effective communication between the sexes

"Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" author, Dr John Gray, shows how men and women can effectively and harmoniously communicate with each other on Earth

many thanks to Ten-a at sxc.hu for the free photos of planets


In his book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus“, the author, Dr John Gray, uses the analogy of two planets to explain how men communicate on Mars, and how women communicate on Venus. Then he shows, with that knowledge, how men and women can effectively and harmoniously communicate with each other on Earth.

It’s a fascinating book, very difficult to put down.

On Mars, when a Martian has a problem, he goes off and thinks about it on his own. Dr Gray describes this as going into his cave. The Martian stays in his cave until he has found a solution to his problem, then he comes out and joins the rest of the Martians again.

Although other Martians notice their fellow Martian has a problem, no-one mentions it, and no advice or help is offered. Advice is only given if the Martian actually asks for it. This is quite normal on Mars, where each Martian is expected to solve his own problems.

On Venus, life is very different. If a Venusian has a problem, other Venusians notice, and instinctively offer help and support. The help is gladly accepted, and the problem is discussed freely. Often, the Venusians take the opportunity to discuss all sorts of problems that are totally unrelated to the one that started the discussion in the first place.

After lengthy chatting and sharing, the Venusian with the problem feels much better for the support she’s received, and the other Venusians feel good about having helped a fellow Venusian in trouble.

On the planet Earth, many Martians and Venusians choose to live together. Each partner brings an inherent difference in communication from their former planet, which sometimes the Martian and the Venusian forget or aren’t aware of, and misunderstandings result. This may be a familiar scenario…

What’s the matter?“, asks the Venusian of her Martian. She’s noticed something is on his mind, and she wants to help him.

Martians aren’t used to discussing their problems with others and he replies rather curtly, “Nothing.

I can see something’s troubling you. Why won’t you tell me what it is? Let’s talk about it“, she insists, because that’s what she’s used to doing on Venus.

With a curt “I don’t want to talk about it“, the Martian storms off to a place he can be alone to think… his garage workshop, garden shed, or even the smallest room in the house.

Subconsciously, he feels the need to go into his cave, where he can think about the solution to the challenge at the office on his own, like everyone does on Mars. He doesn’t feel the need to discuss it, like Venusians do on Venus.

Sometimes he comes back after a short time in the cave; sometimes he doesn’t come back to his Venusian for the rest of the evening. Depends on the complexity of his problem and how long he takes to solve it.

The Venusian wanted to show her love by helping her Martian, just like everyone does on Venus. But he didn’t want to talk, so she couldn’t help him. She feels rejected, unloved, and even a little resentful.

Applying the knowledge of the different ways Martians and Venusians deal with their problems, this scenario could have gone like this…

You seem a bit distant. Have you got something on your mind?“, asks the Venusian of her Martian. Her Venusian instinct tells her he has got something on his mind, but she knows Martians don’t talk about it, like Venusians do, so she doesn’t press him to share his feelings.

Sorry, darling. I know I seem a bit distant. I’ve got something I need to sort out at the office. I’m going into the workshop for a while to have a think about it. I’ll be back later“, he replies calmly.

He knows his Venusian can sense something is on his mind, so he acknowledges her special ability. He doesn’t snap at her. He also knows, because he’s a Martian, he needs some time alone to think his problem through.

The Venusian has offered help, as all Venusians do, and her Martian recognised her offer of help, so she feels good about it. She knows he needs a bit of space, because he explained he did, and anyway, he’s a Martian. And she knows he’ll be back soon, because he assured her he would be.

The Martian is able to go into his cave and think about the solution to the problem at the office, and he feels appreciative his Venusian understands his need to be alone for a while.

Dr Gray’s book is full of such examples of effective communication between the sexes.

It was first published in 1992, so you may be able to get a copy from a shop selling second-hand books.

If you want to look for a new one in your local bookshop, the ISBN is 0-7225-2840-X.

Or get it at a good price from Amazon.

In business the book has been invaluable in helping us improve our communication and interaction skills with people of the opposite sex.

In my personal life it has been a huge help in understanding myself, and understanding my favourite Venusian. And it has helped her understand herself, and her favourite Martian.

And we’ve both gained from the planetary knowledge in our interactions with the male and female members of our family.

A brilliantly helpful read.