Gender difference attempts to explain why men and women have communication problems when interacting together. There are many different reasons why people have trouble understanding one another. Gender difference is just one. Men and women see and hear things differently based on two things: physiology and socialization.
The key to having healthier relationships is to understand these underlying dynamics that color how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Gender intelligence lets us separate the distance we may feel between the sexes, so that we’re both heard and respected for our unique communication strengths.
The male brain is wired to be more single-task oriented. Under stress in the male brain blood flows to the left orbitofrontal cortex suggesting a fight or flight response that a male wants to either solve the problem or forget about it.
The female brain is wired to be more multi-task oriented. Under stress the female brain’s limbic system activates. At the same time as there is more brain tissue devoted to cross-talk between both hemispheres of the brain, allowing her to see implications and emotional cause and effect as she reacts.
Girls like Pink, Boys like Blue
Girls are socialized to be transformational, caring about how what they do affects everyone else.
Boys are socialized to be transactional, competitive, caring about results, and self-promotion.
While you may not have these preferences yourself, it is useful to know how most people view you when they first meet and stereotype you. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told female Marines don’t look or sound like me, oh really?
The Mars Venus metaphor is that to feel loved:
Men need trust, acceptance, and appreciation.
Women need caring, understanding and respect.
This metaphor is intended as a way for us to look non-judgmentally at the dynamics at play with relationships between men and women. I have found it useful when I attended one of the Service Academies, because I was in an environment where the majority is male. I also found it useful in the Marine Corps, and then when I was transitioning into the civilian workforce and as I received my master’s degree in counseling. I have also used these concepts in my personal relationships throughout the years as well.
While raising my growing family, I chose to become a Mars Venus Coach, because John Gray’s, Ph.D. work in regards to how we cope with stress differently and how our diet and nutrition needs differ resonated with me. I also wanted to use the information so that I could help other people understand these relationship dynamics better so they could pursue healthier relationships with their significant others, as well as in their professional careers as well. I met my husband when I was seventeen at the U.S. Naval Academy back in 1998, we must be doing something right as we’re happily married raising our family together today!
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
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