Men Go to Their Caves and Women Talk
One of the biggest differences between men and women is how they cope with stress. Men become increasingly focused and withdrawn while women become increasingly overwhelmed and emotionally involved. At these times, a man's needs for feeling good are different from a woman's He feels better by solving problems while she feels better by talking about problems. Not understanding and accepting these differences creates unnecessary friction in our relationships. Let's look at a common example. When Tom comes home, he wants to relax and unwind by quietly reading the news. He is stressed by the unsolved problems of his day and finds relief through forgetting them. His wife, Mary, also wants to relax from her stressful day. She, however, wants to find relief by talking about the problems of her day. The tension slowly building between them gradually becomes resentment. Tom secretly thinks Mary talks too much, while Mary feels ignored. Without understanding their differences they will grow further apart. You probably can recognize this situation because it is just one of many examples where men and women are at odds. This problem is not just Tom and Mary's but is present in almost every relationship. Solving this problem for Tom and Mary depends not on how much they loved each other but on how much they understood the opposite sex. Without knowing that women really do need to talk about problems to feel better, Tom would continue to think Mary talked too much and resist listening to her. Without knowing that Tom was reading the news to feel better, Mary would feel ignored and neglected. She would persist in trying to get him to talk when he didn't want to. These two differences can be resolved by first understanding in greater detail how men and women cope with stress. Let's again observe life on Mars and Venus and glean some insights about men and women.
COPING WITH STRESS ON MARS AND VENUS
When a Martian gets upset he never talks about what is bothering him* He would never burden another Martian with his problem unless his friend's assistance was necessary to solve the problem. Instead he becomes very quiet and goes to his private cave to think about his problem, mulling it over to find a solution. When he has found a solution, he feels much better and comes out of his cave. If he can't find a solution then he does something to forget his problems, like reading the news or playing a game. By disengaging his mind from the problems of his day, gradually he can relax. If his stress is really great it takes getting involved with something even more challenging, like racing his car, competing in a contest, or climbing a mountain.
When a Venusian becomes upset or is stressed by her day, to find relief, she seeks out someone she trusts and then talks in great detail about the problems of her day. When Venusians share feelings of being overwhelmed, they suddenly feel better. This is the Venusian way. On Venus sharing your problems with another actually is considered a sign of love and trust and not a burden. Venusians are not ashamed of having problems. Their egos are dependent not on looking "competent" but rather on being in loving relationships. They openly share feelings of being overwhelmed, confused, hopeless, and exhausted. A Venusian feels good about herself when she has loving friends with whom to share her feelings and problems. A Martian feels good when he can solve his problems on his own in his cave. These secrets of feeling good are still applicable today.