I’ve had some discussions recently about why men can’t express what they are feeling and thinking. It’s a guessing game sometimes; a seemingly trap at other times.
While it makes for an interesting discussion of feelings and thoughts expressed verbally vs. remaining silent, I think there are more important traits than verbal agility. Here are my top ten:
1) Sincerity: If a man ventures to speak, the last thing I want to hear are words said to placate me. If I ask, I really want to know. If you make a gesture make it count and speak for the words you can’t say.
2) Action: Who hasn’t heard “actions speak louder than words”?Take up a cause and work toward it; clean out the garage without being asked; hold the door for me (yes, I’m completely old-fashioned in that regard); and most importantly, defend those who can’t defend themselves – and don’t feel the need to brag about it.
3) Strength: Physical strength; strength of character; make decisions and live by them, take responsibility for decisions; cry when the situation calls for crying. Know who you are and be that person.
4) Family Man: This one’s a biggie. It doesn’t cover only spouse and offspring, but other family members – co-workers; community; fellow organization members.
5) Picks Up His Own Underwear!: It shows flexibility and trainability; conscious of the little things that matter.
6) Independent: No clinging unless our lives depend on it or we’re sledding.
7) Humor! A sense of humor makes up for a multitude of sins and balances my lack of a sense of humor.
8) Good Listening Skills: Sometimes you need to just listen.
9) Confidence: Specifically in knowing what you don’t know and that it’s okay to not know. No excuses or made-up answers.
10) Laid-Back: Not so laid-back you don’t respond! Most women really do need this balance. Our lives are so frenetic a man who isn’t adding stress to an already stressful life is a bonus. When I get annoyed with your “laid-backness”, I don’t really mean it – not long-term anyway.