and it is a good starting point that will help in the understanding.
If you take 1 situation and how it is explained in the book, it illuminates the techniques used in the book. Suppose the man is worried over something, he expects that he will be left alone (sort of retreating into his cave) while he thinks it over, and maybe doing something else so that he can then approach the problem with a fresh mind. He is not looking for help to solve the issue, and expects that this will be understood by the woman. However, since they are wired up differently, she is unable to understand this entire thinking, and thinks that he is withdrawing from her. A similar situation would happen where a woman is not feeling good, and he will give her space so that she can work things out, while she expects that he will comfort her, and show that he is involved.

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