If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men

If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men

by Alon Gratch PhD
If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men

If Men Could Talk: Unlocking the Secret Language of Men

by Alon Gratch PhD


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316178686
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/06/2002
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (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

Table of Contents

Men Are Difficult ...let me count the ways3
Shame ...boys don't cry29
Emotional Absence ...I don't know what I feel59
Masculine Insecurity ...I'm tired of being on top95
Self-Involvement ...see me, hear me, touch me, feel me132
Aggression ...I'll show you who's boss175
Self-Destructiveness ...I'm such a loser216
Sexual Acting-Out ...I want sex now251

What People are Saying About This

Dr. Olga Silverstein

Gratch is clearly not only a good clinician but a literate and interesting man...
— (Dr. Olga Silverstein, author of The Courage to Raise Good Men)

Edward Hallowell

A wonderfully insightful look into the hearts and minds of men... An excellent, memorable, useful book.
— Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Connect and Human Moments

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