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John Gray on His Book, 'Why Mars and Venus Collide'

The author of 'Men are from Mars, Women from Venus' explains how men and women manage stress differently and what they can do for stress relief.
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What motivates a man is to feel like he did this project for her, so she could do what she really likes to do.

Q. What are some ways women can manage their own stress?

A. There are three stress-reducers for women. The general one is to do the things they love to do. The context of my book is to give women permission to support themselves first, knowing that that's even a greater gift to their partner.

Next, what a woman can do to get a man's support is to ask for a date [with this] simple request: "Honey, would you get tickets to this play? Would you pick a movie -- here are three I was thinking. Would you make dinner for me?" That's the romantic factor.

Two, ask for conversation. You can't have any intention of solving a problem with this conversation, but you say, "I'm so glad you're here. I just want to download my day to somebody, and it feels so good when I can do it with you." You have to be very clear. This is FYIO ("for your information only.") You say to him, "You don't have to say anything or do anything. Just look in my direction. I'll do it for 5 or 10 minutes and I promise you, it will really help. It will make me let go of my day."

The first time will seem really awkward, but [afterward] you need to say, "Wow, that really helped. Thanks for listening." Then walk into the other room, which eliminates the temptation for you to talk and the pressure for him to comment. That gives him an experience of just listening. And if he starts to say something, you say, "No, no, no, no! You don't have to say anything. You don't have to fix it."

The third thing is, once [a woman has] been doing all this, to [then] start asking him to do things for you in the domestic arena. Would you run this errand for me? [Ask him for] little projects that are more than what he normally does. But only when your stress levels are lower.

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