Imagine that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. One day long ago the 1)Martians, looking through their telescopes, discovered the 2)Venusians. Just glimpsing the Venusians awakened feelings they had never known. They fell in love and quickly invented space travel and flew to Venus. The Venusians welcomed the Martians with open arms. The love between the Venusians and Martians was magical. They delighted in being together, doing things together, and sharing together. Though from different worlds, they 3)reveled in (took pleasure) their differences. For years they lived together in love and harmony. Then they decided to fly to Earth. In the beginning everything was wonderful and beautiful. But the effects of Earth’s atmosphere4)took hold, and one morning everyone woke up with a 5)peculiar kind of 6)amnesia, selective amnesia!
Both the Martians and Venusians forgot that they were from different planets and were supposed to be different. In one morning everything they had learned about their differences was erased from their memory. Without the awareness that we are supposed to be different, men and women are 7)at odds with each other. We usually become angry or frustrated with the opposite sex because we have forgotten this important truth. We expect the opposite sex to be more like ourselves. We desire them to want what we want and feel the way we feel. We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways the ways we react and behave when we love someone.
WE ON MARS 我们身处火星
Martians value power, competency, efficiency, and achievement. They are always doing things to prove themselves and develop their power and skills. Their sense of self is defined through their ability to achieve results. They experience fulfillment primarily through success and accomplishment.
They are more interested in objects and things rather than people and feelings. Even today on Earth, while women 8)fantasize about romance, men fantasize about powerful cars, faster computers, 9)gadgets, 10)gizmos, and new more powerful technology Men are preoccupied with the things that can help them express power by creating results and achieving their goals.
Achieving goals is very important to a Martian because it is a way for him to prove his competence and thus feel good about himself. And for him to feel good about himself he must achieve these goals by himself. Someone else can’t achieve them for him. Martians pride themselves in doing things all by themselves. 11)Autonomy is a symbol of efficiency, power, and competence.
Understanding this Martian characteristic can help women understand why men resist so much being corrected or being told what to do. To offer a man 12)unsolicited advice is to presume that he doesn’t know what to do or that he can’t do it on his own. Men are very 13)touchy about this, because the issue of competence is so very important to them.
Because he is handling his problems on his own, a Martian rarely talks about his problems unless he needs expert advice. He reasons: Why involve someone else when I can do it by myself? He keeps his problems to himself unless he requires help from another to find a solution. Asking for help when you can do it yourself is perceived as a sign of weakness.
However, if he truly does need help, then it is a sign of wisdom to get it. In this case, he will find someone he respects and then talk about his problem. Talking about a problem on Mars is an invitation for advice. Another Martian feels honored by the opportunity. Automatically he puts on his Mr. Fix It hat, listens for a while, and then offers some jewels of advice.
This Martian custom is one of the reasons men instinctively offer solutions when women talk about problems. When a woman innocently shares upset feelings or explores out loud the problems of her day, a man mistakenly assumes she is looking for some expert advice. He puts on his Mr. Fix It hat and begins giving advice; this is his way of showing love and of trying to help.
He wants to help her feel better by solving her problems. He wants to be useful to her. He feels he can be valued and thus worthy of her love when his abilities are used to solve her problems. He has no idea that by just listening with 14)empathy and interest he can be supportive. He does not know that on Venus talking about problems is not an invitation to offer a solution.
LIFE ON VENUS 金星上的生活
Venusians have different values. They value love, communication, beauty, and relationships. They spend a lot of time supporting, helping, and nurturing one another. Their sense of self is defined through their feelings and the quality of their relationships. They experience fulfillment through sharing and relating.
Communication is of primary importance. To share their personal feelings is much more important than achieving goals and success. Talking and relating to one another is a source of tremendous fulfillment.
This is hard for a man to comprehend. He can come close to understanding a woman’s experience of sharing and relating by comparing it to the satisfaction he feels when he wins a race, achieves a goal, or solves a problem. Instead of being goal oriented, women are relationship oriented; they are more concerned with expressing their goodness, love, and caring. Two Martians go to lunch to discuss a project or business goal; they have a problem to solve. In addition, Martians view going to a restaurant as an efficient way to approach food: no shopping, no cooking, and no washing dishes. For Venusians, going to lunch is an opportunity to nurture a relationship, for both giving support to and receiving support from a friend. Women’s restaurant talk can be very open and 15)intimate, almost like the dialogue that occurs between therapist and patient.
Venusians are very intuitive. They have developed this ability through centuries of anticipating the needs of others. They pride themselves in being considerate of the needs and feelings of others. A sign of great love is to offer help and assistance to another Venusian without being asked.
Because proving one’s competence is not as important to a Venusian, offering help is not offensive, and needing help is not a sign of weakness. A man, however, may feel offended because when a woman offers advice he doesn’t feel she 16)mists his ability to do it himself.
A woman has no conception of this male sensitivity because for her it is another feather in her hat if someone offers to help her. It makes her feel loved and cherished. But offering help to a man can make him feel incompetent, weak, and even unloved.
On Venus it is a sign of caring to give advice and suggestions. Venusians firmly believe that when something is working it can always work better. Their nature is to want to improve things. When they care about someone, they freely point out what can be improved and suggest how to do it. Offering advice and constructive criticism is an act of love.
Next time you are frustrated with the opposite sex, remember men are from Mars and women are from Venus.