The differences between men and women aren't just about Mars and Venus, according to Dr. Marianne Legato. She talks with Dr. Oz about her book, Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget, explaining why the sexes argue differently and how they can both communicate better.
Brain chemistry accounts for the differences in the way men and women experience arguments, Dr. Legato says. Women have a great ability to recall every word that's spoken, especially an unpleasant memory. At the same time, their brain secretes cortisol, which stays in their system for 24 hours and leads to negative emotions. Men also experience a burst of cortisol, but it subsides immediately—they may even feel fairly positive afterward. The next day, a woman may have a vivid memory of the argument and want to continue the discussion, while a man is on to the next thing and doesn't understand why the woman is still so agitated.
Dr. Legato shares one of her laws for communicating with men—"Say what you mean," she says. "If you tell a man nothing's wrong, he'll very ingenuously take you at your word." She recommends engaging men with a direct glance, starting with something positive and making it a problem-solving situation. For men, Dr. Legato recommends a little more listening. "Women like to talk—that's how they come to solutions."