Recently, a friend gifted me a copy of three chapters, well-used and stapled together, of the classic relationship advice book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Published by counselor John Gray in 1992, these yellowed pages had a surprising amount of helpful wisdom.
The main takeaway, which is not rocket science or anything—though I appreciated the clear and simple way he explains the differences between men and women and the way we communicate, express ourselves and deal with difficulty—is that men go into caves, while women are like waves.
Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed. Women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished.
When men are struggling with a problem, feeling upset or angry, they often “go into a cave”, get silent and need space and time to process alone. Women, from the other planet, go through cycles or waves—going up, feeling good, fulfilled, motivated and loved, and then doing down into the trough, crashing down into emotional overwhelm, worry, frustration or confusion.
Like I said, it’s not a revelation. These are simple metaphors, and they make sense. The more you know…. Now I can let my partner go into his cave when he needs to and not try to elicit conversation from him until he has emerged. I will watch my own wave and be more aware of my tendencies to go to extreme highs and lows, seeking greater balance and moderation in my daily life. Hey, maybe I should read the whole book!