The most frequently expressed complaint women have about men is that men don’t listen. Either a man completely ignores her when she speaks to him, or he listens for a few beats, assesses what is bothering her, and then proudly puts on his Mr. Fix_It cap and offers her a solution to make her feel better. He is confused when she doesn’t appreciate this gesture of love. No matter how many times she tells him that he’s not listening, he doesn’t get it and keeps doing the same thing. She wants empathy (sympathy), but he thinks she wants solutions.
The most frequently expressed complaint men have about women is that women are always trying to change them. When a woman loves a man she feels responsible to assist him in growing and tries to help him improve the way he does things. She forms a home Improvement committee, and he becomes her primary focus. No matter how much he resists her help, she persists waiting for an opportunity to help him or tell him what to do. She thinks she’s nurturing him, while he feels he’s being controlled. Instead, he wants her acceptance.
These two problems can finally be solved by first understanding why men offer solutions and why women seek to improve. Let’s pretend to go back in time, whereby observing life on Mars and Venus before the planets discovered one another or came to Earth we can gain some insights into men and women.
LIFE ON MARS
Martians value power, competency, efficiency, and achievement. They are always doing things to prove themselves and develop their power and skills. Their sense of self is defined through their ability to achieve results. They experience fulfillment primarily through success and accomplishment.
Everything on Mars is a reflection of these values. Even their dress is designed to reflect their skills and competence. Police officers, soldiers, businessmen, scientists, cab drivers, technicians, and chefs all wear uniforms or at least have to reflect their competence and power.
They don’t read magazines like Psychology Today, Self, or People. They are more concerned with outdoor activities, like hunt fishing, and racing cars. They are interested in the news, weather, and sports and couldn’t care less about romance novels and self_help books.
They are more interested in “objects” and “things” rather than people and feelings. Even today on Earth, while women fantasize about romance, men fantasize about powerful cars, faster computers, gadgets, gizmos, and new more powerful technology Men are preoccupied with the “things” that can help them express power by creating results and achieving their goals.
Achieving goals is very important to a Martian because it is a way for him to prove his competence and thus feel good about himself. And for him to feel good about himself he must achieve these goals by himself. Someone else can’t achieve them for him. Martians pride themselves in doing things all by themselves. Autonomy is a symbol of efficiency, power, and competence.
Understanding this Martian characteristic can help women understand why men resist so much being corrected or being told what to do. To offer a man unsolicited advice is to presume that he doesn’t know what to do or that he can’t do it on his own. Men are very touchy about this because the issue of competence is so very important to them.
Because he is handling his problems on his own, a Martian rarely talks about his problems unless he needs expert advice. He reasons: “Why to involve someone else when I can do it by myself?” He keeps his problems to himself unless he requires help from another to find a solution. Asking for help when you can do it yourself is perceived as a sign of weakness.
However, if he truly does need help, then it is a sign of wisdom to get it. In this case, he will find someone he respects and then talks about his problem. Talking about a problem on Mars is an invitation for advice. Another Martian feels honored by the opportunity. Automatically he puts on his Mr. FIX_It hat, listens for a while, and then offers some jewels of advice.
This Martian custom is one of the reasons men instinctively offer solutions when women talk about problems. When a woman innocently shares upset feelings or explores out loud the problems of her day, a man mistakenly assumes she is looking for some expert advice. He puts on his Mr. Fix_It hat and begins giving advice; this is his way of showing love and of trying to help.
He wants to help her feel better by solving her problems. He wants to be useful to her. He feels he can be valued and thus worthy of her love when his abilities are used to solve her problems.
Once he has offered a solution, however, and she continues to be upset it becomes increasingly difficult for him to listen because his solution is being rejected and he feels increasingly useless.
He has no idea that by just listening with empathy and interest he can be supportive. He does not know that on Venus talking about problems is not an invitation to offer a solution.
LIFE ON VENUS
Venusians have different values. They value love, communication, beauty, and relationships. They spend a lot of time supporting, helping, and nurturing one another. Their sense of self is defined through their feelings and the quality of their relationships. They experience fulfillment through sharing and relating.
Everything on Venus reflects these values. Rather than building highways and tall buildings, the Venusians are more concerned with living together in harmony, community, and loving cooperation. Relationships are more important than work and technology. In most ways, the world is the opposite of Mars.
They do not wear uniforms like the Martians (to reveal their competence). On the contrary, they enjoy wearing a different outfit every day, according to how they are feeling. Personal expression, especially of their feelings, is very important. They may even change outfits several times a day as their mood changes.
Communication is of primary importance. To share their personal feelings is much more important than achieving goals and success. Talking and relating to one another is a source of tremendous fulfillment.
This is hard for a man to comprehend. He can come close to understanding a woman’s experience of sharing and relating by comparing it to the satisfaction he feels when he wins a race, achieves a goal, or solves a problem.
Instead of being goal-oriented, women are relationship-oriented; they are more concerned with expressing their goodness, love, and caring. Two Martians go to lunch to discuss a project or business goal; they have a problem to solve. In addition, Martians view going to a restaurant as an efficient way to approach food: no shopping, no cooking, and no washing dishes. For Venusians, going to lunch is an opportunity to nurture a relationship, for both giving support to and receiving support from a friend. Women’s restaurant talk can be very open and intimate, almost like the dialogue that occurs between therapist and patient.
On Venus, everyone studies psychology and has at least a master’s degree in counseling. They are very involved in personal growth, spirituality, and everything that can nurture life, healing, and growth. Venus is covered with parks, organic gardens, shopping centers, and restaurants.
Venusians are very intuitive. They have developed this ability through centuries of anticipating the needs of others. They pride themselves in being considerate of the needs and feelings of others. A sign of great love is to offer help and assistance to another Venusian without being asked.
Because proving one’s competence is not as important to a Venusian, offering help is not offensive, and needing help is not a sign of weakness. A man, however, may feel offended because when a woman offers advice he doesn’t feel she mists his ability to do it himself.
A woman has no conception of this male sensitivity because for her it is another feather in her hat if someone offers to help her. It makes her feel loved and cherished. But offering help to a man can make him feel incompetent, weak, and even unloved.
On Venus, it is a sign of caring to give advice and suggestions. Venusians firmly believe that when something is working it can always work better. Their nature is to want to improve things. When they care about someone, they freely point out what can be improved and suggest how to do it. Offering advice and constructive criticism is an act of love.
Mars is very different. Martians are more solution-oriented. If something is working, their motto is “don’t change it”. Their instinct is to leave it alone if it is working. “Don’t fix it unless it is broken” is a common expression.
When a woman tries to improve a man, he feels she is trying to fix him. He receives the message that he is broken. She doesn’t realize her caring attempts to help him may humiliate him. She mistakenly thinks she is just helping him to grow.
This post contains the content of book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray below is the link of complete book mens-from-mars-and-women-from-venus