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If Men Could Talk: Translating the Secret Language of Men Paperback – Feb 6 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Feb. 6 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316178683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316178686
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #548,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Men are difficult. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
If you can forgive the author, a psychologist, his long detours into stories about his patients, which sometimes bear only a tangential relationship to the subject at hand, you will find a lot of value in this little book. The value lies in the author's description of seven attributes that supposedly cause the majority of men's problems: Shame, Emotional Absence, Masculine Insecurity, Self-Involvement, Aggression, Self-Destructiveness, and Sexual Acting-Out. Each of these attributes has its own chapter, and each is well-explained.
Where the book falls down is in its failure to offer suggestions for improvement for the men themselves. The healed man is never discussed, and in fact, Gratch makes the entire prospect of a self-aware man seem pretty unlikely. It seems that in the author's view, men are in the dark about themselves, and it's almost impossible for them to be otherwise.
This problem can be illustrated with the example of the heavy use in the book of the word "paradoxical." For instance, it is paradoxical that men will, in seeking "space" from one woman, make love to another. Once the author has labeled a behavior or trait a paradox, which he does a lot, no further exploration is required. "Paradox" is code for "it doesn't make sense and I'm at a loss to explain it." If so much of men's behavior is paradoxical, I'd think a discussion of that very issue would be in order.
A big drawback for me as a woman was the frequent reference to things a girlfriend or spouse could/should do in a specific situation with her man, something that would be ultimately healing for him. The problem is, these actions invariably required walking on eggshells - do this but don't do that, say this but don't say that - which was counter-intuitive to me and probably a lot of other women as well.
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By Sheri on Sept. 4 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book interesting - it's well written, well thought out, and many neat anecdotes. However, the author is clearly Freudian, and can go a little overboard with the psychoanalysis. I guess I'm biased because I lean towards behaviorial psychology, but I found that the Freudian allusions got in the way.
So, if you're Freudian, you'll love this book. Otherwise, there are better options out there.
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Format: Paperback
Gratch is a clinical psychologist who has spent many years working predominantly with men. One of the most common complaints from women about men is that they don't talk. This book is the result of years of getting men to talk and finding out what they would say, if they would talk openly. Covering several areas from shame to sexual acting out, this is not a book about quick fixes but a detailed analysis of the psyche of men and what goes on under the surface.
Gratch breaks his analysis down to seven key attributes that you must understand in order to understand men. First are the defensive attributes of Shame and Emotional Absence. He explains how these affect a man's thoughts and actions as well as what can be done about it. Then he discusses the four things that affect a man when he finally does open up. These are Masculine Insecurity, Self-Involvement, Aggression, and Self-Destructiveness. And finally he discusses the practice of Sexual Acting-Out.
An interesting and provocative book, some readers (mostly men) will have a problem with the analysis and some will find it enlightening. Reasonably argued and filled with interesting insights, it is a reasonable analysis of how many men really operate deep inside.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gave me insights into the male psyche and a perspective from this therapist's point of view. No only did Dr.Gratch open new avenues in which to communicate with men but he also shared much of himself with the reader. In this book, it is evident that his own journey was both difficult and rewarding. It is easy to see how he was able to relate to his patients and described the uneasy paths they endure. His descriptions of his patients and their voyages through therapy are enlightening and sometimes amusing. I highly recommend this book for both men and women. It is an eye opener!
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