by Rod Froseth
Believe it or not beneath the confident, silent exterior of a guy, lies a feeling or two. Ladies, we understand, are more verbal than men, and relationship experts tell us–as if it’s big news–that the feminine of the genders has a need to hear words of affection.
Expressions of love and frequent compliments for their beauty and character strengthen relationships with their sweethearts and build a healthy self-image.
Unfortunately, with this bit of knowledge, the presumption is that the masculine minority has no such need and guys are quite secure without such verbal applause. The truth is that, whether needed or not, guys enjoy occasionally hearing such fair words, and they do take root in their souls also bearing fruit in stronger relationships and confidence. Especially valued by men are expressions of approval spoken by their very own romantic better half.
“You can do it!”
Maybe it’s the primal, animal instinct that comes from gallons of testosterone coursing through guys’ bodies, or maybe it’s just the way God made them, but guys usually show themselves fairly confident. It’s just show. Well, not always, but most guys are a little uncertain of themselves from time to time.
It’s tough on the street to find someone to believe in you. You can look, but once you find someone, it might not be exactly the kind of person you want to believe in you. So, for your guy, it’s really nice when his sweetheart really does believe in him and says so. Mind you, it needs to be sincere. Insincere confidence doesn’t go far these days.
“That’s a great idea!”
The moment a wiggly little sperm finds a willing egg, and the chromosomes are right to make a boy, the gates open for a fresh barrage of bizarre and scary ideas to descend upon the world. If your guy isn’t testing ideas on you regularly, check his pulse. If his pulse is strong, maybe someone discouraged his penchant for great ideas once too many times. Guys have lots of ideas. They just do. It’s the way God made them.
Before you panic, isn’t going to really do all these wild ideas; he just needs to dream. However, when his dreams are suppressed so is his soul. Dreams are fuel for a guy’s soul. Your sweetheart needs to put his feet up and think of how things could be, what difference he could make in his world. Critics can and do kill this sensitive nerve in a guy by pointing out the nonsense of it all. Don’t you be that critic. Encourage your guy with these four frightening words: “What a great idea!”
Here’s where you panic. Your man has to try stuff once in awhile, and it’s a given that not every great idea is going to fly. In most cases it’s won’t be a problem, but sometimes these attempts at conquest can sting a little. Ask yourself what you really want: a guy with great self-esteem thanks to his lover’s support, or one who feels like a failure. Avoid those crushing words, “I told you s….” No, no, we don’t say that here.
“Sure, I’d love to.”
Centuries of tradition across the cultures and the seas have put the task of invitation and initiation between the sexes in the camp of the male. For guys it’s pretty OK that things are this way, because guys like to come up with great ideas, remember? That means everything from dinner at the new Mahican restaurant to a motorcycle trip across Canada to a shower and a romp together depend on the invitation of your sweetheart. Give him time, he’ll refine.
While your man learns the art of more sensitive and romantic ideas, don’t discourage him or even hesitate. Remember, his soul is connected to his ideas and dreams–a tender place for a man. The more he feels your heartfelt acceptance and enthusiasm to run with him, the more fun you’ll have. Besides, I’ve heard Mahican fare isn’t bad.
“Geeze, you’re good at that!”
Two things guys long for which our world is reluctant to give: significance and recognition. Neither is costly and neither has any negative side-effects. If you’d like to help someone grow in virtually any sphere of life, pour out lavish love, praise and affirmation. Countless proverbs and even a short life have taught us that you catch flies with honey, not vinegar so why is it fashionable to correct other’s erroneous ways through disapproval? Someone started this fad centuries ago and I see it lived out everywhere I travel. What I don’t understand is why we withhold affirmation when our honey does something right? Think of how great it would be.
“Don’t worry. It will be fine.”
Life has gone wrong. Again. Remember the donkey, Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh’s friend for whom nothing goes right? His constant lack of luck sort of colored his personality and made him quite lovable. Maybe there’s a guy in your life like that. If you’re not sure, perhaps you don’t know many guys. Life goes wrong, and guys have a skill for suffering and torturing themselves. I think it’s a religious thing regardless of religious persuasion. For some reason, guys feel they deserve life’s misfortune, and if misfortune doesn’t find them, they create it for themselves. Our pain probably subconsciously buys points somewhere.
“How interesting. Tell me more.”
To be known is a most other-worldly sensation. More bizarre yet is to be known, accepted and even loved. How many people know you and all of your secrets? You don’t need many fingers to calculate that, do you?
If your guy is past his mid-twenties, statistically, he’s likely made all the really close friends in life that he will ever make. If he has one close friend who really knows him and accepts him, he’s doing really well. Life doesn’t really deliver much in the way of others who know us intimately and accept us. We can wish all we want that things would be different, but it’s not likely to happen. The only way we can singlehandedly change our part of our world is by taking an interest in others, listening and knowing them. You’ll notice a pleasant change.
Do you want to see your sweetheart be at a total loss for words, fall off his chair and roll on the floor laughing? Next time he starts to tell a personal story, simply put your elbow on the table, place your chin in your hand, lean forward and say, “How interesting. Tell me more.” Try it. It will be fun. More than that, your guy will melt for being known.
“I knew you’d do the right thing.”
Our world forces us to fragment. You need to be one person on the job, another at the club and someone altogether different at home. After awhile you begin to forget who you are. Unfortunately, our values are challenged and integrity is often compromised. That’s what fragmentation results in–lack of integrity. We’re not one integrated person any longer but many, and as much as we hate it, we end up representing ourselves and our values dishonestly. Most people want to be honest and represent themselves for who they really are. Most people want to be real–the same person to everyone. However, in our fragmented world that has become quite a challenge.
A guy can be much more firm in his integrity when he knows his sweetheart believes in him and shares his values. He’s not standing alone trying to do right in the face of a world that demands so much wrong. Your convictions and belief in him does more to strengthen his character than anything.
Words have power to effect change like nothing else. Words of affirmation, acceptance and love are so much easier to say and powerful than critical words. The source of applause for your sweetheart is bottomless. Use these simple words of affirmation liberally!
About the Author
Rod Froseth is a freelance writer, photographer and webmaster of www.theromanticway, inspiration for a romantic way of life. Visit TheRomanticWay to subscribe to Rod’s free ezine, “Along TheRomanticWay”.