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Interview with Allan Pease, Barbara Pease

Aired February 14, 2004 - 07:41   ET


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what better time than Valentine's Day to try to figure out why men and women can't figure each other out?
Barbara and Allan Pease have written a book that may help. The title says it all: "Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes."

They join us from Dallas.

Well, help us out here, do men really not have a clue and do women really need more shoes? Or is that a stereotype?

ALLAN PEASE, AUTHOR, "WHY MEN DON'T HAVE A CLUE...": You know, if you ask any woman in the world -- and we went to 30 cultures on this, Jamie -- and they all say the same thing, men don't have a clue. They can do one thing at a time. They don't seem to listen to us. They don't seem to know what we want. They can't anticipate our needs.

But that's just the way our brains are wired. We're very different from women.

MCINTYRE: And this is the women's fault, right, because they don't communicate well with us men, right?

A. PEASE: Well, it's not...

BARBARA PEASE, AUTHOR, "WHY MEN DON'T HAVE A CLUE...": We just communicate differently, Jamie.

A. PEASE: It's different.

B. PEASE: It's not as if we don't do it well. We just have our way of communicating. We love words and we give you lots of words because we love you so much.

MCINTYRE: All right, so help us out. Help us clueless men out. How do we crack the code?

A. PEASE: Well, first of all, to understand that the brain scans that we talk about in our book show very clearly that men and women are different. Now, it's politically correct, I know, to go around pretending that men and women are exactly the same now. But the reality is we're not. And everybody knows this. We're scientifically different. And so, first of all, is to accept that.

Secondly, to understand that women can speak 20,000 to 24,000 words a day versus a man's top end of 7,000 to 10,000. And where this becomes apparent is at the early evening when you're having dinner, because most men have done their 10,000, right? She might still have 15,000 to go, and someone's got to hear them.

MCINTYRE: All right, well, we looked in your book and we've tried to pick out a few things here that might help. So let's take a look at these. You know, what women say and what they perhaps really mean. When they say, "I'm sorry," they mean -- when we say "we need" that means "I want." We need something, it means I want. Is that basically it? I'm sorry, you'll be sorry.

A. PEASE: You'll be sorry.

MCINTYRE: I'm not upset, which means, of course, of course I'm upset. You'll have to learn to communicate means just agree with me.

A. PEASE: Sure.

MCINTYRE: And how much do you love me, that means I did something that you won't like. Is that about right?

A. PEASE: Now, you are married so you would have heard these before. You'd understand this.


B. PEASE: And women talk in indirect terms. That's why we don't say what we exactly mean. Whereas men talk in very direct terms.

MCINTYRE: This, I think...

A. PEASE: And if I can, I'll give you a simple example. Because this morning Barbara said to me, she said, "Should I wear the heart shaped earrings or the round ones?" Now, the reality is I understand that she doesn't want me to give an answer because she's already chosen, right darling?

B. PEASE: That's right.

A. PEASE: Now, if I'd have said, take, wear those heart shaped ones, she'd say what's wrong with the round ones? Don't you like them? We'd finish up with a debate and an argument. Where if the average man said well, don't ask my opinion then he'd start off on a very bad foot.

B. PEASE: And I wore the heart ones because it's Valentine's Day today.

A. PEASE: Yes. So I said, you just go along and say you look beautiful (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you look beautiful. I mean when she says does this make my butt look big, the answer is you're beautiful.

MCINTYRE: So Barbara why... A. PEASE: That's the answer.

MCINTYRE: Why don't women just tell us what they want us to do, because we'll do it?

A. PEASE: Or we're not men.

B. PEASE: Because we feel that we're being aggressive, we're too direct. Because men speak in direct terms and we sort of kind of beat around the bush because we think that you'll understand what we really mean.

MCINTYRE: And if you...

A. PEASE: If she says to you, darling, would you like china, what do you read into that?

MCINTYRE: I read into that we're having Chinese.

A. PEASE: Well, now, that's because you're a married man. Now, an unmarried, inexperienced man would say no thanks and he'd finish up being sleepy on the sofa that night.

MCINTYRE: Well, my favorite example is my wife says to me, there's something, there's a noise in the car. The car's making a noise. So I go out and look at the car and say well, it looks like we have to take it to the shop. And she's saying, well, you know, I could have done that. I think she was expecting -- she wanted me either to fix it or diagnose the problem or do something that I didn't do. But I couldn't figure out what it was I suppose.

A. PEASE: Well, I think she might have low expectations, Barb, what do you think?

MCINTYRE: All right, well, let's just take, very quickly till we give Ben -- here's some men speak. When a man says, "Can I help with dinner?" what he really means is why isn't it already on the table? If he says, "I'm getting more exercise lately," that means the batteries in the remote control are dead. If he says, "That's interesting, darling," he says are you still talking? "Take a break honey" means I can't hear the television and "you're working too hard" means I can't hear the television over the vacuum cleaner.

So I guess that's about right.

A. PEASE: Yes, well, if it's most...

MCINTYRE: So what...

A. PEASE: It's most men's life story, you know?

MCINTYRE: What's the one piece of advice you give men and women on this Valentine's Day to make things go a little bit smoother today?

B. PEASE: Understand that men and women are different. They're not better and worse from each other, they're just different. And learn to understand their speech.

A. PEASE: It's almost like they're talking to somebody who's, that speaks a foreign language or has a brain problem. If you treat them and talk to them as though they are different and do speak a different language, then you'll get on well. If you try to pretend their the same and will understand you, you'll be heading for the divorce courts.

MCINTYRE: Well, Barbara and Allan Pease, thank you for being with us this morning.

Again, the book, "Why Men Don't Have A Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes."


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