If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men


This in-depth look into the seven attributes that can be used to help decode and interpret male behavior and explains the underpinnings of their outer behavioral patterns is presented. It also includes practical insights and useful tips on how women and men can learn how to talk, and to change men's non-verbal, action-oriented communications into the language of emotional dialogue.

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If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men

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This in-depth look into the seven attributes that can be used to help decode and interpret male behavior and explains the underpinnings of their outer behavioral patterns is presented. It also includes practical insights and useful tips on how women and men can learn how to talk, and to change men's non-verbal, action-oriented communications into the language of emotional dialogue.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward Hallowell
I...a wonderfully insightful look into the hearts and minds of men. It offers women useful advice...An excellent, memorable, useful book.
Steve Friedman
Gratch... skillfully explores the roots of men's most painful feelings... a wise... compelling... different book. —ELLE Magazine
Mardia Stone
exciting...entertaining...provocative, will help you find more gratifying, long-lasting romantic relationships. —African Sun Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Women drawn to this book by its promise to unlock men's secrets will find that following Gratch's premise requires more effort and sophistication than following the work of John Gray. Though this book holds insights into the male psyche and into the therapeutic process itself, readers looking for a quick fix or easy characterizations will be disappointed. Despite the clever title, Gratch serves up fairly serious theory flavored with dollops of Russian literature and only brief suggestions on dealing with men's behavior. Rather than suggest manipulative tactics, he urges women to hone their emotional understanding, in one case advising women to be like a "detective" in probing for emotions. Observing that "the cornerstone of man's gender identity is his feminine, not masculine, desires," this Westchester, N.Y., clinical psychologist surveys men's motivations using popular catchphrases: "boys don't cry" (shame); "I don't know what I feel" (emotional absence); "tired of being on top" (insecurity); "see me, touch me" (self-involvement); "I'll show you who's boss" (aggression); "I'm such a loser" (self-destruction); "I want sex now" (sexual acting out). In alternately familiar and intriguing composite patient profiles, Gratch illustrates each behavior, documenting his reactions to being challenged and engaged by--and at times almost jousting with--patients. (Feb. 20) Forecast: While Gratch aims for a dual readership, his catchy title and topic are designed to attract media attention and a stampede of women buyers. However, he may have pitched this one too high for a mass audience. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Gratch, a clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience (Columbia Univ. and Columbia Presbyterian Hosp.), has taken a distinctly psychoanalytical view of why men do what they do. He posits seven attributes in an attempt to explain male behavior: shame, emotional absence, self-involvement, masculine insecurity, aggression, self-destructiveness, and sexual acting-out. The author blames a lot of these issues on men trying--but not being fully able--to hide the feminine part of their psyches. He also blames a lot of gender conflict on men reacting negatively to women being too "womanly": because they don't like the feminine aspects of their own psyches, they feel called upon to revile these aspects in others. This tendentious work is a marginal purchase for most libraries; buy where Sigmund Freud is still "the man" and patrons believe that a cigar is never a cigar.--Pamela A. Matthews, Gettysburg Coll., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316178686
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 11/7/2006
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Men Are Difficult
...Let Me Count the Ways
Men are difficult. On the surface, they often seem distant and elusive. Or loud and obnoxious. And when you try to get to know them, it often gets worse - they can become defensive and impenetrable. Indeed, unlike women, who are generally open with their feelings, most men find it extremely difficult to open up to others. But when they finally do, they invariably reveal a dramatic, bold, and amazingly vulnerable inner self. This hidden self, and the challenges it presents for the occasional visitor, is the subject of this book. As I explore the inner world of men, we will come upon multiple sightings of the central paradox on which masculinity rests: the cornerstone of man's gender identity is his feminine, not his masculine, desires.
It's Not about Sex after All
The idea of writing a book about men occurred to me first several years ago when I noticed that my practice was different from that of many other therapists. At that time, in teaching, supervising, or comparing notes with colleagues, I developed a vague sense that my patients were a rather spirited, colorful bunch and that their problems and inner lives were more dramatic, perhaps even audacious. One obvious difference was that sooner or later my patients would provide detailed and elaborate accounts of richly provocative sexual fantasies. In addition, they would often criticize my shoes, tease me about my ties, analyze my own comments and motives, ask about my favorite color, try to catch me in a lie, and playfully accuse me of manipulating or experimenting with them. They were also openly loving and appreciative.
The Seven Male Attributes
The first two male attributes which I explore in this book explain why it's so hard for men to talk about their feelings. These elements are discussed first because they are used by men as psychological defenses to guard against the emotional pain associated with the other five elements. Our path will thus simulate the progression of a therapeutic relationship, or of any close relationship: from the outside to the inside, from appearance to substance, from guarded inhibitions to comfortable expositions.
A Family of Men
As I have said before, the concepts presented in this book are consistent with current theory and research in the field of clinical psychology. At the same time, I do not believe that it is possible to be fully objective in describing or analyzing human behavior: one's own subjective psychology is always in the way. Indeed, in their book Faces in a Cloud: Intersubjectivity in Personality Theory, Stolorow and Atwood show how the psychological theories of such great thinkers as Freud, Jung, Rogers, and Winnicott reflect their own life experiences and psychological makeup.
for both competition and cooperation.
(c) 2001 by Alon Gratch
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Table of Contents

Men Are Difficult ...let me count the ways 3
Shame ...boys don't cry 29
Emotional Absence ...I don't know what I feel 59
Masculine Insecurity ...I'm tired of being on top 95
Self-Involvement ...see me, hear me, touch me, feel me 132
Aggression ...I'll show you who's boss 175
Self-Destructiveness ...I'm such a loser 216
Sexual Acting-Out ...I want sex now 251
Bibliography 303
Index 306
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    One of the best books in men psychology

    The author analyzes his own cases and gives an idea of the hidden conflicts of his male patients(and sometimes those of their partners) subtly conveying a message to readers,specially female readers, on the gift of understanding and communicating effectively with men.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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