Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

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Notes from the book: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by Dr John Gray.Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Great book that should be read by all couples or anyone in a relationship  – hmm, actually – it should be read by everyone, it will help with your work-life, social-life, and any dealings with the opposite sex. And it should especially be read by those who like to give ‘relationship advice’ to their friends when they are not in one themselves.

Men and Women think differently and this book has so much insight into the difference between the genders that it gives both males and females a much better understanding of why the other does what they do, and then gives you tips on how you can handle certain situations to be win-win.

Here are just some notes from the book – but even the notes could go over many more posts – there is that much information packed in this book that you should race out and get yourself a copy and read it and take your own notes.


Why Men Lie and Women Cry

There is another book that would make a great companion to this one called ‘Why Men Lie and Women Cry’ by Allan & Barbara Pease that I highly recommend and that I’ll try and take some notes on as soon as I can (the book is packed away right now since I’m in transition of moving).

Highly recommend reading both of them, here are just a few things to ponder and learn from John Gray’s book:



  1. Men love to have their abilities recognized and appreciated.
  2. When faced with tough problems, men become non-communicative so they can work out how best to help themselves.
  3. Men like to get to the point in a conversation and are not interested in listening if there is no point.
  4. A man’s instinct is to look after himself, even if it means sacrificing others.
  5. When a man is troubled, he does not want his partner to express concern for him.
  6. Wants to be told that the problem is easily within his abilities to rectify.
  7. Men feel validated and gratified when they are left to sort things out by themselves.
  8. Men feel undermined if offered sympathy or unsolicited assistance.
  9. Men bolt for cover when they suddenly fear that their self-sufficiency is becoming threatened.


  1. Women love to have their feelings recognized & appreciated.
  2. When faced with tough problems, women become communicative so that others can work out how best to help them.
  3. Happy to talk for talking’s sake, happy to listen unconditionally.
  4. A woman’s instinct is to look after others, even if it means sacrificing herself.
  5. When a woman is troubled, she wants her partner to express concern for her.
  6. Does not want to be told that the problem is ‘simple’ to solve.
  7. Women feel validated and gratified by being offered sympathy or unsolicited assistance.
  8. Women feel undermined when they are left to sort things out by themselves.
  9. Women sink into a depression when they feel it is time for emotional cleansing and resolution.


A man has to learn how to care for his partner rather than sacrificing her needs in favour of his own, and a woman has to learn how to be cared for by her partner rather than sacrificing her own needs in favour of his, so that the needs of both are met.
A man has to express his desire to fulfill her needs and her worthiness to receive his care, and a woman has to express her desire for his care and his worthiness to fulfill her needs. Both must remember to appreciate, accept, and forgive the other, and avoid blaming them when they fail.
Men demand the right to be free from time to time; women demand the right to be heard from time to time. When a man feels free he finds it easier to support a woman’s need to be heard; when a woman feels heard she finds it easier to support a man’s need to be free. 
At times when women sink into themselves, they can assist their partners not to be overly concerned or take it personally by providing some brief reassurance that it is not their partners’ fault. Men should resist the temptation to try to lift their partners back up prematurely or criticize them over this natural behaviour.
At times when men retreat, they can assist their partners not to be overly concerned or take it personally by providing some brief reassurance that they will return in due course. Women should resist the temptation to try to drag their partners back prematurely or criticize them over this natural behaviour. 



  1. Deep inside every man is a ‘knight in shining armour’ seeking a ‘damsel in distress’ who will love him & shower him with trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval & encouragement.
  2. Arguments thrive on men failing to pay sufficient attention to women’s feelings.
  3. Men feel loved if their efforts at giving are appreciated.
  4. Men only give when they feel that their efforts will be fairly appreciated and rewarded.
  5. Men value results.
  6. Men will frequently suspend giving if he feels he is not receiving enough reward back.
  7. Men often obsessively seek success.
  8. Men may use anger, ego, or oblivion (escape/work/man cave) to avoid vulnerable feelings of pain or fear.
  9. Men value solutions, & view unsolicited assistance as undermining their effort to solve problems alone.
  10. Men desire that their solutions will be appreciated. Men love to do things which are appreciated & hate to do things which are demanded.
  11. Men talk in very literal terms for the purpose of relaying information.
  12. When men make mistakes they become frustrated & angry and are best left alone until they calm down.
  13. Men consider apologies to be admissions of guilt.


  1. Deep inside every woman is a ‘damsel in distress’ seeking a ‘knight in shining armour’ who will love her & shower her with caring, understanding, respect, devotion, validation, and reassurance.
  2. Arguments thrive on women being critically disapproving of men.
  3. Women feel loved according to what they receive (they expect their needs to be anticipated ahead of time).
  4. Women give unconditionally & pro-actively seek ways to help others.
  5. Women value the thought. i.e.”it’s the thought that counts”
  6. Women will continue to give unconditionally even though she feels she is giving more & will start to feel unloved, unappreciated & resentful.
  7. Women obsessively seek perfection.
  8. Women may lapse into depression or confusion to avoid having aggressive feelings of anger.
  9. Women value assistance & view unsolicited solutions as undermining their effort to proceed interactively.
  10. Women desire that their assistance will be appreciated.
  11. Women employ artistic licence and dramatic vocabulary to fully express and relate their feelings.
  12. Women often just pretend that a disagreement has been forgotten (but will never forget) & generally prefer to evade arguments instead of engaging in them.
  13. Women view apologies as expressions of compassion.


Men must listen attentively to women to understand their needs, avoiding getting angry or defensive; women must have faith in men’s abilities and best efforts to fulfill their needs, avoiding trying to change or control them.
Communication between relationship partners should be loving and respectful; verbal attacks by contrast are highly destructive.

It is often not so much what is said that causes the damage, but the tone of voice and body language which accompanies it. 
To stop communication degenerating into arguments, men should strive to listen without getting defensive, and women should try to express their feelings without criticizing their partners.
Men should try to identify various little ways to give to their partners without waiting to be asked first, and should avoid the mistake of assuming their partners to be happy giving and not asking for anything back.
Women should be careful not to give a false impression to their partners of being happy when they are not, and if they begin to feel resentful they should gently reduce their giving, learn to ask for things back, and be sure to keep expressing lots of appreciation of their partners’ efforts so as to encourage them to give more.
Men should try to listen lovingly and respectfully to women’s feelings, women should try to express their feelings in a loving and respectful manner. If men give, and women appreciate, both end up feeling happy.
Unresolved negative feelings can cause us to act in ways we really don’t want to, or become manifest in all kinds of compulsive or addictive behaviorism. Avoiding our negative feelings doesn’t make them go away, but compassionately embracing them can heal them and enable us to start loving again.


Constructive communication works best if it presents the full picture, so that the root of the problem is revealed rather than just the symptoms.

  • Writing our feelings down is excellent for expressing our negative emotions (anger, pain, fear, and regret) in a controlled manner, rather than letting them explode at our partners in the heat of the moment.It is important to communicate such feelings in a loving atmosphere because we may need to feel securely loved while communicating such intimate and revealing feelings, and our partners may need the same if some of those feelings will be painful to hear, or could be taken personally.


  • Criticizing him or giving excessive instructions will make him feel more like a slave than a loved and trusted partner. Men love to prove their worth through the things they do, but they generally wait to be asked, and take a long time to learn to offer their services unsolicited. Women should therefore control their expectations of men being able to anticipate their needs, ask for help without making it sound like a demand because they resent the need to do so, and appreciate the help they receive even though it needed to be requested first.


  • Women should avoid requesting help from a man in a way which either doesn’t sound like a clear request, or carries implicit criticism that he should have already done it. Questions which begin with the words ‘Could you’ or ‘Can you’ are often interpreted by men as questioning their abilities, and they therefore respond more positively to the same questions if they begin instead with ‘Would you’ or ‘Will you’. The difference may seem tiny, but it can feel as different as the man saying ‘No I can’t’ or ‘No I won’t’ in response to the request.


Gray, John. “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” 1992

Related Links:

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Penny (
Penny (

Truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper, ever trying to 'figure it out'. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, & random points of interests.