Our work can bring us a great sense of meaning and purpose as well as recognition. At work we often engage in activities where we have strengths and talents and where we make a difference. If we are lucky, we have colleagues, or a boss, that see and appreciate the work we do, and deliver praise for the contribution we make. Many of us connect our identity with our work. We relate who we are to what we do. Perhaps men do this more so than women.
I just came back from a wonderful classical concert in The Victoria Hall in Geneva. As we all applauded the vocalist and musicians, I reflected upon that there are few professions that receive as much applause and praise as performers and professional athletes. They often bathe in praise and I’m sure they appreciate it. They also get publically criticized when their performance is not to the level or taste of the audience. Performers often suffer when judged negatively. But don’t we all…?
We all like to feel competent and strong. But that is not often the case as we return home after a day at work. Many men feel out of place when they come home, where domestic activities are being performed. Women to this day, even though it has changed radically over the past 40 years, often take on a larger share of the work at home with children, keeping the home tidy and clean and preparing meals – despite also having a profession. Since women for generations have done more of this type of work, men don’t feel as competent, and this might hold them back from engaging more, especially if they are criticized for the efforts they do make. How a woman treats her man will most likely determine his future engagement.
Many women get tired and in a bad mood when they end up with double work. This imbalance often creates conflict and distance between partners and can be one of the major obstructions to a loving connection.
What can be done to bridge the gap that often arises between couples?
What can we do to stop fighting over imbalances?
In environments where we feel valued and receive praise, we become inspired and motivated to change our behavior and actions. A woman can truly make a difference to inspire her man by giving more praise.
If both partners become more conscious of and notice all the things that each one contributes with – both outside of home and within the home – as well as recognize the qualities they each one has and give more praise, we can bridge that gap and take the relationship to the next level. When we notice and share positive things with our partner, it inspires more of the same behavior. It also makes us grateful and happy, and we feel more love towards our partner when we think about their positive characteristics.
How much praise verses criticism do women deliver to their men at home? I think that men thrive on praise and will be more inclined to take a greater share to make a difference at home, if they feel that what they do is appreciated and valued. Women may need to get used to giving more praise than what they receive, if they want to share the work at home. Women might not think this is fair and reasonable. My advice is to eat your pride and just do it. It will be so worth it!