Friday, May 9, 2008
I recently read an article at A Good Husband that planted a seed in my mind for a future post. The article had to do with building a habit of complimenting your wife, which I think is a good endeavor for all Dads. Giving compliments are not as easy as you might think though. There is a subtly in word choice that makes a big difference in how the compliment is received.
With Mother's Day this weekend, I thought now would be a good time to share my thoughts on compliments. If nothing else, it may help you when writing a note in a Mother's Day card for your wife.
Do's and Don'ts of Complimenting Your Wife on Mother's Day (or any other day):
Do: You look beautiful!
Don't: You look good.
Notice the difference? She will. Good is not good. Beautiful, great, gorgeous - these are good. However, good is not good.
Do: You're such a wonderful mother!
Don't: You're just like my mother.
Never, ever, ever, ever compare your wife openly to your own mother. Never!!!
Do: Thank you for taking such great care of the kids!
Don't: Thank you for taking such good care of me.
Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, the underlying message is that you think she 'mothers' you; and remember, never, ever, ever make your wife feel like your mother.
Do: I love the way you smile!
Don't: That teeth whitener is doing wonders!
I don't really need to explain this one - just making sure you're paying attention.
Do: I'm very lucky to have a smart, fun and sexy wife!
Don't: I'm lucky to have a wife who understands me.
Dude, it's a compliment - it's not about you. It's about her!
Do: I'm so thankful that you're my wife and my best friend.
Don't: I'm so thankful that you're not like John's wife - she's crazy!
Comparing your wife to other wives is second only to comparing her to your mother. Don't do it!
Do: Wow! You look great in that outfit!
Don't: You look really skinny today, honey.
Underlying message = you look fat other days. Better to avoid terms like fat and skinny altogether. Stick with words like beautiful, sexy, fantastic or incredible.
Do: You're the best wife ever - I can't imagine life without you!
Don't: You're a great wife, and I'd die without you.
Let's not be dramatic, shall we. Die? Really? From what? Starvation? Boredom? Broken heart? Good compliments avoid dramatic flares. Better to be sincere when choosing your words.
Dads should make a habit of complimenting Moms, and there's no better day to start than Mother's Day! Giving a good compliment is not as easy as it sounds, but you'll never learn the difference until you try it more often.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms who read Discovering Dad! I'm thankful for all of the incredible insights you share with me and my readers. Enjoy your day this weekend - you deserve it!
Have any other Do's or Don'ts of complimenting your wife on Mother's Day? Leave a comment. We could all use more insights from both Moms and Dads about what works and what doesn't.
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