So many couples are deeply in love, yet they get overwhelmed in times of tension, they feel confused because they’re clueless on what went wrong. Understanding the difference between you and your partner is a major key to reduce tension in your relationship and create more love.

Remember that we’re different:

We keep forgetting the fact that we, as men and women, are different. We don’t want the same things and we don’t feel the same way at every given moment. Recognizing and respecting these differences can significantly improve our relationships.

Love isn’t enough:

Falling in love is always blissful, we strongly believe that will be in love ever after, that we’re the exception to the rule and that what other couples struggle with in their relationships isn’t going to be our case.

Eventually, we all descend from the clouds and plant our feet on earth again and then it emerges that we’re different from our spouse, however, we do not take the time to respect those differences and instead we start to demand, judge and resent each other.

Love continues to die, we’re constantly arguing and hurting each other.

However, relationships can thrive and that’s when both partners acknowledge their differences and respect it.

Women are complaining:

Women frequently complain that men don’t listen to them. Men either ignore the woman when she speaks at all or listen for a few beats and then assess what is bothering her and give her a solution. He is then disappointed when his gesture of love isn’t appreciated and not only his advice is being rejected, but his woman complaints that he wasn’t listening to her at all. What he doesn’t understand is that his woman didn’t need a solution, but empathy.

Men are complaining:

Men frequently complain that women are trying to change them. Women are all about improvement and growth, no matter how much a man might resist his woman’s advice, she keeps giving her advice whenever the opportunity arises. She’s thinking that advising him is a form of love when he feels like being controlled. He doesn’t like to be told what to do, he wants acceptance.

Understand women:

Women have different values. They value love and communication, when they nurture and help each other without being asked, for them, this is an expression of love. They experience fulfillment through sharing and relating. To share their feelings is much more important than success and achievements, communication for them is of a great importance.

Men rarely do they talk about their problems, unless they need an expert advice. Talking about problems, for men, is a sign that he needs your advice, not just empathy like women need. That’s why a man, instinctively, jumps to give solutions whenever a woman talked about her problems. He assumes that by sharing her problems and thoughts, she needed an expert-advice.

Men want to be useful, he feels worthy when he helps his woman solve her problems, so when his advice is being rejected, he takes it personally and feels hurt especially when the women dismiss his advice and keep talking about the problem, he then feels confused and useless, eventually, he stops listening.

Understand men:

The thing is men value efficiency, competence, and power. They express feelings of fulfilments primarily from the success and achievements and they pride themselves in doing things all by themselves, autonomy for them is a sign of power.

They care more about sports, news, the weather… and they couldn’t have cared less about romance and self-help. They care about things more than feelings, which is the opposite of what women care about.

Men are quite different from women, if something is working fine, they don’t really see the point from changing it. They don’t seek improvement and growth as women do. For them, you don’t fix something unless it’s broken, so when a woman tries to change something in her man, he perceives it as a way to tell him that he’s broken and he needs fixing, he takes it personally while the woman thinks that she’s just helping him to improve.

In understanding this, a woman can see how a man can resist her advice. Men like to solve their problems on their own and do things their way. If you tell him what to do, he might perceive it as a sign that he isn’t competent and you don’t trust him to do it the right way.

Women, give up giving advice:

Men don’t give advice unless they were asked. Rarely do they discuss their problems, but when they do, it’s a way for them to tell you that they’re trusting you and that they need your advice. So, unless asked, don’t volunteer and give your advice.

When you know better than him, restrain yourself from advising him, even if when it comes to the smallest matters because he might get the message that if she can’t trust to do the small things, how can she trust me to do the bigger things? Instead, appreciate that he’s trying his best. By doing that he’ll feel more accepted and trusted.

Men, learn to listen:

Men need to understand that when a woman is talking about her problems, she merely wants to share her feelings, she’s not looking for a solution. A man who thinks that his woman wants what he wants would interrupt her when she’s talking trying to offer her steady flows of solutions, and when she’s upset he would be left confused, wondering what went wrong.

Now this is a typical conversation from “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” for “John Gray” where a woman is trying to talk while her man isn’t listening:

“For example, Mary comes home from an exhausting day. She wants and needs to share her feelings about the day.

She says, "There is so much to do; I don't have any time for myself."

Tom says, "You should quit that job. You don't have to work so hard. Find something you like to do."

Mary says, "But I like my job. They just expect me to change everything at a moment's notice."

Tom says, "Don't listen to them. just do what you can do."

Mary says, "I am! I can't believe I completely forgot to call my aunt today."

Tom says, "Don't worry about it, she'll understand."

Mary says, "Do you know what she is going through? She needs me."

Tom says, "You worry too much, that's why you're so unhappy."

Mary angrily says, "I am not always unhappy. Can't you just listen to me?"

Tom says, "I am listening."

Mary says, "Why do I even bother?"”

When the man understands his woman’s need to share her feelings the conversation goes as the following:

“Mary says, "There is so much to do. I have no time for me."

Tom takes a deep breath, relaxes on the exhale, and says, "Humph, sounds like you had a hard day."

Mary says, "They expect me to change everything at a moment's notice. I don't know what to do."

Tom pauses and then says, " "Hmmm."

Mary says, "I even forgot to call my aunt."

Tom says with a slightly wrinkled brow, "Oh, no."

Mary says, "She needs me so much right now. I feel so bad."

Tom says, "You are such a loving person. Come here, let me give you a hug."
Tom gives Mary a hug and she relaxes in his arms with a big sigh of relief. She then says, "I love talking with you. You make me really happy. Thanks for listening. I feel much better." “ 

The Book: 

“Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” for “John Gray”

To receive love and approval, would certainly be convenient and pleasant. Approval isn’t a problem in itself until it becomes a dire need for you because needing something implies that this very thing is utterly required for life and happiness and without it, you can’t survive.

When you insist that you must have others’ approval, you self-sabotage yourself for several reasons:

1- Demanding approval from every important person is creating and unattainable goal. Even if you had ten people to approve of you, there will always be an eleventh who won’t, which might be because of his own limitation. he might have little ability to love anyone… and most of these reasons are beyond your control.

2- Even if you get the approval you demand you’ll worry about how much and for how long you will be approved. People can stop loving you, or love you less, or leave you and such things you have no control over.

3- If you always need love, you must always be lovable, always at your best, but who is? And even when you have some lovable traits, how can you display them to people all the time?

4- No one can spend the amount of time and energy that will grant him approval at any given moment. And if you do that you will have no time left for other pursuits, you will be then living your life doing what others want you to do and not what you really want.

5- Ironically, the more you need others’ approval, the less they tend to care for you, simply because they start seeing your needs as a weakness in you and since everyone is self-centered by nature, they’ll get bored of you quickly.

6- You’ll be so preoccupied with obtaining love from others that you will hardly be able to care for them. While loving someone is a creative and absorbing act, with the dire need for love you will have little time and energy to devote for those on whom you make your demands.

7- The dire need for love encourages feelings of worthlessness. You think you must have others’ approval because you’re worthless, this also makes you less able to do something about your feelings of worthlessness since seeking approval will cover them.

To minimize your overwhelming need for love you can use the following:

1- Ask yourself what you really want to do and keep asking it from time to time, to make sure you’re living up to your own expectations and not living merely to gain others’ approval.

2- In doing what you want, dare to take risks and don’t desperately avoid making mistakes. And if you fail and people laugh at you and criticize you, convince yourself that it’s their problem and that what they think doesn’t make much of a difference as long as you learn from your mistake.

3- Focus on giving love more than winning it. life isn’t about passive receiving, it’s more about giving and reaching out.

4- Don’t confuse approval with personal worth. When people approve of you, that doesn’t increase your value. For your value has nothing to do with others but has all to do with what you think of yourself. You’re worthy because you’re alive and you exist.

Self- acceptance means “fully accepting yourself, your existence, and your right to live and to be happy as you can be no matter what traits you have or acts you do.” and you only self-accept yourself when you decide to.

By surrendering your desires for dire love and approval:

1- You can start enjoying relationships without believing that your life depends on them.

2- You can better love others, see the lovable traits in them and stop hating them when they do not respond to you immediately.

3- You feel free to experience relationships because you realize that even if you may lose them, you can never lose yourself.

Even as you have to surrender your dire need for love, this shouldn’t be in a total way; means taken to the extremity, which can be as harmful as obsessing with winning approval. Because as human, it’s a normal desire to want love and approval, it’s a powerful desire without it, we would be hardly alive.

Nelson Mandela, a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, devoted his life to the service of humanity. And the day, when Nelson Mandela was born (18 July), is a reminder that peace can prevail and an inspiration for everyone to take action and change something in this world for the better. Below are some inspirational quotes from Nelson Mandela that I have compiled into these life-changing lessons:

1- Education changes the world:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

Nelson Mandela

“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savour their songs. I again realized that we were not different people with separate languages; we were one people, with different tongues.”

Nelson Mandela

“Only mass education, he used to say, would free my people, arguing that an educated man could not be oppressed because he could think for himself.”

Nelson Mandela

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

Nelson Mandela

2- Courage is to conquer your fear:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

“Let your courage rise with danger.”

Nelson Mandela

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

3- Never quit believing in yourself:

“It always seems impossible until it's done.”

Nelson Mandela

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Nelson Mandela

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Nelson Mandela

“Don't Judge a person by his success stories, but only with how many times the person stood up, after falling down.”

Nelson Mandela

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”

Nelson Mandela

“I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.”

Nelson Mandela

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Nelson Mandela

“Difficulties break some men but make others”

Nelson Mandela

4- Love and hate, they are taught so learn how to love:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Nelson Mandela

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Nelson Mandela

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela

“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there was mercy and generosity.”

Nelson Mandela

5- Freedom is vital:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Nelson Mandela

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

Nelson Mandela

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”

Nelson Mandela

“A child is born free”

Nelson Mandela

6- To lead is to inspire:

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

Nelson Mandela

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”

Nelson Mandela

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Nelson Mandela

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

Nelson Mandela

“I am the captain of my soul.”

Nelson Mandela

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

Nelson Mandela

“Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.”

Nelson Mandela

“Quitting is leading too.”

Nelson Mandela

“There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.”

Nelson Mandela

“As a leader, one must sometimes take actions that are unpopular, or whose results will not be known for years to come.”

Nelson Mandela

“Like the gardener, a leader must take responsibility for what he cultivates; he must mind his work, try to repel enemies, preserve what can be preserved, and eliminate what cannot succeed.”

Nelson Mandela

“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”

Nelson Mandela

7- We’re imperfect mortal beings:

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

Nelson Mandela

8- Dare to dream and live the life of your dreams:

“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Nelson Mandela

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

Nelson Mandela

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.”

Nelson Mandela

“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”

Nelson Mandela

9- To live is to make a difference:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Nelson Mandela

“Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?”

Nelson Mandela

10- Optimism is the way of life:

“Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed towards the sun, one's feet moving forward.”

Nelson Mandela

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