Healing From Within – 21st Century Male/Female Communication
Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Dr. John Gray
In ‘Healing From Within’ Sheryl Glick, your host and author of The Living Spirit, a tale of awakening through self investigation and self mastery of emotions, spiritual communication, miracles, and a guide to inner soul growth welcomes Dr. John Gray, author of his new book, Beyond Mars and Venus 21st Gender Communication, a 21st century update on the changes in
gender roles and why in the end men are still men and women are still women. As in each episode Sheryl’s guests share intimate experiences, successes, failures, and a continuing search into the mysteries of relationships. In the process we often discover we are much more than our physical life and have many spiritual gifts that may bring us great happiness, prosperity and a way to improve ourselves, relationships and the world.
Dr. John Gray, who is a well known relationship expert will share with us how couples may communicate and even learn to speak each other’s language. We will discuss the changes in gender roles and how to respect and honor our uniqueness as both men and women and as energy souls. In his new book you learn what it means to be a man or woman in these modern challenging
times and how to move past the traditional gender roles to embrace your authentic self which in turn improves your interactions with partners.
John thinks back to his original best seller Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus, a relationship book with millions of copies in print in 100 countries and 45 languages and to many of his own life experiences from childhood on up to his adult life in order to share important ways to look at life, people, events, challenges and joys to find a common denominator for communicating truth and heartfelt emotions. He writes, ‘Everyone hits bumps in the road. Some can feel like black holes that are impossible to escape and have swallowed everything. But each loss should be viewed as a lesson that can teach us how to improve ourselves and progress to a better future. Sometimes, we just need to be given a little direction and the right tools to learn from those hard lessons.’
Dr. Gray wrote Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus many years ago only after experiencing the tremendous heartbreak of a failed relationship and then feeling the immense joy of finding the true love of his life, a soul mate, Bonnie. He was able to learn from past mistakes, dispel past assumptions and create a better understanding of the love he could give, and the love he wanted to receive in all his relationships. In coming to know and discuss the obvious physical differences he found other primary
differences between men and women. Through recognizing, appreciating and respecting these differences we come to know better communication without emotion, without reacting negatively, but acting proactively in our daily exchanges, can lead to a healthier bond between partners and even greater health for each person.
Sheryl shares with John her own study of the strengths and weaknesses of both genders and the need for everyone to fully understand these differences and also to understand the similarities of basic human needs men and women share. In Sheryl’s book The Living Spirit, she addressed the differences between men and women and learned there are better ways to
understand male/female feelings and reactions that are advantageous for improving all forms of communication. Sheryl wrote, ‘Over the years, many of my clients have expressed sadness about their inability to manifest and maintain loving intimate relationships – there are skills and a certain amount of awareness that must be developed in order to draw the right connections to you- the Divine Source encompasses both the masculine and the feminine, hence the terms Father God and Mother Earth.’
Men and women are the human manifestation of these male and female energies. But while it is true that we are all aspects of Source, it is also true that men and women exhibit different energy, interests, hormonal structures needs and obligations. In addition each of us has both male and female energies in varying degrees. It is in utilizing both energies that we become well
functioning individuals and can recognize the unique qualities, whether male or female of others. According to a study from the United Kingdom University of Sheffield there are even differences in the way men and women process the sound of the human voice.’ Men’s brains hear women’s voices first as music – so the brain goes into overdrive trying to analyze what is being said. It’s not the pitch, but rather the vibration and number of sound waves that cause the problem. These differences often result in friction and miscommunication that can destroy even a loving connection. Only by trying to understand the true nature of the male and female personas and the strengths and weaknesses of an imbalanced energy can we learn to love and accept ourselves and others as we are. To encourage a better flow of communication between men and women we must keep these physical differences in mind.’
Sheryl goes on to tell John of a related event that happened a few years ago. When Sheryl was at the Book Expo in New York presenting her new book The Living Spirit she spoke with one of the publishers and may have suggested jokingly, that perhaps men and women are almost a different species.highlighting the fact of the many differences. The man actually became quite angry. Looking back on it now Sheryl senses he was unhappy about his inability to understand or deal effectively with the women in his life and didn’t want to or couldn’t change his deeply ingrained attitudes or beliefs for creating more effective interactions, or simply didn’t like Sheryl’s confidence or assertiveness. Some stereotypes of women and men may not have been sufficiently altered, or completely accepted or understood yet.
In researching the notion of nature vs. nurture proposition, we find the psychological and emotional differences between men and women are both inborn, and some are acquired. Neurobiological links may also contribute to emotional differences between men and women. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders than men, which is usually
attributed to the way women are socialized; females are reared to show emotion whereas men are taught to remain stoic. But, a new study at the University of Montreal (2015), has found there are neurobiological factors contributing to the differences in women’s and men’s emotionality, and these include brain processes and hormones.
Even from a study of forty-six individuals, 25 women and 21 men, were asked to view negative, positive and neutral images during an MRI session. Prior to the beginning of the study, blood was also taken from participants to determine hormonal levels such as testosterone and estrogen, and feminine and masculine traits were also measured. Study results showed ratings of negative emotional images were higher in women than in men, and higher emotional sensitivity was linked to lower testosterone levels, whereas higher testosterone levels were linked to lower emotional sensitivity. Additionally, higher measures of feminine
traits (regardless of gender) were also linked to higher emotional sensitivity. In other words, the more testosterone and masculine traits, the less emotional sensitivity. John tells us how understanding the importance of our testosterone or our estrogen levels is the way we may perceive challenges or pleasurable interactions between men and women and he offers many activities, examples and ways to physically raise or lower these hormonal levels in order to achieve maximum success and health.
As for brain processes, the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for processes involving social connection and action planning, and the amygdala, which is our ‘threat detector’, were activated in both men and women at the time of viewing the negative images. Yet, the connection between the threat detector and the social and action planning parts of the brain was stronger in men than in women, and the more these two sections interacted, the less sensitive a person was to negative images. ‘This last point is the most significant observation and the most original of our study,’ It is also suggested that the stronger connectivity in men between the two brain regions may suggest that men are neurobiological more analytical than emotional when approaching and dealing with negative emotions, and that women tend to focus more on feelings. This could mean that both neurobiological and cultural factors influence our sensitivity to emotional situations. John would conclude that not only do we have these differences but that societal and cultural mores have greatly heightened these tendencies and perhaps that is whythere is so much uncertainty and lack of sensitivity between men and women and between communities and nations. The differences in brain processing and hormones between men and women may help to explain why women are more prone to depression and anxiety, and further studies will be conducted to discover how the brains of women and men react depending on the type of negative emotion encountered, such as fear, sadness and anger.
John writes , ‘Just because women today work side by side with men in the workplace and men participate more in raising their children, it does not mean women and men are the same. Our roles are certainly changing but our biology is still very different. And because men and women are different, we react to the changes in our roles in different ways that are often misunderstood and misinterpreted by our partners.’ These challenges relate to single people as much as to couples as we are always relating to people of the opposite sex. Because our biology is different, men and women have different hormonal needs. And because different behaviors stimulate different hormones men and women have different priorities regarding certain kinds of emotional support. Men and women require distinctly different brews of hormones to be stress-free, happy, and healthy. In over
forty years of counseling men and women I have observed the inevitable consequences of this hormonal imbalance in men and women. When a man experiences any of the symptoms of internal stress like anger, loss of libido for his partner, dissatisfaction, boredom or loss of passion in his life it is usually because he is temporarily too far on his female side: he is feeling too much and so his testosterone has dropped and his estrogen is too high. When a man is stressed increasing testosterone and decreasing estrogen will always lower his stress. When a woman is stressed it is the opposite increasing estrogen and decreasing testosterone will always lower her stress. Through simultaneously blending our authentic male and female qualities we are able to experience a higher love.’
Dr. Gray has realized a long time ago that strong connections, good communication skills and an understanding of people’s differences were essential to their level of health, prosperity and purposefulness in life. Improving health literacy in a population involves more than the transmission of health information, although that remains a fundamental task. Helping people to develop confidence to act on that knowledge and the ability to work with and support others will best be achieved through more personal forms of communication, and through community-based educational outreach. If we are to achieve the ultimate goal that is
reflected in that definition of health literacy – trying to promote greater independence and empowerment among the individuals and communities we work with – we will need to acknowledge and understand the political aspects to education, focused on overcoming structural barriers to health.
Dr. Gray wrote, ‘Most people know me because of my books on love and relationships. But I realized a long time ago that our relationships were dependent upon more than strong connections, good communication skills and a better understanding of our differences. They were also influenced by their health. If you aren’t healthy in your mind and body, it’s hard to be healthy outside your mind and body. So if you feel sick, tired, exhausted, stressed and generally unhappy, this will cause your relationships to feel the same way. Great communication skills is essential but on a physical level we all need the right nutrition to help our bodies, to feel happiness, love, focus, peace, energy, motivation and passion.’ Dr. Gray has dedicated the last 30 years to finding healthy solutions to the most common ailments affecting our happiness in life and continues to look for the right balance of proper nutrition, useful exercise, and natural supplements that will help you feel better in your mind, your body and your relationships.
Dr. Gray is also highly cognizant that awareness of the many multi-dimensional aspects of our humanness and how awareness of this leads to success in our life journey is an important component for well-being. Dr. Gray writes, ‘I have seen most of our world and experienced its layers of humanity. I have listened to people share their stories of success and struggle. I have watched people lose love and then find themselves. I have learned what it takes to be happy and healthy in the mind, body and soul.
I know I have been blessed with this life and these gifts so that I can share them with the world. I am here to help us come together through better communication, stronger relationships and lasting love.’
The world I am about to share with you in this series of articles is a world which is multidimensional A world right in front of you at this very moment. Multidimensionalism can be understood as a series of parallel realities that blend together to create the Universe in which we live. By understanding the unseen realities and learning tools to work with them, you can effect a new measure of control that steers your life back on course, expanding your capacity and enriching your experience of life’s majesty.
John and Sheryl speak about our inner energy, different energy fields which vary in subtlety and density affecting the cellular activity of the human body which gives rise to electromagnetic fields that surround it.
The properties of these fields change the further the distance from your physical body. Whilst these fields are in part produced by the electromagnetic activity of the body, they are also the energy signatures emanating from other planes of existence. These planes are believed to be complete realms in themselves each a distinct reality with vast variations from this world which we know. Even the laws of physics which govern the operation of this Universe are profoundly different from plane to plane. The increased subtlety as we move out away from the body is understood to have a higher vibration. This means that as we move from spiritual into physical, the spiritual state is at the higher vibration and the physical is the lower. As vibration increases then density reduces. All these energetic influences govern our emotions actions communication and the results we are able to create in our daily life experiences. Understanding energy and our life force is indeed a necessary but often overlooked component to success health and love in life. Sheryl was interested in understanding some of the three most common roadblocks to easy communication between the sexes which are often related to a lack of vocabulary. Basic communication is successful only when the receiver understands the message as intended by the sender. This is hard to accomplish as most messages are disrupted by communication barriers including:
(1) bypassing: we all attach meanings to words but individuals may attach different meanings so it is important to understand what meaning your partner attaches to a word
(2) Frame of reference: your frame of reference is your unique set of experiences, your socio-cultural upbringing. Ex: a belief in the sexual double standard in which men pursue women and women give in to men affects the male’s frame of reference or men and women are equally able to pursue each other and nobody gives in. If a male was more sexually experienced there might be less fear to the encounter for them.
(3) Lack of language: you may not be prepared to communicate effectively for example one partner may fear the situation and not know how to communicate effectively that the others sexual pursuit is unwelcome. Lack of language skill could be due to traumas in childhood, low self esteem, poor self image or a non aggressive personality or fear of reprisal and violence or loss.
(4) Listening skills: we often listen selectively and interpret messages to our advantage, for example, the male might hear only what he wants to, but fails to listen to the tone of his partner’s voice or look for nonverbal clues.
(5) mind altering drugs: use of alcohol and drugs create a powerful barrier to communication. More than half of all date rapes involve alcohol as your inhibitions and ability to communicate clearly fade, so does your ability to control the situation.
Dr. Gray goes on to discuss the argument that women are emotional and men are logical and it still holds water today. Scientists have shown how different female and male brain responses are and therefore the functioning of men and women will forever be different. Dr. McEwen, a neuroscientist and neuro-endocrinologist, works mainly in animal models, studying how sex and stress hormones affect the brain. Female and male brains respond very differently to stress on an anatomical level.” “We suspect there are many other subtle differences like this that we don’t know anything about as yet.”
John and Sheryl go on to talk about changes in the work force and roles of men and women have added to more complicated challenges in relationships. More women today are primary breadwinners and in positions of management. More men are helping out around the house. Changes in workplace roles affect personal relationships. As the workplace is changing for men and women the perceptions of traditional gender roles are changing also. Even so, the roles males play in the workforce haven’t changed as much as their roles outside of work. As of 2008, men and women aren’t as likely to agree to traditional gender roles as they did in 1977. Back then, 64 percent of employees of all ages agreed the man should earn the money and the woman
should tend to the children and home. In 2008, only 39 percent of all employees agreed to the same premise. While that’s a big drop, two in five employees still believe in traditional gender roles. Working men are now spending significantly more time per workday with their children than they did in the 1970s. Modern fathers spend an average of 4.1 hours with their
children under the age of 13 on workdays, up from two hours in 1977. The amount of time mothers spend with their children hasn’t changed as much.
In 2007, the average full-time female employee earned just 80 percent of what men earned on a weekly basis. Despite changing roles at home and in society, men still have advantages in the workplace. This permits them to negotiate entry-level salaries 7.6 percent higher than women. Where only 7 percent of women were able to negotiate for more money, more than 50 percent of men did the same. Furthermore, men tend to feel more confident in their roles in the workplace, with more men than women willing to attempt tasks they’re unprepared for. Senior executives are more likely to mentor men than women. These problems in the workforce and the inequality that still exists between men and women still present problems in their personal relationships. Hopefully more will be done to bring fairness for men and women into the workforce.
Sheryl feels that aside from all these changes in the workplace that can help men and women understand the complexities of their day to day interactions it is also helpful to have a working understanding of how relationships begin, evolve, and change, so we may make the best choices for commitment to a relationship along the way. It is important perhaps to know there are 5 Stages to all relationships. In order to build the strongest foundation for a lasting and well functioning partnership. Being
aware of these stages is very helpful.
Stage 1 is the Romance Stage. The needs satisfied in this stage are love and belonging- dreamlike qualities and fantasies. This stage lasts from 2 months to 2 years. In this stage the body produces vast amounts endorphins, which makes them feel happy, positive and excited about everything in life.
Stage 2 is the Power Struggle Stage. During the exploration process differences are discovered and power struggle sets in. this is the most difficult of all stages and usually the time when relationships terminate as couples become emotionally and physically more intimate weaknesses and vulnerabilities surface.CONFLICTED ENSUES. The role of this stage is to make each individual gain awareness of themselves and their partner and begin to relate to each other as whole people. During this stage a couple has three options; terminate, continue to stay together but live parallel lives or learn how to fight fairly with both winning and to declare one’s own individuality.
Stage 3 is the Stability stage. If as a child one did not learn coping skills then the power struggle phase was exceptionally hard, however, upon survival, the couple becomes okay with each other’s differences and establishes clear boundaries. The need satisfied in this stage is freedom and choice. The danger is the couple may start to realize that each other’s path in life may be different and there is a sense of loss and sadness as dreams do not materialize – maybe a feeling of boredom, sense of not being connected, and having nothing in common. This is the second most common stage for counseling or divorce. At this point either mutual respect happens or the couple reverts to power struggle.
Stage 4 is The Commitment Stage This should be the stage when the couple should contemplate marriage. However, most people have already married in the Romance Stage. The needs fulfilled in this stage are a balance of love, belonging, fun, power and freedom. In this stage the two individuals realize they don’t need to be with each other but choose to be, because they are comfortable with themselves. At this stage they must accept their partner for who they truly are and let go of the fantasy of who they want their partner to be. Now individuals begin to reestablish their own outside interests and friendships which were given up in the romance stage. Still some danger the couple may begin to drift apart, the remedy is to maintain the connection in romance stage by establishing date night, flirting and making each other a priority.
Stage 5 is the Co- Creation stage. In this stage the couple has decided to be a team moving out into the world. This includes having children, a project, a joint business venture. The role of this stage is to handle any common life crisis as a perfect team, acting as one proactively responsible and constructively to a mutual fulfillment. The danger with this stage is over involvement with the outside world and the relationship being neglected.
Dr Gray shares with us that modern day relationships are quite different than relationships of the past. The once dominant married couple, a husband who works for pay, a wife who tends to home and children has relinquished its privileged position, having now become a minority of all households. More Americans are unmarried now than ever. People marry later in life and sometimes not at all, and among those who do marry, the wife is more likely to earn more or be better educated than her husband. For many couples, monogamy, staying sexually exclusive with one partner is expected and assumed and is included in many marriage vows, but for some this is not what they choose. In fact, consensual non-monogamy can be a healthy option for some very limited couples. It’s still unclear what’s driving this new openness. Most people begin with monogamy as that’s the
way were socialized in our culture. For some the ability to have sexual and emotional relationships with others may be worth exploring but for most people it is a very challenging road.
Becoming gender neutral is the business challenge of the 21st century. What does it mean to be gender neutral? It is the idea that policies, language, organizations, technology and other social institutions do not distinguish roles according to persons sex or gender. Gender neutrality has huge ramifications for jobs productivity and GDP growth. Example, over two trillion dollars can be added to economy if the female employment ratio increased by just 10%. Gender neutral is a human rights issue and an
The biggest changes – and the biggest challenges in the male/female dynamic these days are many. We need to prepare our children, our sons and daughters to function with a healthy mindset towards their peers, both male and female. As society evolves relationships do too. It’s time to move beyond Mars and Venus our maleness and femininity towards a new relationship model for modern couples. Men and women are now moving beyond the restrictions of traditional gender roles. And while this is a positive change towards equality, it has led to an evolution which often blurs gender lines making our relationships even more complicated. Gender freedom should not mean gender blindness. John reminds us how men and women are still fundamentally different on a hormonal and biological level and how our needs in today’s stressful and fast paced world are also fundamentally different. If we want to meet our new needs and to remain healthy and happy in the context of our relationships we require a new kind of relationship – a soul mate relationship – one of energy, passion, respect, and knowledge of our true essence or life force, not merely of the physical world but of a higher view of life and eternal life. These more emotionally satisfying relationships require a deeper understanding of our partner’s individual needs, biological differences, hormonal balancing and activities or awareness of how to provide activities and interactions that allow for the proper balancing of estrogen or testosterone for maximum health vitality and freedom from internal stress.
We have been privileged to discuss in this show with Dr. Gray a very challenging and tremendously important topic: the way to better understand men and women, thereby to better understand ourselves, life and our hopes for love, peace, and freedom from undue stress. As universal citizens not limited by stereotypes or false information, but open minded to the possibilities of advancing individual and collective talents to build lives of true equality, of heightened vibrational energy, empowered passion of love and joy, we may move past a limited understanding of these biological and emotional differences between men and women. Dr. John Gray has wonderful charts in his new book sharing the differences women and men perceive in relation to values, handling stress, giving support, showing love, scoring points, moods, reasons for communicating, needs, intimacy, problem solving, mistakes and happiness. A clearer view of these needs will greatly improve relationships of every kind between the genders. The knowledge shared in these charts and in his explanations, can lead to more gratitude and love for our gender differences. We can learn how with each passing year men and women can more fully relate to the tendencies and variables of each person¹s emotional, energetic and biological needs. It may not be easy to make these changes but the benefits will far outweigh the effort.
John and I would have you view yourself and others to discover what is important for you to dream, achieve, and learn. Do not think in terms of your gender, but in terms of your unlimited potential to move through life supported by the ancestors and wisdom of past life and begin to move freely now in the newness of equality and love for life: not simply as men or women, but as entities of freedom.