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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.


Q. Does this mean that listening is always going to be a problem for men?

A. It's the passive behavior. If I'm talking to you and we're solving a problem, I can look right at you very easily. My action cortex is being activated, which also stimulates dopamine production. But if I'm not actively doing something, my eyes will start wanting to look around. They're looking for action.

Q. What about encouraging romance?

A. Inertia sets into marriage and long-term dating relationships. The man will stop planning dates. Instead, he'll wait until Friday or Saturday night, and he'll ask his wife what she wants to do. He thinks he's being the most wonderful, loving partner he can imagine. Because in a man's mind, if she said, "What would you like to do?" and she said, "Whatever you want?" that would be great. That's what he would want, but what women are looking for is a man with a plan. She needs to know that someone is attending to her needs and taking action for her, so that's one less thing she has to do for herself.

Men don't understand that because men do whatever they want, basically. Particularly after a hard day at work [where] they've sacrificed and yielded their wishes all day long to make money for their family, now they're ready to come home and do what they want. He knows that earning money is a fire that he has to put out. But he does not realize that he has to be romantic. He doesn't understand that that is a necessity, as a major oxytocin-producing activity. And women don't want to ask for it, because they say that's not romantic. That's a hurdle that women have to overcome.

Reviewed on February 04, 2008

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