As you can see from this video, men and women really are from Mars and Venus, literally different species. For more fun stuff on this, see John Gray’s book Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I use this and neurobiology as the foundations of my work with couples. What I use has been tempered in the trenches of my twenty year private practice and is simple, powerful and sustainable. Relationships that create healthy change are the ones committed to integrating new practices and ways of relating. If you commit to trying new practices many things are possible.
- Learn how to be in choice when you are in conflict with others.
- Transform conflict into progress by diffusing problems before they escalate.
- Learn to teach by example, the most powerful way to heal a relationship.
- Learn to see with new eyes, finding new perspective and positive options.
- Learn powerful and applicable tools for overcoming relationship challenges.
If you’re committed to changing a relationship you’re in, here is an example of a distinction that can often be very helpful in relationships:
“Masculine and Feminine communication styles are different and often diametrically opposed.” The phrase “I’m sorry” in the masculine communication style is an apology; “I am sorry, I have made a mistake and I will do my best to not do it again”.
In the feminine communication style “I’m sorry” is used as a condolence. “I am sorry that you’re sick, I am sorry that we are fighting, I am sorry that you feel way”.
Problems surfaces when one meaning of “I’m sorry” is confused with another. If I expected “I’m sorry” to be an apology and it was delivered as a condolence, the behavior that I see in the person delivering the “I’m sorry” may look insincere. If I expected “I’m sorry” to be a condolence for something that happened to me and the speaker walks away believing they had delivered an apology, I may feel disrespected. And the speaker could respond to my feeling of being disrespected with: “What is the big deal here? I said I was sorry”.
Remember: Neither party did anything wrong in saying “I’m sorry”, in both examples, the phrase “I’m sorry” was delivered in with honest and integrity. From the humble beginnings of honest misunderstandings such as these, arise clouds of bitterness and anger that can tear a relationship apart.