We all like to hear a little career encouragement, and I'm guessing men probably hear it more than women. So, ladies, let's all encourage each other. And, guys, don't be threatened— give us a little love in the workplace, too. (That love is figurative, not literal. No need to get HR involved.)
We value our friendships, and we'd like to hear that you recognize and appreciate those bonds, too. So the next time your wife is being a supportive friend, let her know she's doing a good thing. You can even sing Queen's "You're My Best Friend" for her, but don't try and hit the high notes, because that will just annoy her.
Flex your emotional muscles by appreciating your partner's strengths. Whether it's her strong political beliefs or her tenacity in the face of hardship, let her know her backbone is one of your favorite body parts.
Kids are one of our greatest accomplishments, and we moms can never hear often enough what a decent job we're doing bringing them up. So get out the good booze and get busy raising a glass to the mom who's raising your kids.
Look, I just spent two hours sorting the bowls from the lids and arranging them into a pleasing configuration, so at least give me some props on my handiwork. Same goes for the refrigerator—you didn't think five nights of leftovers Tetris-d themselves onto those shelves on their own, did you?
We're nurturers and caregivers, and we like to take care of you. Sure, we nag you about taking your vitamins and cutting down on your beer consumption, but we mean well. A few words about how much you appreciate it goes a long way.
Warning: Don't ever call us "Mom," even as a joke, unless you want to be wearing that beer.
It's 2017 and men are no longer afraid of smart women, right? Praise your wife's intellect to prove it! Show her that "a beautiful mind" is not just the name of a movie or a saying on an ill-fitting T-shirt you got her at the mall kiosk.
Does your wife juggle? Yodel? Turn the tupperware drawer into a work of art? Then give her some kudos for those special talents of hers. Bonus points if it's something that she isn't too up front about, like rapping in the shower or doing the Dougie while she's folding laundry.
Guys aren't the only ones who fantasize about being stand-up comedians. We're hella funny, and it would be great if you showed how much you appreciate our sense of humor. Laughing at our jokes once in awhile would make us love you even more. Now let me tell you the one about the duck who walked into a bar ...
Time to stop using "quirky" as a back-handed compliment. Quirky is good! It speaks of originality, creativity and the strength to swim against the tide. It's a side you want to encourage, not discourage—so let your partner know you dig those red rubber rainboots and her fondness for weird knitting videos. ¡Viva la quirk!
This is an important one, but tricky. Telling someone you're proud of them is huge, but only if it doesn't come from a feeling of ownership or in a patronizing way. If you're telling someone you're proud of them, mean it from a place of admiration and pride in their accomplishments, not your expectations of them. I told you it was tricky.
Sure, we don't need their approval, but it would be nice to hear that your friends think we're pretty swell. Don't worry, we aren't going to start asking to be invited to Beer Pong Thursdays, but it just makes things difficult when they don't like us. Also, there's nothing worse than hearing that your pals have nicknames for us like "ball and chain"or "Yoko Ono."
After laboring over a hot stove (or microwave, or Instant Pot) all day it's nice to hear some kind words, so be generous with the accolades and give your warmest compliments to the chef. (Tipping is optional.)
Ideally, relationships help us evolve into our better selves. Done right, the nurturing and companionship we experience does indeed make us better people. So acknowledge your wife's role in helping you grow and upgrading into You, 2.0.
Don't just say this on your anniversary (although heaven help you if you don't do it on that day). Buck the comic stereotype of the marriage-bashing male and let your spouse know you're happy you took those vows.
Extra points if you do it while your buddies are around during a football game.
C'mon, you don't need prodding for this one, do you? Telling a woman she's beautiful is in the Relationships 101 handbook, along with making sure you put the toilet seat down and never drinking the milk straight out of the carton.
This one's easy: Pick out your favorite qualities of your partner, pick out the best qualities of your kids and see which ones match. Present these wonderful qualities to your wife in the form of a compliment. Come to have a new appreciation of your wife's gene pool.
Drive and ambition aren't qualities that are always considered favorable in women, especially to spineless men or those born in the 1800s. So if you're a modern, reasonable guy, you should appreciate an ambitious woman and laud her for her aspirations. If you can't, perhaps you should just live with cats.
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