Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Celebrate Her Victories
Everyone likes to receive an attaboy now and then. It just seems to add to the good feeling that any success gives us. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big victory or a small one, having others see it and recognize it multiplies the pleasure of that success.
One of the big reasons why attaboys are such rare commodities is that what seems like a great victory to one may not seem like much of anything to another. We don’t congratulate people for their victories because we have a “so what” attitude about it. This is magnified even more so when what was a major victory for them is something normal to us.
When a baby is learning to walk, we’re all quick to applaud those first steps. Their victory is a big deal to us. Yet, for almost all of us, walking is such a normal thing that we do it without thinking about it. Why should their victory be a big deal, when we do it all the time? It’s a big deal because it’s a first for them, and we recognize it as such. We celebrate their victory because we recognize the importance of it.
Okay, so why don’t we do that with others? Why don’t we celebrate our wives victories as if they were that important? Where does the idea break down? When do victories in people’s lives stop being important?
I’m not sure there are answers to those questions, but the fact remains, we do stop celebrating their victories, forgetting about their importance and forgetting to congratulate our wives on those things that are big victories in their eyes.
Just the other day, my wife created a Facebook fan page for her business. Now, that may not sound like a big deal to you and me, but it was to her. Although she understands the value of using technology and tries to do so at every opportunity, my wife definitely qualifies as being technologically challenged. That makes her victory even bigger; although to a geek like me, it doesn’t seem like much of anything.
You see, it can’t be about how big a victory it is for me; it has to be about how big a victory it is for her. When I use myself as the standard, then I’m being unfair to her. I was an engineer for 15 years; I started working with personal computers over 35 years ago. I know this stuff. But, that’s not saying that she does or that she should. Her victories are important to her, and I need to see them that way.
Let me take this from another angle, something that almost all guys can relate to. Your wife probably isn’t all that interested in what you do at work. She might be interested in the people that you work with, but not what you do. So, when you come home from work and talk about some great victory you’ve had, how does she react? Let me guess, she doesn’t react much at all. She might not even understand what you’re talking about, let alone how important that victory is. You could have invented the next generation of supercomputers and if she doesn’t understand the value of that, your accomplishment doesn’t mean a thing to her.
Okay, so tell me, how well do you understand what your wife does? If you don’t there’s no way that you’re going to be able to celebrate her victories. You have to be interested enough in her to be interested in what she does as well. That way, when she tells you about her victory, you at least have some idea of what she’s talking about.
There’s something within us all that seeks approval from those who are close to us. Children do it with their parents all the time. Well, guess what? Married people need that from each other as much as their kids do from them. If anything, women need it more than men do. Why is that? Because the world is constantly telling them that they’re not good enough. If we don’t celebrate their victories, then we’re sending them the same message.
So, what victories has your wife had lately? Did you celebrate them with her? Or, have you ignored her victories for so long that she doesn’t even bother to tell you about them? Ouch! Make sure you’re up to date on her victories and that you’re letting her know how proud you are of her.