Yes, I’m going to make generalizations here and I’m going to stereotype. Yes, I do realize that this is not the 1950’s. But, there is a legitimate reason why your husband, or any man in your life, is looking for praise when he does something around the house.
It’s not because he’s lazy. It’s not because he wasn’t trained properly. (Debatable)
It’s because a man needs to have his ego pampered.
I know, I know, the feminists out there are rolling their eyes and possibly getting sick to their stomachs. But, it’s entirely true.
I used to get confused when my husband would announce that he’d taken the garbage out AND grabbed the laundry off the line before the rain. Like… seriously??? Why did he feel the need to tell me what he had accomplished?! Because, dude, I took the garbage out and grabbed the laundry off the line before the rain while I simultaneously cooked dinner, answered a spelling question, wiped a butt, fed the baby, and danced around holding in my pee! And, YOU want a pat on the back for doing some uninterrupted chores?!?!
It used to make me so confused and a smidgen angry…
But, now I know… men need their work to be acknowledged. In and out of the house, men NEED to feel useful and important. They need to feel like they’re clever and strong. An ego is that sense of ‘I am’…. and a man needs to have that feeling of ‘I am of GREAT use‘!!!
When a man doesn’t feel special, he gets deflated quickly. He starts moping around and gets unmotivated. He gets grumpy and lazy, and it’s a downward spiral, because the more deflated he gets, the less he does and the more his wife (or whoever) starts letting him know he’s grumpy and/or lazy (I’m raising my hand here: guilty).
So, next time your man puts away the laundry, or wrestles with the dishes, or the kids, or changes the lightbulb that you’ve been bugging him to fix for a week or year. Tell him THANKS! Tell him he’s clever and useful. Tell him you couldn’t have done it without him! (Even though of course you could have, and you could have done it without having to ask him 18 times). Hide those eye rolls the next time he announces that he took garbage bins out to the street! He really needs your help to feel special. Give him a high five and pat on the back. He needs it. It’s his nature. And he’ll be much happier if you occasionally pat his ego.
(The hilarious video below was inspiration for this post).