Q&A with John Gray, whose newest book "Work With Me" tackles gender relations in the workplace.
What I see over and over again when helping women in their personal relationships is that women are not adept at asking for help from their partner in a way that will motivate their partner to help. And already the women who need to hear this the most are the ones going, "Why should I have to ask?" That's the first mistake you make. That's a source of resentment which is your responsibility to overcome, by realizing that you're asking men to do something that men for thousands of years have never done, and if you're wanting to motivate a man to make any change, you have to approach him from the point of view that he's not wrong.
With women at home, enlisting your partner's support and help in domestic activities is a part of lowering stress, but the first thing you need to employ is improving communication skills. Women's number-one complaint is that men don't listen. Learning to communicate in a language to which men do listen creates a greater sense of partnership.
Learning to create romance is also key. Women often complain that there's no romance, but women don't know how to create romance. They're waiting for the man to do it; they don't understand their role in inspiring and motivating a man to be romantic. Learning how to ask for what you want: This is a foreign language to women. And then once you have regular romance, which means great sex and good communication, men will have the energy to participate much more in domestic activity. Otherwise, many men are just exhausted.
So how can women "create" or "inspire" romance, as you say?
Let me give you a glimpse of what women inspiring romance looks like: My anniversary recently came up. So two weeks before, I said, "Honey, our anniversary's coming up; let's talk about what you would like to do." And she talked about various things that she would like to do. I listened, and I said, "Well I'd like to do that." And I picked one of those things; and then planned it and did it. So I didn't have to be a mind reader. And she didn't have to decide, but she gave me some things she'd like to do. The man needs something to motivate him, which is her letting him know what she would like.
How do each of your eight workplace "blind spots" apply to romantic relationships?
1. Do women want men to change?
Quite commonly, women want to know, "How do I change this man?" And it's all about how you communicate change. Do you correct, do you criticize, do you complain, do you blame? Any of those things will not work, period. When you confront him, it does not work. If you want men to change, do not complain. Instead make requests, and once you get progress in getting what you want, make sure to appreciate. Requesting and appreciating is the secret of behavior modification. There is research that's been done for over 60 years showing that criticizing, blaming, punishing, and withholding are the weakest forms of motivation of change. Keep reading...