Laughter is the Best Medicine

Mars brain, Venus brain: John Gray at TEDxBend

Translator: Queenie Lee
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven I asked them to turn up the lights,
so that I could see you as well. We are talking
about relationships, after all. The most important thing
in a relationship, men, is to see your wife. You can see who is married,
at a restaurant, or who is dating. (Laughter) If a man is dating a woman,
he’s looking right at her. He’s got one goal. (Laughter) Once he’s climbed
that mountain, you can relax. (Laughter) You see, the married men,
they’re looking around. Quite often, somebody else
catches their attention: “I haven’t seen her before.” It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her, his wife. It just means he never saw that before. We all do this,
that’s why we go on vacations, to lovely spots, new places,
getting off the plane here in Bend, it was blown away
by the beautiful mountain. It’s exciting. You go somewhere new and different, it stimulates a brain chemical
called dopamine, and dopamine gives us motivation; it gives us pleasure; it gives us focus; and it gives us happiness
in our relationships, passion. When we fall in love with somebody,
it’s literally like we are high on drugs. Maybe you don’t remember, if you’ve been married
for 28 years like I have, but I’m reminded of it
with my youngest daughter, who is in that first
falling in love stage with her live-in. (Laughter) They’re planning! But she is a modern woman, she wants to be completely financially
self-sufficient before she gets married. That’s the new woman;
she wants to be sufficient. (Applause) Yes, we all want to be self-sufficient,
we all want to be independent, and then from a place
of wholeness come together; it’s a new world. I’m going to talk
about that new world today, but one of the most important things is to understand
this brain chemical, dopamine. Because when you haven’t
met someone before, and you’re getting to know them, all the ingredients are there
to stimulate dopamine. Newness. And there’s no history,
you’re completely – where are we going with this? What’s going to happen? And that stimulates this brain chemical, and in men, dopamine stimulates
a hormone called testosterone. So suddenly, men’s
testosterone levels are surging. The average man at 50 has half the testosterone levels
he had as a young man. It starts to drop. A lot of things contribute to that,
but one of the things is marriage. (Laughter) You know, I’m 62, but I went
through the 50s with my friends, and several of my friends
got divorced, and they came alive! I’m not recommending
divorce to come alive, (Laughter) but I am recommending learning
new relationships skills to come alive in your marriage. But it’s like, suddenly, when you’re with somebody new,
just going somewhere new, it stimulates dopamine, and for men, dopamine
stimulates testosterone, and for men, testosterone lowers stress. Stress – and I don’t mean
stress in your life, life is always stressful,
problems everywhere. But how do we react to life is dependent on our
hormone response to life. And for men, testosterone is the hormone that helps men keep
their stress levels down. Most people don’t know this,
but I learned this when I started – it was like 30 years ago, I was reading – 20 years ago, maybe 30,
somewhere in there. I was about to go see the movie
Grumpy Old Men, and I was also reading that one of the differences
between young men and old men was men’s testosterone levels go down. And then I made the link: Grumpy Old Men. Think about men when they
haven’t been laid for a while. (Laughter) They get grumpy, they’re irritable, and yet we always thought that testosterone
caused all that irritability. But actually, for men, it’s estrogen. (Laughter) It’s all those grumpy old men having super high estrogen levels
and low testosterone. Who knew?! One of the biggest risk factors
for heart disease, prostate cancer, for men is low testosterone. All men with depression
have low testosterone. That’s why depression is very different
for a man than for a woman. Depression for a man is that feeling: “Nobody wants me;
I am not needed anymore. Basically, I’m out of work.” “Nobody there to respond to me. Nobody there for me
to fix, help, serve, support.” So, being out of work
is the major depression for men, or being in a marriage where you feel you can’t do anything
to make your partner happy. I get to see, as a marriage counselor
for over 30 years, people often on their last exit, because I’m famous, people say,
“Oh yeah, you go see him,” so I get the tough cases. (Laughter) But it’s a challenge. And what I hear again and again,
from men, I take the men aside, “What is the problem here?
What’s going on here? If we can fix one problem
what would that be?” “John, the only problem here
is my wife’s not happy.” That’s it. I do these seminars, workshops,
at my ranch, for four days, and we start out with men in one room,
women in the other. Without my influence, I have the men
write down their complaints about their wives, relationships,
women, in one room. Women do it in another room, and then we spend the whole
four days working on that. And men have one sheet,
and women have five. (Laughter) And men’s list is one or two words:
critical, complaints, nags, punishes, not interested in sex –
that’s the longest one they come up with. (Laughter) There’s that list over there. And women got all these lists,
so it gets a big long list: everything is a long sentence,
and if this, then that, all that stuff. (Laughter) And men go, “See?” (Laughter) (Applause) I got a few claps for that,
which I’m not asking for, but that’s what excites men. I made a difference. That’s why men love their dogs so much. (Laughter) When I come home,
my dog is happy I’m alive! (Laughter) It touches something
so deep inside of every man. Through the whole evolution of man, men were out there in the dangerous world, if you came home alive, they celebrated. (Laughter) Now it’s, “Oh, he’s back.” (Laughter) You left the lights on the living room
last night before you left. (Laughter) That’s what I get! So men go, “She was just happy -” What is a man thinking, “If she was just the way she was
when I married her.” When men get married, they want you
to stay the same – as if you can. I realize that women
will never be the same, they’re like the weather. (Laughter) It’s always changing: it’s sunshine, blue sky, puffy clouds, rain storms, lightning strikes, hurricanes, (Laughter) tornadoes. If you’re from Mars,
you have these instincts that do the worst thing
when you’re with a Venusian. On Mars, when there are
tornadoes, what do we do? We find a ditch and lie low. (Laughter) It’s not what women expect you to do. When that tornado comes in,
you’re supposed to, like, stand there. (Laughter) “Is something the matter?” (Laughter) If you read any of my books,
you know what you have to say when every cell in your body says,
“I can’t take it anymore. I’ve got to find a ditch and lie low.
Let me get my car and drive somewhere.” Instead, you stand there
and just keep looking. And when there’s a break you say, “Huh. (Laughter) Tell me more.” (Laughter) She feels like: I’m married to Superman. (Laughter) Afterwards that you could do that,
and I teach people how to do that – you have to at least know
what you’re trying to do, here. Because married men say, “No matter what I say or do,
it makes it worse.” And I say, “That’s because
what you say and do is wrong. (Laughter) It just doesn’t work! You’ve just told me
it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.” But what does work? Nothing. (Laughter) (Applause) Nothing! You cannot make a woman happy! (Laughter) You cannot change the weather. It changes by itself. Women are grown ups, they can feel better,
they can get happier, they know how to do it. Just their way of doing it
is different from ours. All I have to do when
I’m stressed out is sit down. (Laughter) Men have a switch back here, as soon as you sit down, (Laughter) blood flow stops to your brain. (Laughter) They did some experiments on that. They have women at the end of the day
sit down, have men sit down, and they measure the brain activity. Women sit down, their brains speed up, (Laughter) more blood flow. And you say, “What are you thinking?” And she says – which any woman
in this room can predict – “Well, while sitting on this couch, I’m thinking of all the things
I should be doing that I’m not doing while I’m doing this silly experiment.” (Laughter) Then they do the man,
and the man is sitting there, and you look at the scans:
nothing’s happening! (Laughter) Is it broken? (Laughter) What is this? And she is like,”Whoa!” So you ask him, “What are you thinking?” And you all know the answer
to that question if you’ve been married. He says, “Nothing!” (Laughter) And now he’s got evidence, “See, honey.
I’m not withholding from you.” (Laughter) “I don’t have big secrets.
I’m not hiding my problems from you. I’m trying to forget them. (Laughter) Why do we have to talk about them?” Because one of the primary ways
that men cope with stress – and remember, what’s the hormone
that lower stress for men? Testosterone. So the hormone that lowers stress
for men is testosterone. If I’ve got all these problems in my life,
and I’m solving them, I’m releasing testosterone, and it’s keeping my stress levels down. At the end of the day,
I still have all these unmet problems, all these problems I haven’t solved. So now, I’m not solving problems,
my stress level goes up! I can’t do anything about it, I’m home, I can’t do anything about it,
so stress goes up. So how have men adapted
to deal with problems you can’t do anything about
once you’re sitting? Forget it! (Laughter) We can turn our brains off. We have an off switch. Women don’t. They cannot forget anything. (Laughter) Here is a simple test
in gender intelligence: who has a better, bigger memory? Women or men? Women. This is proven! The hippocampus in a woman’s brain
is twice as big as in a man’s brain. The second story is like a library
recording everything on the first floor. On the second floor, she records every mistake
you’ve ever made. (Laughter) And something she can’t do
much about is when she is stressed, when she is stressed,
blood flow goes to that second floor. (Laughter) There’s an elevator, she goes up, she forgets every good thing
you’ve ever done and remembers
every mistake you made. How does she get off that floor? She’s got to lower her stress;
she cannot forget it. So what does she do?
What’s a woman’s reaction? Just measure the brain. There’re wonderful brain studies now. Under moderate stress, women’s brains have eight times more blood flow
to the emotional part of the brain, which then goes to the hippocampus. She’s bombarded with memories! For a man, he forgets everything. I’m not saying that women
are more emotional than men, I’m saying that under moderate stress,
women have a stronger emotional reaction. Under big stress, men have
a stronger emotional reaction. What’s big stress for men? A problem you
can’t solve and can’t forget. That’s the big stress for men: a problem you can’t solve,
and you can’t forget. No matter how many
football games you’re watching no matter how much
news you’re watching, how much pressing weights
in the gym you are doing, you can’t forget that problem. So now your stress levels are shooting up. So, for men, that’s a big problem! So, historically, evolutionary wise, that’s lions, tigers, bears. Oh, my! Lions, tigers, bears –
men have a big reaction! And by the way, biologically,
what’s happening? As soon as a man feels powerless, his testosterone converts to estrogen
and floods his brain with fear and anger. It’s when men go to their female hormones, they lose control
of their masculine hormones, their testosterone levels drop. Literally, testosterone
converts into estrogen through an enzyme called aromatase. I’m a man, testosterone driven. Every man has to have 30 times more testosterone
than your average woman to get up on stage to do anything. Without that, he’s like: “Ugh, I don’t want to work anymore. I just want to go play,
watch TV, and do nothing.” Every loser I have ever counseled, I said, “Why did you do that?”
“I felt like it.” “Why don’t you get up and do this?”
“I don’t feel like it.” What we do want – feelings,
it’s a wonderful evolutionary lift. Men have to always reason first
and then check it out with their feelings. Why do I say that? Because I counsel losers a lot. They follow their feelings
instead of saying, “Does that make sense?” “I don’t care.” A man has to start with caring,
about what makes sense, and then check it out with your feelings. Women have to check out
what is my feeling first, which will access your intuition, and then what makes sense. We’re complements to each other, and we see the wiring
in the brain is the same. The intuitive center over here,
the emotional center over here, called the right anterior
parietal lobe in a woman, which has to do with
personal relationships, has to do with:
“What are you eating today?” “What should we have for food today?” “What should I wear?” “Look, what she’s wearing.” “What do our children need?” “What do the people need?” “What does the earth need?” “What does our family need?” “How can I improve this relationship?” That’s all relational activities. I discovered that on vacation with my three daughters
and my wife in Hawaii. As we’re sitting around
with nothing to do, I listened to their conversations. (Laughter) “What we are going to eat?” “What we going to wear?” “What did you wear, can I wear that?” Nothing there limited that at all, but when they are relaxing – See? That’s what I’m talking about:
this is how women relax. They go to the right part of the brain,
that stimulates estrogen; it also stimulates a magic hormone
that most people are not aware of called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone
that lowers stress in women. This was an amazing discovery! Was it 12 years ago,
they start finding this out? Just to brag a moment,
because I am from Mars, I was talking about 30 years ago. I discovered it when I read an article about oxytocin that women
produce when they see babies. Back in the day, we were
learning about being there, bonding with your children at birth, huge amount of oxytocin
comes out, and you bond. Well, then I went to this mall,
just watching women, watching men, I used to sit there and just watch:
there was a chair. (Laughter) And in those days, when women had a lot more oxytocin
than they have now, in those days, a woman
carrying a baby along like this, women would gather, “Oh!” The same response that my wife would make
when I brought her a rose, and when I put my arm around her, and when we saw
something sweet in a movie, and I realized, “Ah, this is
what makes women smile.” Now we have the science behind it:
oxytocin lowers stress for women. Then we found out oxytocin allows women
to have climax in the bedroom. That perks up men’s ears. (Laughter) There is an oxytocin pill,
synthetic oxytocin. You can give it to her,
she’ll be really turned on, and it’s been proven,
next day she shoots you. (Laughter) (Applause) Because the drugs take you up,
but then bring you down. (Laughter) So, by understanding
these two dynamics, we’re living in a world today
where there’s lots of stress. What we want to do is have equality, mutual respect,
mutual appreciation, but we are facing a new challenge. As women are more in the workplace,
feeling more independent, testosterone gets produced. There’s nothing wrong
with testosterone in a woman’s body, some are just born with more, they’ll say, “What’re you talking about?
I don’t care what I wear.” But most women, 90% of women,
have this low testosterone, high estrogen, and oxytocin is the hormone in all women
that lowers cortisol for them – cortisol, the stress hormone. Well, if you give a man
an injection oxytocin, he goes to sleep. (Laughter) Because after climax as well … (Laughter) After he has climaxed,
that’s a release of oxytocin, what does he do? He goes right to sleep. So the bottom line is
anything that’s oxytocin producing, after you’ve done it three or four times,
kind of puts a man to sleep. Which puts a real damper on relationships unless men figure out that if I do
oxytocin things for my wife, I’m not just doing
oxytocin producing things for her, I’m solving a problem. And when I solve a problem,
testosterone levels go up. So when my wife is talking, I’m in the storm, I say, “Tell me more,” my testosterone stays up
because I know how to make it work, and I know what I am doing
is helping her create more oxytocin. Planning dates,
bringing flowers, giving cards, all the symbols of Valentine’s Day, you do regularly,
on a little score, just a little bit. She’s always looking ahead
to a special time that causes her oxytocin levels
to rise up to lower her stress, so that her stress levels don’t shoot up. Because right now,
women’s stress levels, by studies, are on average twice as high as men’s
and four times higher at home. It’s shocking. And what we can do is realize our relationships can help us
to lower the stress level in women by learning new skills
to create oxytocin in her, better communication does it,
see her, hear her, notice when she gets her hair cut –
those little things. I’m going to finish here. The little things are so important.
Men’s testosterone is so important. I’ve never given
such a short talk in my life. (Laughter) But I’ll finish with three
simple easy takeaways – I didn’t do my slideshow – (Laughter) It was going to be:
“Staying focused in a hyper world,” but – (Laughter) (Applause) (Cheers) But as soon as somebody laughed
it brought out the best of me, so you got the best of me,
and you’ve been the best, and I want you to give you
three thoughts to go with – wait. For men, there’s something:
man need formulas, we need systems. The left brain, by the way, for men, left anterior parietal lobe
is twice as big for women. That’s solving problems,
fixing the toaster, arranging the computer, technical things; when you’re fixing things,
that stimulates testosterone, solving problems, nurturing things. We have a combination
of men and female in all of us, but here is how you nurture
the female hormones, the male hormones. A secret most men don’t know. You can bring her two dozen roses, and a man’s brain,
he calculates in the left brain: “That’s 24 roses,
that should be 24 points.” (Laughter) If roses cause oxytocin
that should be a huge surge. It’s one point of oxytocin. So you have to know. If you bring one rose, guess what happens? One point of oxytocin. Six roses, guess what you get? One point of oxytocin. Hundred roses?
Maybe two points of oxytocin. (Laughter) Little things make
a big difference for women. So it’s not the big stuff;
the big stuff’s fine. You go to work,
you do better and better work, you think, “Okay, I never
have to bring roses again!” You go to work, you get one point;
you come home, you get one point. You’re married, one point for that.
That’s it, three points a day. (Laughter) And she is doing the same thing,
so the score is even when you get home. She’s made you dinner
and there’s candle light burning, “My God, you are in a big trouble!” Because she gets herself a point
for matching napkins with plates. (Laughter) (Applause) If she says, “I made your favorite meal,”
you are in a big trouble! Because she gets herself all these points
for knowing what you like, going to the store
and buying what you like, all of those selfless sacrifices. She’s given herself points,
and she looks at you – 33 to three. (Laughter) She’s going, “Who is this guy?!” “He’s a zero!” 33 minus three is 30 to zero. So – (Laughter) So do lots of little things:
hugs four times a day, affection, compliments,
try to notice things, plan dates – these are all big oxytocin producers. I’ve written 17 books on this subject. Now, for men, what can you do to keep
his testosterone levels up, women? You want that man alive, dynamic! Here’re three little things, remember the little things, but they
sometimes have a big effect on men, too. When he is talking, he pauses –
find authenticity inside – here’re three phrases to use every day, and you’ll watch him,
his chest pop up, like “Yes.” (Laughter) You say to him as he pauses,
“That makes sense.” (Laughter) (Applause) You know? He’s walking around like … (Applause) And in his mind,
he is thinking, “Why did I say?” (Laughter) The next phrase: “Good idea!” (Laughter) I think I’m ready for my next TED Talk! He’s going, “Good idea,
worth sharing it with others, right?” And then the magic phrase that every man
craves to hear, once he gets married. Oh my gosh, it’s such a deficit for us. Whenever you can say it, say it, women,
you don’t realize how important it is. Just with a big smile on your face,
say, “You are right!” (Laughter) Thank you all so very much. I hope this is an idea worth sharing. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Cheers) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Mars brain, Venus brain: John Gray at TEDxBend

  1. Dr. Gray is sounding a little angry (specifically toward women), which makes me think twice about the advice being given in this talk. Not to discount any scientific findings, but what is he not revealing and what is he choosing to focus on? While his earlier works provided some beneficial advice, it seems like he's gotten caught up in his own celebrity, playing to the audience. But maybe that's the point.

  2. Oh wow, one cliché after another. If you're interested in real science on the subject (and an entertaining read), look into "Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine.

  3. Is it just me or does this speaker sound very bias? He made claims of a lot of supposite research or study to back his points but I'm not buying some of it. He's better off as a comedian.

  4. He described the classical middle age couple where he is out working hard all day meanwhile she is at home taking care of the house and kids and feel frustrated. His daughter is right to be financially independent before settle down she will less likely too meet a man that will try to manipulated her.

  5. Ive read comments here saying he's been really informative. All the information I got were attitudes and ideas. No facts behind it. I mean are we serious here, talking about happy wives and using planets as metaphors? He's speaking with no facts or only superficial ones, with no broader image or context included. You can't speak about gender roles and exclude society out of debate, and that society being patriarchal for millenniums.

    Consciousness, science, having facts, rethinking, constructive criticism, CONTEXT!!!

    He's a charlatan, an amateur, diving into the exoteric, mystifying instead of explaining. John Gray is not a man of science.

    Book recommendation: Bell Hooks Communion female search for love.

  6. What I have realized is that I am that possible 10% of women with testosterone levels. How do I live my life with a hubby then? lol

  7. I like this guy. The fact that it's about understanding how men work and understanding how women work is good. The fact that it's 90% about how to please a woman and not even 10% about how to please a man is sad. Men and women thinking that man is the one who always has to impress the women, keep her happy, safe and content and ignoring the other side of the story are sad. Our society will be completely destroyed if it continues with that mindset.

  8. what happens when the wife does everything to encourage her husband, keeps her mouth shut and supports him in every single way possible. for years keeps her mouth shut.

  9. I'm 56, have had low testosterone since age 40. I started treatment 2 years ago and it has changed our lives immensely. Not a problem with the equipment, but the will to use it. My depression is gone. And my career is peeking. The reasons for not starting treatment sooner were all related to its cost. I was so depressed that I just couldn't see spending money on something that just didn't seem important. Now I try to educate my friends about the benefits. And not the cost. Life is priceless. Thanks for sharing your vast experience. And great insight into our relationships, and the difference in our chemistry. Brilliant.

  10. I'm very offended that u refer to ur clients as "losers" WHILE u allege that their behavior is CAUSED by hormonal problems. (U sound like a man w no empathy…too bad)

  11. Always relevant and refreshing. You can hear and sense him relax as the crowd engages with him; and then his passion just flows effortlessly. Thank you for your research, ideas, commitment, and dedication to teaching and sharing through free and accessible content. ❤️ aw, blessings everyone.

  12. If only, I and my ex-wife had one counseling session with this guy, it might be the case that we would have still be man and wife..

    We both sucked at communication and parted away.

  13. It's in the " Koran " ! The Female brain is created ' smaller and different ' than the "" Male Brain "". However – Not in A ' Negative Light ' as Women occupy a Very High Status in Islam. It ' just states ' that women are ' created different hormonally ' as they have to give birth ! As a result the woman will have ' mood swings ' influenced by their Hormonal Make-Up ! The ' Biggest Jehadh ' in Islam & The One that will ' Earn Him Heaven ' is " The Consistent Spoonfeeding with Love , Coddling, Affection and Cuddling of The Wife ". As …in Islam – The Woman is a Gift to Man from God who was ' sent down as a Mercy upon him !!!! MASHA ALLAH !!!!!!

  14. Absolutely spectacular…. read the books and seen this many times.. never out of date! WHAT if we all learned this in high school instead of yet one more history-lie class….. amazing!

  15. Great speaker and good information. I usually turn off Ted Talks before I get to the end, but this one kept me interested. You can't "make" anyone happy. That is up to them. But you can make them miserable. Give someone a positive environment, and if it's in them to be happy, they will be.

  16. I think every man and woman has to watch this, because we completely forget how to treat a simple problem and make it into such a huge issue

  17. So my husband works with a lot of women and when he comes home he talks about how awesome they are and they work so hard. So I’m going to tell him, that makes sense, that’s a good idea and you’re right? Hmmm, I’m buy ear plugs instead. I’m cared for him for 22 yrs and through cancer. Not once has he acknowledged me. And yet he tells me how the women at his job amazes him. My oxytocin’s are drowning me!

  18. 0:53 "We all do this"….Different places, are inanimate, they are not people with feelings. Men do it to women, but they sure don't like it when women do it to them! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, never seems to quite sink into the brain.

  19. Both men and women actually want the same things from a relationship, trust, security, appreciation, fun, etc. they both want that. It's not Mars brains and Venus brains, men and women are both members of the human race.

  20. Well so many women are different, just as so many men are different. The problem with taking general data is it's based on a stale taste. If you treat all women the same as the woman next to them you will get combative results. Same with men. Treat and talk to each as if they are different and you will see new results. Women and men dont want to be treated like a number. I dont doubt that brain chemistry can bring about results, however not all women behave the way that men think. And not all men forget. So the data remains stale and inconclusive.

  21. we attended a week long seminar with John Gray at his home in California.
    John's explanations of human interactions provide life changing understanding of men and women…..even understanding yourself.
    Thank You John : )

  22. What a waste of time. Nothing holds, he starts by acknowledging men on dates stare at the women. But then after marriage it’s like only the women changed, no words about men no longer staring at their wives.

  23. GOD! this is so true, exactly me and my husband's case! i literally cant sit literally cant forget anything while husband sits and sits and sits lol

  24. Honestly i can say this resonates with me and my relationship with my husband. The emphasis on those little everyday things, for instance whenever i prepare a new recipe and the kids show little appreciation but my husband enjoys the meal, it means so much to me.

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