I adore men – for the brilliant human beings that many of them are. Sometimes, we can get a bit caught up in the negativity of Patriarchy that we spend more time focusing on the harmful behaviour of over-aged little boys, and don’t take enough time to celebrate and love the good men out there.
So let’s take a moment to appreciate the truly great guys who are a positive part of our lives.
NB: A few of these loving suggestions are based on heterosexual women involved with men, but most can be applied to any man in your life – whether that be a friend or relative.
1. Give Him a Compliment
In many of our societies worldwide, women are often those who are on the receiving end of a compliment in regards to their looks.
On one hand, this pattern raises its own questions, but on the other hand, there are many men out there who have insecurities about their appearance who rarely get any adequate emotional reassurance and encouragement from others.
So take a moment to compliment a man in your life. Whether it is a flattering shirt he is wearing , the way he chose to wear his hair or – even more intimate, a special physical feature (or three) about your own man that you absolutely adore.
Let this man know that you see him, and you think what you see is great!
2. Say Thank You
This may sound like a no-brainer, but hear me out. In some societies there are feminist movements where some women aggressively refuse the “help” of men, and in certain other societies still cloaked in patriarchy, some women take “help” from men for granted. The whole thing is confused and bizarre. I won’t go into it.
I’d just like to encourage you to appreciate the decent men out there who are sincerely trying to help, embrace and look out for you in the most mundane of ways.
Did he see you struggling to drag a huge carton and backtrack to offer his help? Did he come to your defence when someone was getting a bit rude with you? Did he co-sign on a brilliant idea you had? Or did he just give you a sincere compliment?
Say thank you, and mean it! A smile and some eye contact will seal the deal :)
3. Treat Him!
Yes! Putting all ‘gender roles‘ and annoyingly unnecessary social gender baggage aside. Why don’t you try and do something nice to a good man in your life – just because. Because he is a great person, you care about him and you want to make him smile.
You could buy him tickets to some sort of outing – like a show, exhibition or game you know he’d like. Or invite him out to a yummy meal. You could even send him flowers (not my thing but hey!)
You know him so you know better. Just choose something for him and make his day.
4. Remind Him to Get Checked
Various studies have shown that many men often neglect their health.
Encourage him to take better care of himself by gently bringing attention to certain routine health checks he should be undergoing.
Or if he has a known health condition that is not off limits to discuss, you could show him you care. Whether that be in connecting him to a great physical therapist, or buying him a neck rest etc.
Just lightly show that you want him around and healthy because he adds joy to your life.
5. Pamper Him!
Indeed! Shower him with tender loving care to give him a warm moment away from his responsibilities. You could cook his favourite meal, give him a massage or do something that you know would make him feel content, relaxed and happy.
If he is that special someone in your life, you just might pamper him in a different kind of physically intimate way. Which is cool, because you’ll also be pampering yourself ;-)
6. Get Gorgeous for Him
Yes, you read right. You might take a moment to make just a little more effort to get all styled up for him in the way that he likes to please him. Does he like it when you wear your hair a certain way? Or does he enjoy seeing a certain clothing item or colour on you?
I personally see nothing wrong in sometimes catering your appearance to suit your partner’s tastes (always within your own truth of course) – especially when it is your own conscious choice and not an imposed demand.
Go all out and make his day, or night – as you put a smile on his face by just being your beautiful self!
7. Lend an Ear or a Shoulder
Unfortunately, and ironically, the same patriarchal system that polices women also tampers with certain parts of men’s freedoms – like their emotional expression and vulnerability.
From tender ages, boys are told and pressured to be ‘strong’ and ‘tough.’ To deny their sensitivity and numb their non aggressive emotions. It is a shame, and an unnecessary social pressure that many often battle with throughout their adult lives.
Be a safe space for the man in your life and remind him that ‘Boys don’t cry, but Real Men Do‘ – and it’s okay! Listen to his woes and hurts. Comfort him, uplift him and just be there for him. So many men don’t have that adequate support system.
8. Be Strong for Him
On a similar note. Patriarchal societies make it so that men are not permitted to show fear, doubt or vulnerability – and any sign of ‘weakness’ is not an option. Rubbish!
When he has his perfectly normal moments of humanity, be his rock. Be a source of strength he can draw from and meet him where he seems to be faltering.
Pick him up where he might have stumbled and be in his corner – as a friend, confidant, partner and loved one.
9. Believe in Him
Trust in his sincere efforts to be a better man and believe in the vision he has for himself. And just as stated above, even when he may have a moment of self-doubt, remind him of the great person that he is and all the awesomeness he has to give to the world.
Don’t (unfairly) hold him to wrongs he sincerely wants to make right and try not to let the patriarchal social programming – that we have all been subjected to, completely prevent you from seeing a person who wants to do better.
You will be surprised at how just a little benefit of the doubt and heart-felt encouragement can go such a long way – and for us all.
10. Let Him Know that You Appreciate Him
This is the point of this entire article. Sometimes we can get caught up in the flaws and imperfections of the men (and people) around us, that we don’t let them know enough just how much we appreciate them, care about and love them.
Make a point to tell the man in your life what it is that he is doing right – and consistently so. From the little things (that do make a huge difference) to the bigger stuff he takes on that show where his heart is really at.
Let’s not forget to make more of an effort to love the Good Men in our lives. Standing together and supporting one another as people will make our world that much more positive for us all.