Honest Appreciation

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A fan wrote to me a little while ago, saying that he had read my post “Tell Them They’re Sexy” and thought it was good advice. He wanted a more exciting sex life, and so here are his words on what he did:

“I told her that she was pretty every day. Really. Every single day I told her ‘you look nice’ when I came home. And she didn’t warm up at all. In fact, she seems stiffer than ever.” 

Now, I thought I made myself perfectly clear in the post Tell Them They’re Sexy that mechanical praise would not get the job done. However, it seems that some people read my words of “find something you can really like about them and fall in love with it,” and you just didn’t take my meaning.

So for the record, I am not saying that you should repeat tired cliches like “You have the most beautiful eyes” or “I love your dimples.” These are the stuff of pulp romances and they are not said with feeling or meaning because they are too cliche for anyone to ever mean them again.

When I said you have to fall in love with things about your significant other and then vocalize that love, I meant it. You are not trying to win the award for best actor by selling a lie. You have to actually love things about the person who you want to inspire confidence in.

Really.

You have to actually love them.

Is that such a surprise?

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Let me explain this in a whole different way than I did last time so that maybe everyone will get it.

When I was around 12 years old I read a book that helped me to think in terms of the other person’s wants. The book is called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It was written in the 1930’s by Dale Carnegie, and revised for the modern reader in 1981.

I know for most girls it’s easy to think about life in terms of the wants of another person, since women so often change everything about themselves to fit into the world of a man they care for. This seems to be a basic instinct among women, and I am not sure if its evolutionary or societal, but I have watched it happen to many female friends.

For me, fitting into someone else’s universe was impossible when I was young. My world was huge and it took up all the space in any room or relationship. So I read this book, and it helped me to learn to think in terms of another person’s wants and needs.

This helped me make other people happy, which in turn made me happy.

 

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Note: Pardon my bad paraphrase, but I am afraid an exact quote would have taken five pages, as Dale Carnegie had a way of explaining things that took a very long time.

There is only one way to get a person to do what you want. It is to make them want to do it.

Sure, you can make them want to do it at the end of a gun, but they will stop the moment your back is turned. So the best way to get another person to do what you want is to sincerely make them want to do whatever it is that you need. 

The way to get others to want to do what you want is to express sincere appreciation for them and help them feel important. 

Let me use a direct quote for effect here: “No! No! No! I am not suggesting flattery! Far from it. I’m talking about a new way of life. Let me repeat that. I am talking about a new way of life.”

In other words, the book is saying that you have to change yourself.

Instead of spending all your time thinking about yourself and your own wants, you have to stop and remember that every person you meet, from your spouse to the clerk at Circle K, has a life full of wants and desires and hopes. And you have to take the time to consider those people- really consider them.

Once you consider a person, you might be able to begin to see things from their point of view. You might learn to appreciate their life, and in doing so, to appreciate them.

There is no shortcut to giving people sincere appreciation, and if you fail to do this, you won’t get anyone to care about doing what you want.

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This is what I was saying before in my original post. I may not have used the same words or examples, but in essence, this is what I was saying.

You can’t just tell a person that they look nice. That won’t convince anyone of anything.

Rather, you learn to love what there is to love.

For example: My husband is really dinky for a guy. He looks like you could fold him up and put him in a briefcase. His shoulders are so narrow that the military armor he has to wear needs to come in child sizes in order to fit him properly (and tragically, yes, they do make child-sized armor.)

Anyway the point is, this is counter to what most women want and what society glorifies.

And I will admit that in the past, even I have appreciated plenty of men for their broad shoulders and strong stance.

However, there are things to appreciate in a slight form and those are things that I have learned because of my husband.

He didn’t happen to come in a tall or broad package. This is the package that the person I love came in. And as such, it is the package that I learned to love.

Now, I appreciate the way that he looks so adorable curled up in ball. I appreciate how I can hug him and just wrap all of me around him. I appreciate that his slight stance has given him the most adorable little butt.

And here’s the important part: I tell him these things.

I learned to appreciate him for who he is and the body that he lives in, and I tell him how I feel all the time.

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If you want someone to really feel comfortable around you and to open up and be fun, this is what you have to do. It is the only way.

Like I said, there is no shortcut to making someone feel appreciated. You actually have to learn to appreciate them.

How long does this take?

Well, my favorite boys and girls have all appreciated me for what I was right from the start.

Who doesn’t love a man who will undress you slowly while telling you why they love each new part of you that they are seeing? I have little love handles, and I love when someone can see them and kiss them and love them right away; rather than avoiding looking at them or touching them (which makes me feel like they are ashamed of the parts of me that they don’t like.)

I have been impressed right off the bat by someone who will undress me with praise and appreciation for every part of me, and then make sure I get off twice before they suggest penetrative sex. Those are the keepers.

However, even if this doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s not as though you can’t learn. Really! Read this until it becomes clear, and start learning to appreciate your partner (or if you don’t have a partner, then start making plans for when you do.) There is no reason why old dogs cannot learn new tricks! In fact, people are learning new things every day and becoming better for it. You can too!

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Sometimes a person you meet might have been torn down a lot by people or events in the past, and they might then have a pretty big wall around them. You will have to break down that wall over time with love and affection, and that might be a bit of a challenge. Just know that if you really appreciate them for what they are, you will win them over before too long.

And then? Well… that’s when the fun begins.

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