Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in your Relationships

Book - 1992
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Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins, c1992
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060168483
Branch Call Number: 646.78 GRAY
Characteristics: x, 286 p. ; 22 cm


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Nov 18, 2019

I don’t usually read self-help books, but this one was recommended and given to me by a female friend whose judgement I trust, so I read it cover to cover. It has its moments but it really is too long and too repetitive. In fact the very same sentence is often repeated as a heading. While this is obviously done for emphasis, it struck me more as padding, especially since the message it contains is often hammered away at again and again anyway.
I guess there is no arguing with commercial success, but I found the Martian, Venusian conceit somewhat contrived, and Gray keeps returning to his self-invented myth again and again as a distraction from the meat of his book. It wasn’t clear to me where his generalizations about male-female differences came from, or how transferable they were from white Anglo-Americans of Christian background to other nationalities or ethnicities or faiths.
On p.251, a comparison of the “brief and direct” way a wife could make a request of her husband that is favoured with an inferior usually more verbose way illustrates some of the problems I had with this book. Gray prefers the allegedly brief and direct question “Would you schedule some time to talk with me?” to “We need to talk.” Seriously? I know he lives in California, but do even Silicon Valley couples talk to each other this way? Is “Would you take us out to eat tonight?” really better than “I have no time to make dinner tonight?” Surely, suggesting that the choice is binary, wifey makes dinner versus the family eats out in a restaurant is both sexist and assumes a fairly lavish lifestyle. For lots of families the only meals not made at home would be picked up from take-outs. “Would you” is preferred to “could you”, but is “Would you pick up Julie from school?” always preferable to “Could you pick up Julie from school?” This wasn’t true even when Gray’s book was originally written, and it is certainly not true in the gig economy, when the wife is more likely to be uncertain about her husband’s schedule.
Things like financial problems are introduced only as examples where better communication skills can help avoid tension. However, surely serious financial difficulties, if unresolved, can themselves sink a marriage. It doesn’t matter how well a husband and wife communicate with each other, if they are both on the wrong track to solving their problems. Like so many experts, Gray seems to think that because he carries a hammer, every problem is a nail.

Jun 26, 2019

As a 28 year old male, I had allot of "ah" moments as I read this. It has allot of practical guidance on the subject, and practical everyday tools to use. It is impossible to learn it all at once for me, but the author does a great job on repeating highlights without being annoying. He seemed to repeat exactly what I needed to re read. It will be a book I will reference back to, again and again.

Jan 27, 2019

A self-help classic that still rings true today!

bibliosara Feb 01, 2018

This book has always been a title that has been referred to by many of my family members. I finally decided to read it myself, and I'm very glad I did!
I read some reviews of this book prior to reading it and was concerned by the comments about John Gray's anti-women type assumptions. However, this is not at all the case. Some other reviewers commented about the generalized assumptions that were made. Well, it is a self-help book. It's going to generalize, because he is sharing common behavioral trends. If you need specific advice, go see a counselor.

SO, about the book... John Gray is one of the best authors I have read at providing a fair interpretation of the behaviors of both genders. Let's face facts. Men and women tend to think differently. That's what it can be confusing having a debate with someone of the opposite gender. Men and women focus on different ideas, details, and goals.

I really appreciated the clear explanations John Gray provided... he uses analogy, personal experience, as well as anecdotes from previous clients. It reads well, is easily understandable, and provides easily applicable pointers. Although there were occasional assumptions that Gray makes that I disagreed with, I would agree with about 90% of his advice on principal. What's great about this book, is it makes it obvious that there ARE differences between men and women, and that we need to accommodate for those differences in our relationships. We should be giving one another the benefit of the doubt, and working for our relationships instead of expecting to always be in the easy breezy honeymoon phase.

I highly recommend that every couple read this book together and take what applies to them and leave what doesn't. Anyone can benefit if you read with an open mind, and a willingness to acknowledge your own faults, weaknesses, and unique attributes. Paired with "5 Love Languages", this will open your mind to a new way to approach your relationship!

smileybutt1 Feb 12, 2013

This really opened my eyes - great book! I am asking my significant other to read it!

HanakoGal Jul 28, 2012

This is a book that’s easy to read and understand. The major themes of this book focus on learning and listening to other’s point of view, and responding to them with kindness and respect. We get specific tools and examples on how to do this; on how to share our views and feelings, and how to ask for support and help. It was very interesting and made me see some things in a different way. I enjoyed reading this book.

Dec 14, 2010

A very helpful book! I'm so glad I read it!


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