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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I am far from a fan of pop psychology books, but someone gave this book to us, so I read it on a slow book day. It had two pieces of advice that may not apply generally, but have certainly smoothed the communications in my (already pretty smooth) relationship:

    • Men tend to talk about problems in an attempt to find a solution; women often just want to talk about them. This leads to a disconnect in which the man keep proposing solutions, when the woman just wants a sympathetic ear.
    • "Cave time". When a man is coping with stress by retreating to his den, watching a Dr Who marathon, curling up with a book or whatever, leave him be. He doesn't want to talk about the problem at this point, and interrupting him will generally cause him to retreat further and longer.

    The book certainly overgeneralizes, and I make no claims that it is applicable for anyone else, but those two insights improved my marriage by 7.3%.

    s/q/o/g to mail
    • Yup, I haven't read the Mars/Venus book but I knew the first point already. It's really helped me understand why my wife would come to me with a problem and leave even more frustrated and upset. She wanted to vent whereas I thought she wanted a solution. Now I listen and nod and "oh, that must be awful" and only try once to help her with a solution (just in case the cosmos is in alignment and she actually wants help for once :-)

      Deborah Tanner has a big line of pop psych books, but as far as I could tel