John Gray is the famous author who wrote, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Although I never read that book, I have heard about it numerous times. Conscious Men is John’s newer book about what masculinity means in today’s world, where men and women are no longer confined to their traditional roles.
The 12 masculine qualities John talks about are:
- Knowing one’s purpose in life.
- Understanding our need for space and solitude.
- Loving deeply.
- Listening to others without judging or interrupting i.e. listening like the sky.
- Being aware of the emotional pain and trauma we have gone through, but not let it run our lives.
- Acknowledging that anger is a part of us and rather than trying to subdue it and later erupting like a volcano or losing our masculinity and becoming submissive, channeling it effectively and not being ashamed of it.
- Developing deep and meaningful friendships with other men and supporting them through thick and thin.
- Being a man of his word.
- Being humorous, using it to lighten the mood and developing attraction.
- Not being selfish when it comes to sex, rather turning it into our gift of love, towards our partners.
- Respecting femininity, not only within women but also within men and appreciating it for the unique perspective it provides.
- Being aware of the history and how it molds our behavior today based on what we went through as individuals as well as part of a larger group (be it ethnically, nationally etc..)
What I really liked about this book was the fact that it helped me have a deeper understanding of my own behavior and thus, making me aware of things I was already subconsciously doing, but at times feeling guilty about eg. searching for moments of solitude, even when surrounded by loving friends and family.
It also helped my rechannel my energy and anger effectively. For instance, I have developed a habit keeping my anger under wraps, until it builds into a crescendo, forcing me to erupt in what seems like an overreaction at times. This eventually leads me to feel guilty about my anger and letting it out and once again I begin the process of keeping it under wraps until I cannot take it anymore. Thus repeating the same cycle over and over again.
Of course, it isn’t like you read a book one day and everything becomes alright. We have to actively work on ourselves and it is a never-ending process. The first step in it is acknowledging our behavior and the rationale behind it, and this book helps you do that.
What I didn’t like about this book was the fact that John and Arjuna (co-author) keep on repeating some of the things throughout the book. I understand those are important, but after a while, it becomes boringly repetitive and you begin to lose some interest.
Overall, I found Conscious Men to be quite an interesting self-help/development book that I feel men and women should read. It will help you develop a deeper understanding of men’s behavior.