The book this week was one that I had thought about many times to read but didn’t get the opportunity, as I mentioned in my previous post that this book is so famous that you might have either read this book or would have heard about it. It’s an international best seller.
The book this week was: “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray.
As I mentioned in the earlier post that this book has been many a times referred to as “The Relationship Bible”.
The book begins well with author mentioning the incident which changed his outlook towards opposite sex and created a deep understanding from that point onward and he went on to pass this understanding to thousands of couples who were having relationship troubles.
Overall I felt the book to be an average read. I had high expectations from it (because of it being a bestseller and people referring to it and all) but it turned out to be an ordinary read and in the last few chapters a pretty boring read. The one quintessential change that the book requires is its length. It’s 3oo pages book however I thought that throughout the book things have been repeated many times and all the author wanted to say could have easily fitted in 150 odd pages.
One best thing (probably the only thing) one can easily take away from this book is its title. In my view the title is good enough and if one understands the title itself reading the book is not a necessity. The author explains and stresses that Men and Women are essentially from different planets and do not share the same values, feelings, likes and dislikes and whenever we are dealing with opposite sex we should realize that and act accordingly.
What could be showing affection to a female might be understood as controlling by the men, men needs their private space and women misconstrue it to they being rude and detached, women expecting men to listen and men instead suggesting solutions to the problems (which is the last thing they need), so and so forth.
There are some good examples and good situations that author cites to clear up his point that Men and Women are different. And then goes on to explain the dos and don’ts in the relationship.
At many points I found the book to be overly patronizing and preaching and sometimes there are so many examples to make you understand one simple point that at times you might blurt out “I got it Mr. Gray, let’s move on”.
Initial few chapters like “Men are like rubber-bands”, “Men go to their caves and women talk”, “How to motivate opposite sex” are decent but the last few chapters I felt are unnecessary with the same information getting repeated every now and then.
I found “Writing love letter” chapter to be most annoying, there are so many unnecessary examples and statements that you get so bored. I almost skipped 40-50 pages in last few chapters as I wasn’t able to bear reading it any further.
I almost never like Self-help books and this one too makes it to that list. Had the author just stopped at “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” this book could have succeeded for me but he goes on to elaborate how they can transform themselves to stay on planet Earth and there he lost it.
At one point he mentions that applying these techniques might feel that you are manipulating and that is exactly I think of most of the Self-Help books that they try to teach you how to manipulate which will never work.
If you are back from your office tired and your wife starts arguing about some thing, at that point you don’t remember that Mr. Gray said that understand the opposite sex and walk away for sometime, give time to cool off. At that time you just burst out and you might end up having a fight and that is alright.
You can’t change your inherent qualities and should not just start practicing something because the book says so. Either one has to compromise at sometime, it’s a give and take in a relationship. However I do agree that understanding that the other person is from a different planet (not literally) might help. It might just change your responses automatically without having to refer a book for that.