Men, Women and Relationships: Making Peace with the Opposite Sex

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John Gray, New York Times bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, reveals that the key to creating and maintaining successful relationships between men and women lies in accepting our differences. By trying to make our partners over in our own likeness, Gray reminds us we destroy what we first found so appealing.

Writing with the compassionate understanding that is his trademark, Gray draws on his wealth of experience from twenty years of work in couples ...

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Overview

John Gray, New York Times bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, reveals that the key to creating and maintaining successful relationships between men and women lies in accepting our differences. By trying to make our partners over in our own likeness, Gray reminds us we destroy what we first found so appealing.

Writing with the compassionate understanding that is his trademark, Gray draws on his wealth of experience from twenty years of work in couples therapy, his two mega-selling books, as well as his hugely popular national workshops and seminars. In Men, Women, and Relationships, he ably demonstrates that only through respecting, appreciating, and responding to our natural differences can we achieve real happiness and fulfillment in our relationships.

Discover the simple, practical techniques that can enable all of us to experience the healthy, supportive love we deserve.

Author Biography:
John Gray, Ph.D., is the author of Mars and Venus on a Date, a follow-up to his phenomenal bestselling book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, which has sold more than 6 million copies in the United States and millions more in 40 languages around the world. Gray is also the author of the bestselling Mars and Venus in the Bedroom, Mars and Venus Together Forever, Men, Women and Relationships, What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know, the recently published Mars and Venus in Love, and the star of a new CD-ROM version of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.

An internationally regarded expert in the field of communication, relationships andpersonal growth, Dr. Gray's focus is assisting men and women in understanding, respecting and appreciating their differences. Over the past quarter century he has conducted public and private seminars with a total of more than a million participants. In his highly acclaimed books and in his popular weekend seminar, "Men, Women and Relationships," Gray entertains and inspires his audiences with practical insights and easy-to-use techniques that they can apply to enrich their relationships immediately.

Gray is happily married to Bonnie Gray and has three daughters — Laren, Julie and Shannon. He not only understands first-hand the principles of successful marriage, he's also experienced the serious problems that can trouble any union, having previously married and divorced.

Gray lived as a monk for nine years, which helped him to learn about solitude and serenity. He studied for many years with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and received both his B.A. and his M.A. in Creative Intelligence from Maharishi European Research University. In 1982 received his doctorate in psychology and human sexuality from Columbia Pacific University.

John Gray is a popular speaker on the national lecture circuit and makes frequent appearances on television and radio programs to discuss his work. Gray has been interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Donahue, Good Morning America, Eye to Eye With Connie Chung, CNBC and CNN, as well as on countless local television and radio programs across the country. He has been profiled in USA Today and People magazine, and is regularly quoted in Cosmopolitan , Glamour and other popular magazines.

This is the ultimate guide to enriching relationships, offering new and innovative ways to create more love and support in one's life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Men and women are alien species, writes relationship guru Gray in this 1993 forerunner to his bestselling Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus series, now in paperback. Women are emotional, subjective, relationship-oriented and like to talk about feelings, while men are rational, objective, work-oriented and like to withdraw into their "cave" and watch TV. The mutual incomprehension of the sexes leads to friction and conflicted relationships in which women feel neglected and unloved and men feel nagged and smothered. Rather than denying or suppressing their differences, Gray argues, men and women must acknowledge their masculine and feminine essences and learn to understand, tolerate and value the characteristics of the opposite sex. Men must learn to listen sympathetically ("make reassuring responses like 'hmm,' 'uh-huh,' or 'tell me more,'") while women must learn to give men space. Gray often pushes the essentialism too far ("Illness and disease are manifestations of the dark side of our female self") and treads lightly around issues of sexism. But many readers will see elements of truth in these behavioral stereotypes, and Gray has a perfect pitch for the ways in which misunderstandings can escalate into shouting matches and deep-seated marital bitterness. His is a hopeful message that troubled relationships stem from a simple failure to communicate, but it skirts the possibility that there might be deeper sources of conflict between men and women. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061010705
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

John  Gray, Ph.D.

John Gray, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading relationship experts, and an authority on improving communication styles for couples, companies, and communities. His many books have sold more than fifty million copies in fifty different languages worldwide. John lives with his wife and children in northern California.

Biography

To those well versed in therapy-speak and the self-help world, the name John Gray can provoke some eye-rolling and sarcasm: Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We genders need to "learn" to "communicate."

What's remarkable is Gray's role in making this concept so well known. In 1992, when Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was published, the idea was anything but pedestrian. Indeed, Gray sparked both revolution and debate in the world of gender politics.

His case is simple: "Men mistakenly expect women to think, communicate, and react the way men do; women mistakenly expect men to feel, communicate, and respond the way women do. We have forgotten that men and women are supposed to be different. As a result our relationships are filled with unnecessary friction and conflict," he wrote in the first chapter of Men Are from Mars. Though the idea is not radical, the implication met with criticism from feminists who said that it tried to reinforce stereotypes; and with accolades from stricken couples who found that Gray did, in fact, help them communicate and understand each other better.

Though naysayers have called into question both Gray's message and his credentials, his appeal is undeniable. Word-of-mouth has proved strong enough to drive sales of Gray's book and its companions -- targeted at everyone from dating singles to coworkers -- into bestsellerdom, with the first title alone selling more than 15 million copies. He has also become a cottage industry of gender relations, with seminars, media appearances, and audio titles bolstering his books.

Gray's style tends to be simple and direct, with analogies along the lines of the title: "Men Are like Blowtorches, Women Are like Ovens" and "Men Pursue and Women Flirt" are typical chapter headers. For those mired in the tricky morass of dealing with the opposite sex, the author's no-nonsense approach is appealing.

In 1999, Gray departed from his relationships milieu to the broader palette of life fulfillment with the parenting guide Children Are from Heaven and How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have, a guide to achieving success while bolstering one's spiritual life via meditation and awareness of worldly challenges. It's a strong statement coming from someone who lived for several years as a monk, but Gray's strong suit with readers remains his relationship tomes. Since the original Mars/Venus title, he has created a franchise that now straddles the realms of love and personal success. His advice obviously rings true with millions of readers.

Good To Know

Gray lives with his wife and three children. He was formerly married to self-help author Barbara De Angelis; the two divorced in 1984.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was made into a musical stage comedy that opened in Las Vegas. It has also been translated into more than 40 languages.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., Maharishi European Research University; Ph.D., Columbia Pacific University, 1982
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Art of Loving an Alien Being



People Are Different


Recognizing this fundamental truth is essential for creating positive and loving relationships.

In practice, however, we do not fully acknowledge that people differ from us. Instead we are bent upon changing one another. We resent, resist, and reject each other's differences. We demand that the people in our lives feel, think, and behave as we would. And when they react differently we make them wrong or invalidate them; we try to fix them when they really need understanding and nurturing; we try to improve them when instead they need acceptance, appreciation, and trust.

We complain that if only they would change, we could love them; if only they would agree, we could love them; if only they would feel the way we do, we could love them; if only they would do what we ask, we could love them.

What, then, is love? Is love accepting and appreciating a person only when they fulfill our expectations? Is love the act of changing a person into what we want rather than what they choose to be? Is love caring for or trusting a person because they think and feel the way we do?

Certainly this is not love. It may feel like love to the giver but not to the receiver. Real love is unconditional. It does not demand but affirms and values. Unconditional love is not possible without the recogration and acceptance of our differences. As long as we mistakenly believe that our loved ones would be better off thinking, feeling, and behaving the way we do, true love is obstructed. Once we realize that not only are people different but they are supposed to be that way, theobstacles to real love begin to fall away.

How We Are Different


Once we accept that people are different we can begin to seriously explore how we are different. Ultimately all human beings are unique and it is impossible to categorize them. But by creating a greater awareness of our possible differences, these systems are immensely helpful.

The study of morphology divides people into three body types that are associated with three major psychological differences: action oriented, feeling oriented, and mind oriented.

Hypocrites, Adickes, Kretschmer, Spranger, Adler, and Jung classified our differences by four temperaments, generalized by some as "physical, feeling, thinking, and intuitive." The widely used MyersBriggs indicator expands these four into sixteen.

The ancient practice of astrology describes twelve psychological types. Sufi teachings recognize nine basic psychological types called the enneagram. Many contemporary personal growth and business seminars describe the following four types: supporter, promoter, controller, and analyzer. It is proposed that the individual potentially possesses all of these qualities, and with a greater awareness he or she can choose to develop and integrate them.

Some, however, oppose categorizing people since this may limit them or box them in. To say one person is analytical while another is emotional may give rise to judgment. This fear arises because experience tells us that when we are being judged as "less than another," it is because we are being categorized in some way; we are being seen as different. Hence, we fear being different.

From one perspective, judgments and prejudice are associated with differences. But at a deeper level we can clearly see that the original cause of these judgments is nonacceptance and nonappreciation of our differences.

For example, a person might be judged as "too emotional" by an "analytical person" with the mistaken expectation that all people should be like him. This belief makes him incapable of truly appreciating or respecting an emotional person. In a similar way, an "emotional" person might judge an analytical person as "too analytical," because the emotional person is not appreciating their differences.

Though the acknowledgment of differences can be perceived as a threat, it is not. Through accepting that people are different we are freed from the compulsion to change them. When we are not preoccupied with changing others, we are free to appreciate their unique values. Ultimately, the recognition of differences among people allows us to release our judgments.

Unity in Diversity


Accepting our psychological differences frees us to experience an underlying oneness that permeates our relationships. In an abstract way, we are all the same. In every spiritual teaching is an acknowledgment of that oneness. Deep within we feel a spiritual oneness with our fellow humans. When we read of children suffering from hunger, we feel in our hearts the pain we would feel if they were our own children.

Ultimately we are all motivated to break free from the chains that separate us and to realize our oneness. This opening of the heart is really an awareness that what is outside us is also inside us. The quest to open the heart takes a variety of forms: the path to enlightenment, the quest for God, the dream of happy marriage, finding one's soul mate, or creating a loving family. In each example, one is inexplicably drawn to something and someone else.

The seeker of enlightenment is drawn to a teacher because the teacher embodies something within the student that the seeker is to realize. Through loving and understanding the teacher or the teaching, the seeker is indirectly loving and accepting those very qualities within himself. Gradually the seeker finds what he seeks within his own being. In this way we are inevitably drawn to that which we need to awaken within ourselves.

A man separated from his female qualities becomes detached and cold. He seeks relief through union with a woman's softness and warmth. Their innate differences create an attraction or chemistry. As he blends his male energies with her female energies, he momentarily experiences the bliss of his own wholeness. Through touching the softness of her femininity with love, he becomes soft and gentle, yet maintains his masculine strength and drive.

We may seek to find yet a deeper union with our soul mate, a special person with whom to share our lives, as if ordained by the heavens...

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

The Art of Loving an Alien Being

People Are Different

Recognizing this fundamental truth is essential for creating positive and loving relationships.

In practice, however, we do not fully acknowledge that people differ from us. Instead we are bent upon changing one another. We resent, resist, and reject each other's differences. We demand that the people in our lives feel, think, and behave as we would. And when they react differently we make them wrong or invalidate them; we try to fix them when they really need understanding and nurturing; we try to improve them when instead they need acceptance, appreciation, and trust.

We complain that if only they would change, we could love them; if only they would agree, we could love them; if only they would feel the way we do, we could love them; if only they would do what we ask, we could love them.

What, then, is love? Is love accepting and appreciating a person only when they fulfill our expectations? Is love the act of changing a person into what we want rather than what they choose to be? Is love caring for or trusting a person because they think and feel the way we do?

Certainly this is not love. It may feel like love to the giver but not to the receiver. Real love is unconditional. It does not demand but affirms and values. Unconditional love is not possible without the recognition and acceptance of our differences. As long as we mistakenly believe that our loved ones would be better off thinking, feeling, and behaving the way we do, true love is obstructed. Once we realize that not only are people different but they are supposed to be that way, theobstacles to real love begin to fall away.

How We Are Different


Once we accept that people are different we can begin to seriously explore how we are different. Ultimately all human beings are unique and it is impossible to categorize them. But by creating a greater awareness of our possible differences, these systems are immensely helpful.

The study of morphology divides people into three body types that are associated with three major psychological differences: action oriented, feeling oriented, and mind oriented.

Hypocrites, Adickes, Kretschmer, Spranger, Adler, and Jung classified our differences by four temperaments, generalized by some as "physical, feeling, thinking, and intuitive." The widely used Myers-Briggs indicator expands these four into sixteen.

The ancient practice of astrology describes twelvepsychological types. Sufi teachings recognize nine basic psychological types called the enneagram. Many contemporary personal growth and business seminars describe the following four types: supporter, promoter, controller, and analyzer. It is proposed that the individual potentially possesses all of these qualities, and with a greater awareness he or she can choose to develop and integrate them.

Some, however, oppose categorizing people since this may limit them or box them in. To say one person is analytical while another is emotional may give rise to judgment. This fear arises because experience tells us that when we are being judged as "less than another," it is because we are being categorized in some way; we are being seen as different. Hence, we fear being different.

From one perspective, judgments and prejudice are associated with differences. But at a deeper level we can clearly see that the original cause of these judgments is nonacceptance and nonappreciation of our differences.

For example, a person might be judged as "too emotional" by an "analytical person" with the mistaken expectation that all people should be like him. This belief makes him incapable of truly appreciating or respecting an emotional person. In a similar way, an "emotional" person might judge an analytical person as "too analytical," because the emotional person is not appreciating their differences.

Though the acknowledgment of differences can be perceived as a threat, it is not. Through accepting that people are different we are freed from the compulsion to change them. When we are not preoccupied with changing others, we are free to appreciate their unique values. Ultimately, the recognition of differences among people allows us to release our judgments.

Unity in Diversity


Accepting our psychological differences frees us to experience an underlying oneness that permeates our relationships. In an abstract way, we are all the same. In every spiritual teaching is an acknowledgment of that oneness. Deep within we feel a spiritual oneness with our fellow humans. When we read of children suffering from hunger, we feel in our hearts the pain we would feel if they were our own children.

Ultimately we are all motivated to break free from the chains that separate us and to realize our oneness. This opening of the heart is really an awareness that what is outside us is also inside us. The quest to open the heart takes a variety of forms: the path to enlightenment, the quest for God, the dream of happy marriage, finding one's soul mate, or creating a loving family. In each example, one is inexplicably drawn to something and someone else.

The seeker of enlightenment is drawn to a teacher because the teacher embodies something within the student that the seeker is to realize. Through loving and understanding the teacher or the teaching, the seeker is indirectly loving and accepting those very qualities within himself. Gradually the seeker finds what he seeks within his own being. In this way we are inevitably drawn to that which we need to awaken within ourselves.

A man separated from his female qualities becomes detached and cold. He seeks relief through union with a woman's softness and warmth. Their innate differences create an attraction or chemistry. As he blends his male energies with her female energies, he momentarily experiences the bliss of his own wholeness. Through touching the softness of her femininity with love, he becomes soft and gentle, yet maintains his masculine strength and drive.

We may seek to find yet a deeper union with our soul mate, a special person with whom to share our lives, as if ordained by the heavens. We are drawn to this person not because they are similar to us but because they are different ...

Men, Women and Relationships. Copyright © by John Gray. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2001

    I'm a woman with a divided thought system

    I don't know where John Gray gets his 'research' from but excuse me I am a woman with a divided thought system.I don't revolve my life around relationships and hanging on for that call as though my life depends upon it,,infact I CALL the man because I'm not at all concerned about what happens afterwards. I guess you could call that self confidence and a strong sense of self.Women wouldn't get their feelings so hurt if more of them grew up with a stronger sense of self and were able to TAKE IT EASY..John Gray's books are generalistic and sexist and reinforce behavior which should be reprogrammed into more sufficient logical behaviors which stand on a strong foundation of self.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2000

    men and women,not the same interest in relationships

    I used to feel neglected by the men I dated, because they did not seem as interested in the relationship as I was.It hurt me because at that time,I didn't understand the way men have thoughts and needs in compartments,they have a more divided thought system and there fore,more fragmented lives,and cannot relate to the way a woman revolves all thought and thinking about relational needs. Now I know this difference and can feel safe with a man,knowing that he just literally thinks differently from me,because of his compartimentalized thinking.It's innate and in the brain structures of most males and females to respond differently to relational needs. Men love to think,women love to communicate, and this is where much of the misunderstanding comes from.John Gray explains it and clears the air.

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