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3) Think about how him giving more compliments can benefit him. Will it make him feel better about himself? Will it help him make friends? Will it help him be a better boss? Will it someday make him a good dad as it will inject his children with beautiful self-esteem? Remember that he will have to work to change and any type of work requires incentive.
4) Choose a good time and a good location. Don't introduce the idea of change to your man when he is stressed out, after a long day, when he's rushing off to hang with his friends or any other time where he isn't relaxed and open to giving you his undivided attention. Grab him when he is in a good mood, too... and don't make this talk feel threatening - present it as a positive opportunity to keep him from going into defense mode.
5) When you approach your man about this subject, use “I” statements and be vulnerable. Men like to be men… meaning they want to be needed and relied upon for small and large things so don’t be afraid to show him your dependent side – displaying your needs is healthy dependency!
6) Once you state your positive feeling, (for example: I feel appreciated when you tell me that I am important to you or I feel beautiful when you compliment my new outfits) follow it with your clearly stated need (for example: and I need to hear those things more often). Clarity is key for men. If they don’t get what you are saying, you will never get what you want.
7) Listen to what he has to say even if it isn’t what you want to hear, at first. Be understanding of his position.
8) Do not nag, beg or give ultimatums to get what you want… if needed, just restate what you did before. Sometimes men need a double dose of truth to grasp it. Be sure to stay calm, compassionate and vulnerable.
9) From then on when he compliments you, make a conscious effort to reward him by simply thanking him for the compliment and letting him know how good it makes you feel, or taking notice when he compliments others. This is your way of encouraging and supporting his change. Eventually his new behavior will become involuntary but at first it is a little like training a dog.
10) And remember change is about evolution… it is not an overnight process. Be patient and allow for fumbles.
Healthy relationships involve championing one another’s growth. Moments like these are gorgeous opportunities to test the waters of your ability to support each other. Are you able to ask for what you need? Is he able to appreciate your need and work to give it to you? Are you willing to work with him to be that support system he needs to evolve into a better man? And when the script is flipped, will you be there for him in this same way?
Live and love largely,