dear sharideth: How do I encourage the men in my life?

Dear Sharideth,

How can I encourage the men in my life in what they’re doing well? How can I encourage them that they can overcome when they’re struggling with something or fearful of something?

This may be another topic for another day or something you’ve already covered (and I forgot), but what does practically respecting a man look like without it looking like I am following a checklist? How can I show respect when he’s annoying the crap out of me (because I’m perfect)?

I don’t know how to do this well, and I honestly want and need to know how to do this not only for the men in my life now but in case I get married and have boys.

Sincerely,

Wannabe Encourager

dear WE,

i’ll need you to send me a sample of your DNA so i can clone you, because every man reading this wants one of you.  just asking questions like this launches you to the front of the “quality woman” line.  for reals.  you’ve got men in over a dozen countries swooning or whatever the male equivalent of that is.  i’ll set up an email account for the marriage proposals.

now to your questions…

How can I encourage the men in my life in what they’re doing well?

guys aren’t big on gushing.  it weirds them out and they don’t know how to react.  a basic “you did a great job.  impressive.” works just fine.  men just need to know you noticed and appreciate their effort.

How can I encourage them that they can overcome when they’re struggling with something or fearful of something?

remind them that they are stronger than they feel at the moment.  do not coddle.  girls coddle.  guys punch each other and say “suck it up, man.”  you’ll want to be somewhere closer to that.  men put a lot of personal value in their ability to cope.  sometimes they just need to be reminded they already have what it takes.  if you know the specifics of the situation, give them a good reason to get past it.  like:  “you will find another job, because you have to.  there’s no other option.  you’re too decent to just sit around.”  reason and reminder.  boom!

This may be another topic for another day or something you’ve already covered (and I forgot), but what does practically respecting a man look like without it looking like I am following a checklist?

it’s pretty easy really.  tell him what you respect about him when you see him demonstrate that quality or action.  “blah blah blah is one of things i respect about you.”  then leave it alone.  he’ll puff up like a fricking peacock and ride the buzz for the rest of the day.  again, no gushing.  it’s just timely, brief comments to let him know you see him and his quality.

other than that, it’s basic decency.  listen when he speaks.  cut him some slack if he acts like a jerk for 5 seconds.  be aware of his needs.  laugh at him when he hits thumb with a hammer, while you’re grabbing him an ice pack.

How can I show respect when he’s annoying the crap out of me (because I’m perfect)?

feel free to be direct about it.  again, guys would just punch each other and say, “knock it off.”  as a girl, try, “i’m crazy about you, but that sound you make while playing World of Warcraft makes me want to cut your head off with machete.”  always deliver that kind of criticism with a smile on your face and in your voice.  he’ll get the picture and know you don’t mean harm and aren’t nagging.  ugh.  nagging.  that’s a whole blog by itself.

last, but not least.  in fact, it should probably be first and most, go pick up Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  i rarely promote relationship books on the blog, because i think most of them are ridiculous and impractical.  hypocrite, thy name is sharideth.  but this one i can’t recommend highly enough.  it’s a real revelation when it comes to all the things you want to know.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

gentlemen, how would you answer any or all of her questions?

what is the male equivalent of swooning?

Advertisements

12 comments on “dear sharideth: How do I encourage the men in my life?

  1. G Fresh says:

    I pretty much agree with everything except for this; “do not coddle. girls coddle. guys punch each other and say “suck it up, man.” you’ll want to be somewhere closer to that.”. I agree with the don’t coddle part, but I STRONGLY disagree with a woman leaning more towards the arm punch/suck-it-up-man combo. Guys can do that because they’re guys and it’s part of how we interact with each other and there is no masculinity lost in it.

    We don’t want girls to try to be like one of the guys because boobs are awesome and stuff.

    That sort of “man-up” stuff coming from girls can be really emasculating to a guy no matter how it’s intended. So again, don’t coddle/baby us, but a warm hug and a “You got this. I believe in you.” can make a man feel like he can do pretty much anything.

  2. Austin Gilly says:

    As a man, I approve of this message. I think the “no coddling” advice is great, but like G Fresh says, we can get arm punches from our friends, from our ladies we need to know they still believe in us even when we fail.

  3. Amen. That is just the kind of woman every guy wants in his life. Women don’t believe it very often, but guys are pretty delicate. Egos are easily crushed. Men are weighed down by fears and ambitions that may never be fully realized. They need an encouraging word from the women in their lives that they believe in them (and what they are doing.)

  4. Wait – so the point of this is that I can punch guys right?

  5. Abby says:

    Encouragement does not have to be a big production. I think it’s mainly a matter of paying attention and mentioning what you appreciate. I have a male coworker, “Mark,” who has only been here a few months and is still training. Today at a meeting with our supervisor and others, Mark changed how the handouts are normally distributed, making them tidier and more efficient. As we left the meeting with our supervisor, I said, “Hey, putting the handouts in packets was a good idea.” The supervisor said, “Yes, it was.” Mark said, “Thanks!” End scene.

  6. asoulwalker says:

    “while you get an ice-pack…” that is just hilarious. Thank you.

  7. Definitely concurring with my colleague G Fresh with regards to ladies not taking the “suck it up” approach. You can sometimes get away with this if you truly are “just one of the guys” in our interaction history, but as a general rule it’s not a good idea because it’s peer pressure and you’re not part of the peer group. There’s actually more relationship involved in this response than is immediately obvious, at least as regards a positive result. You can shame/berate a guy into doing something through it, but it won’t be encouragement unless the relationship is the right kind.

  8. Elayne Woods says:

    Why couldn’t I have read this before I just totally screwed up my last relationship because of these.very.things!!! . :/ GAH!! So sad 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s