Men, Women and Relationships: Making Peace with the Opposite Sexby John Gray
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.
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.
- MJF Books
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Read an Excerpt
The Art of Loving an Alien Being
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.
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.
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...
Meet the Author
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.
- San Francisco, California
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Houston, Texas
- B.A., M.A., Maharishi European Research University; Ph.D., Columbia Pacific University, 1982
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This was the first John Gray book I purchased, and I am SO thankful that I did. I've always been very interested in the psychology behind the differences of male and female actions. I bought this book at a time when my boyfriend of three years and I were going through a very rocky time. After reading the first chapter, I was hooked and couldn't put the book down. It made a significant improvement on the way I was able to relate and understand my boyfriend. As of now, our relationship is growing stronger every day. I'm very doubtful we would have lasted if it hadn't been from the concepts I learned from this book, and our open mindness to apply them to our relationship. I recommend this book to everyone I see. It will not only give you an insight to the mind of the special person in your life, but of everyone around you. I'm on a quest to read everything John Gray has ever written, I just hope he doesn't stop!