Susan, from PAX Programs, is here today to spill the beans on what really gets men going. So, her words of advise for today are, "Men get their juice from appreciation." Not sure what that means? Read on!
I am very pleased to share something with you today that can have a profound difference in how much help you receive from men. Help is something we always want, however we don’t know how to inspire it in men. When they do help us, we often aren’t grateful for what they provided, and sometimes we even tell them. This makes them reluctant to help, and over time, they stop trying. I highlight two stories below, which will show you what is possible when men are appreciated for their efforts.
Last month, I wrote about men and gift giving. In the final paragraph, I mentioned that men get their juice from appreciation. A dear friend of mine thanked me last week for including that statement. She had been planning her annual holiday party and her husband was helping with her “to do” list each night when he came home from work. She was thankful for reading the statement because it reminded her to appreciate him. I had the pleasure of attending their beautiful gathering in which she personally acknowledged her husband right in front of me. I got to see his chest puff up and his eyes ignite with satisfaction that his efforts didn’t go unnoticed. I am certain that he will gladly help each year with whatever she needs because she remembers to make sure he is appreciated and more importantly, it is authentic.
Today I was again reminded how important appreciation is. I had a really rough day. Along with it being the holidays and being completely behind on everything, we’ve sold our house and are in the process of figuring out our next living situation. This coupled with life’s daily challenges, especially with small children, had me in a bit of a holiday funk. Well, needless to say, when our mortgage broker called asking us to take care of some paperwork that could potentially take a few hours out of my already overscheduled day, I lost it.
Unfortunately, my poor husband was then on the receiving end of my rant when I called him at work. Of course, I should have known better than this since I know he is single focused at work and interrupting him for something that he actually can’t take care of at work is no good. However, in my upset rant, I lost my ability to think clearly and decided to yell at him about things that were not his fault. Thank goodness I was able to realize what I did and apologized while he was still on the phone - explaining to him about all the things I had going on. Well, much to my surprise, I was completely BLOWN away twenty minutes later when I heard the door unlock. He walked in and said, “I am here to help so you can get your things done.” I stopped dead in my tracks and cried. I will never forget that moment for as long as I live. I couldn’t believe he actually left work to come to my rescue. I felt so loved and supported in that moment. All my troubles melted away.
What this hopefully shows is that men love to help us. The problem is we often don’t let them. In the past, I would have probably been appreciative, but still told him I could take care of it. Women are pleaser's, we don’t want to be too much of a bother to anyone. We want to be the ones that please and we go about our day proving that we can do it all. However, we are usually upset in the process. We are resentful that no one notices all that we are doing or gets up to help. Men love to help and they will if you let them. Let him help you and save you from all that overwhelms you. The reason Mort showed up to help is because he knew I would let him AND he knew his efforts wouldn’t go unnoticed.
He knew I would appreciate him.
I can’t say enough about appreciation. Men need it, they thrive on it, and they are drawn to those that appreciate what they have to offer. When they help and it is appreciated, they want to help again and again. Keep these things in mind when appreciating men:
o Men like appreciation in the form of small acts – making his favorite meal, bringing him coffee, stocking his favorite foods in the refrigerator, surprising him with a date night to his favorite place, or scheduling a golf day for he and his friends. If you don’t know how he likes to be appreciate, ask him.
o As your relationship changes, how he feels appreciated will change too. Make sure you check back with him to see if the things that made him feel appreciated a few years ago still do the trick.
o If you are going to appreciate him verbally, be authentic. We often think, I could have just done it myself, or done it better. So, when we appreciate, it doesn’t come off as authentic, it comes off gross…because, it is. Just because you can do it too, doesn’t mean it didn’t help to get a break from doing it. Appreciate him for how it did help you or the time it gave you to do something else.
o The more you appreciate, the more you will be appreciated in return. Since I learned how important appreciation is to men and decided I would take it on in my life, I get appreciated a ton in return. My favorite is when I get a text thanking me for something after he has already left for work.
o If you aren’t feeling appreciated yourself, tell him. Ask for appreciation when you need it. Women talk a lot more than men, so it shouldn’t surprise you that we usually like appreciation in the form of words. Every time I have to ask for appreciation, I find out Mort was thinking about it, he just didn’t think to verbalize it. Now that I ask whenever I need it, he doles it out more generously.
During the holidays, we get so caught up in our social engagements and shopping that we often forget to appreciate what goes on in our day-to-day lives. Stop today and take a moment to appreciate the people that make a difference in your life.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
For more information on men and helping, join me in San Francisco, February 5th/6th, 2011 for the Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women Workshop.
Workshop Leader, PAX Programs