A lot of women know this. Yet so few do it.
“He puts a couple dishes in the dishwasher, and then looks at me like he wants some praise,” one woman told me.
“Did you give it to him?” I asked.
“Of course not,” she retorted. “He didn’t rinse them first.”
I responded with the events chronicled in this post, so no need to go over them again.
Reward effort, ladies, not results.
Who cares if they didn’t do it exactly right? It takes time for people to change. Especially when they are going against their nature. Even more especially when they aren’t doing it for themselves so much as to make life easier for the person they love. I would say 80% of your energy should go into appreciating the effort and 20% into making suggestions on how they can do an even better job next time.
You can also encourage him BEFORE he makes the effort by hinting at greater pleasures to come. “Oh, Gordon. It makes me so hot when you wear something nicer than sweats and your One-Tequila-Two-Tequila-Three-Tequila-FLOOR t-shirt to my office Christmas party, the whole time I can barely think about anything but how much I want to tear your clothes off and have my way with you on the conference room table.”
NOTE: You don’t need to use these exact words. Especially if you don’t work in an office. And/or your significant other is not named “Gordon.”
A lot of women are reluctant to do this. When we get the impression someone is only doing something to get something from us, part of us rebels. For others it feels manipulative. Still others are too busy listening to the voice in the head telling her “He should know better” or “Don’t give your power away” or “Only praise a guy when he’s earned it…and by earned it I mean done everything the exact way you like it without you having to tell him.”
These are normal thoughts to have. These women may even be right.
However, when it comes to relationships “being right” is often profoundly unhelpful.
Conditional praise leads to conditional relationships which are breeding grounds for unhappiness.
Besides, what are your alternatives? Nagging? The silent treatment? Criticism? Stewing in unspoken resentment? Grounding him?
How do you feel about yourself when you use these things to get your way? Is that the person you want to be? And if you’re with a guy who only responds to nagging and criticism, is that the kind of relationship you want?
Praise early. Praise often. Praise willingly and sincerely.
See him as a man you can be proud of…and watch him live up to your faith in him.
-May All Beings Be Sexy
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