I got one of those questions the other day that made me think, "well that's a blog post if I've ever seen one." The long and short of it was that the original poster wanted to know ways that she could show her man that she appreciated him. I said to myself, "self, exactly how could a woman show her man that she appreciated him?"
The more I started to think about this the more difficult it became. And do you know why?
Glad you asked.
Well, its because I think in general, women constantly show their men how much they appreciate us. If there's a gender dropping the ball in the appreciation arena, its men, not women. Women tend to compromise more, always consider us in their decisions, and want us to be happy at all times. Not that men don't want their women to be happy, we just would rather her happiness didn't come at our expense. Are we selfish? Probably. We're also raised to be selfish about life. It's a vicious cycle.
Anyway, so I got to thinking about specifics. Assuming that regular life is taking place and both people show one another that they care and appreciate them via regular life activities like spending time and saying things that need to be said, etc, how else might this occur?
Here's my stab at this list.
1. Telling him to go out and have a night with his boys on occasion
I don't mean the scheduled 2-hour break many of us get on a Saturday to go hang with our friends and play basketball or something. I mean, just one day, out of the blue, just tell your man that he should go and take a personal day and have fun. Go do whatever you want and come home when you want. No pressure and no worries. We'll probably think this is a set up (face it, 7 times out of 10 it IS a setup), but he'll appreciate that you realized he needed a "break" at times.
2. Buy him something that he actually wants instead of something you want him to have
Not saying that this is always the case, or the case the majority of the time, but I know I've been the recipient of more than one gift that I either couldn't use or couldn't understand why I was receiving it. Of course I took it and said thank you, but it went in the pile with the Snuggies and Extra Medium Banana Republic sweaters. If I say I'd like something like a new toolbox and you get me a toolbox, I'll be ecstatic. Just like women love when men listen, men do too. We appreciate that and will feel appreciated. Because you heard me.
3. Help him with something that he really needs help with
You know how we know that you love or appreciate us? By being there for us when we truly need somebody to be there. Now, this seems like its in women's nature to do this anyway so perhaps this goes in the "just do what you'd normally do" pile, but its true. Men need respect and loyalty. We're like dogs in that regard. You give us that and we'll likely stick around for the long haul anyway. But we do appreciate that and trust me, it doesn't go unnoticed.
4. Tell him
Sounds easy enough but it really isn't. A lot of people have trouble articulating to somebody why they appreciate them. It's easy to say "I love you" (well, kind of), but its harder to say why you love somebody or why you appreciate what they bring to your life because it requires self-awareness. So telling him will allow him the space to understand why you appreciate him and he'll probably cook you a meal. We work really well with words of affirmation.
5. Just do something nice to make him feel special
Another one of those things that truly just goes both ways, male or female. In fact, showing appreciation really is the same across the board. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, the best way to show appreciation is to just do it. Let them know, or do something nice for them to show that you care and are listening to their needs. Everybody wins that way.
And an angel probably gets its wings.