Week & Book 1- Martians & Venusians
I started reading my first book – Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It was the perfect start to the challenge. The madness of Christmas was behind me, I was in a permanent food-coma and it was too hot to go outside (oh Queensland, you steamy, sweaty delight, you).
I decided to read a book I already owned, but had never read – taking inspiration from a reading challenge list I found on Pinterest. There it was….in all its corny glory – where it had been permanently placed in my bookshelf for THREE years. My girlfriend bought it for me years ago – I mistakingly thought it was a dating book, I had no clue it was actually a relationship book. I could have used this bad-boy over the past three years!
When my Husband saw me with this book, I actually expected him to start laughing at me – making fun of me for reading a 26 year old self-help book. In a very surprising moment (!) he commented on how we are quick to read books on how to cook, exercise, lose weight, improve our mind set, do home renovations, take photos etc., but what people should be reading about, and often are not, is relationships.
Put it this way, it was a good read. My brain (unsurprisingly) took great offence to certain parts of the book; and I would then somehow try and start an argument with my Husband. Honestly – you read a book that literally tells you MEN AND WOMEN DO NOT COMMUNICATE THE SAME WAY and I still do what I do. Classic.
My learnings from the book:
John Gray recommends in Chapter 11 ‘How to Communicate Difficult Feelings’; that when we are upset it is ‘difficult to communicate lovingly’ and when we become upset/angry – we seem to forget how much we love the person standing in front of us and out goes the window trust, respect, understanding, appreciation etc.
This is where things get particularly wild for me. I DO forget all of these things, my anger or upset becomes my entire focus. That’s the point I want to drive into the ground.
To be honest, I am amazed I have not been diagnosed with some form of obsessive something-or-other. I go around and round in circles. I try to replay moments until they make sense. I try to put myself into the other persons shoes. The thing is – not all actions and behaviours are logical. There is not always an answer. There is not always a resolve.
I have all of these high moments and then I can come crashing down and spiralling out of control. I can even feel it coming yet I am powerless to stop it. I start to become quite agitated, I become argumentative, I recoil to physical touch,
John Gray also gives the advice to write a ‘Love Letter’ when you are unable to communicate what you are feeling. He recommends giving it to the letter recipient, but I also think it would be handy just for you – to write down what’s bothering you, but not necessarily giving it to the person. Here’s the format:
A LOVE LETTER
Dear…………………………Date…………………………..I am writing this letter to share my feelings with you.
- I don’t like
- I feel frustrated
- I am angry that
- I feel annoyed
- I want
- I feel disappointed
- I am sad that
- I feel hurt
- I wanted
- I want
- I feel worried
- I am afraid
- I feel scared
- I do not want
- I need
- I want
- I feel embarrassed
- I am sorry
- I feel ashamed
- I didn’t want
- I want
- I love
- I want
- I understand
- I forgive
- I appreciate
- I thank you for
- I know
PS: The response I would like to hear from you.
All in all, John Gray’s book reminded me that no two people are the same. Even though there are men and women – when was the last time you met two men or two women who were exactly the same? We communicate differently, we show our love differently and we receive love differently.
What we consider to be acts of love, our partners may not. I have huge communication problems with my Husband. I expect him to just KNOW what I am thinking or feeling – sometimes he does, sometimes he needs to be told. That’s not his fault, it isn’t my fault – we just need to work together on that – rather than getting mad at each other.
This week was ok, back to work, minimal depression and less anxiety. Work is going well, everyone in my family is healthy. My friends are happy and it’s a new year. I haven’t written my own love letter yet, but I know I will, probably sooner rather than later.
I hope everyone has had a nice start to 2017!