5 Habits Men Can Live Without

5 Habits men can live without

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the five bad habits, the gifts that women can take back on Valentine’s Day.

First a quick update:

“Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique”
Learn about my unique therapeutic tool which helps clients to make radically fast behavioral and emotional changes without reliving trauma and without months or years of talk or emotional or psychological dependence upon the therapist.

Narcissism and “Generation Me”
Listen to my hour-long controversial interview with Professor Jean Twenge, Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of “The Narcissism Epidemic – living in the age of entitlement” as we discuss and debate narcissism, self-love and self-esteem.

Now, let’s talk about the five gifts that women can take back on Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever received a gift that left you in a state of shock, disgust or bewilderment? Maybe someone gave you a gift and you thought to yourself, “Does Paul even know me? Does he truly know who I am? How could he give me such a gift? That’s not me at all!”

Every time someone says something to you, it is a gift; it is something that they are giving to you – handing to you. It might not necessarily be a good gift and as such you do not need to accept the gift nor hold onto it; you don’t need to accept it as yours.

If someone were to give you a horrible gift or even a gift that doesn’t suit you – you might choose to return it, exchange it or simply not use it. The same principle applies to gifts of words and actions.

For example, a person might say something hurtful, offensive or rude to you. You do not need to accept that gift – you do not need to accept it as the truth about you and you do not need to internalize it. In other words, every time that someone says something to you, you can decide whether or not you want that gift or if you want to reject it. And to reject it, simply refers to not accepting it as the truth about you; it does not imply that you throw back that gift in the other person’s face.

Accordingly, every day, we are giving gifts to the people in our lives. Of course, around Valentine’s Day, the day of romantic love, we are encouraged to give the best gift possible as a way to express and demonstrate our love for the Valentine in our life. So what might be the best gift to give? One of the clichés of advertising is the question: What gift can a woman get for the man who has everything?”

I decided to answer that question by identifying the 5 gifts that women should take back on Valentine’s Day:

5. Under appreciating:

We all desire to be recognized and appreciated for who we are for what we contribute. Although some men might not like to admit it or say it, men want to know that their partner/girlfriend/wife appreciates them and what they do. Even the independent, ambitious, high-achiever still wants to know that the woman he loves and prizes recognizes him, his achievements and the difference he makes in her life. One of the biggest complaints from men is that their partner does not appreciate him and rarely says ‘thank you.’ In a marriage where a man is also the provider, he wants to hear the words ‘thank you’ and wants to know that he is significant. As years pass and a woman fails to give the gift of appreciation and gratitude, the man becomes resentful, bitter and may turn to other women to have that need met.

Tip: Look for the things you can be grateful about in your partner and express it. Men need to feel needed.

Real gift: Say thank you and show your appreciation in a meaningful way.

4. Labeling:

This is a bad habit whereby we take a single action and label the person who committed the action i.e. a man forgets to buy milk or wine or cheese when coming home and the wife labels him “a jerk” or irresponsible.

Tip: Talk about the action but don’t label him otherwise he will rebel, become resentful and will start to act like the label you gave him.

Real gift:  Respect.  Remember:  the action alone doesn’t make the person.

3. Constantly criticizing:

Criticizing anyone on a constant basis only leads to resentment, low self-esteem, bitterness and a very unsatisfying relationship for both partners.

In the movie “Knocked Up”, Debbie (Leslie Mann) is counseling her sister Alison (Katherine Heigl) about the new man in her life: “You need to train him. Oprah said that when two people meet, they should point out each other’s flaws and differences.” Alison responds with “I thought you should love people for who they are.” Debbie replies with “You criticize them a lot so they get so down on themselves they have to change.” But constant criticism only makes the man resent you and the relationship and it does not inspire or motivate him to want to change. Also, the gift you give out on a daily basis will come back to you – if you keep giving criticism, then there is good chance he will give back the same to you.

Tip: determine what needs addressing and talk about the action, offer a solution, be specific about what you need; look for the things he does that you can praise.

Real gift:  Be kind.  Criticism leads to resentment.

2. Trying to change him:

In my newsletter from October 2008, “Why don’t you change?”, I reveal that women innately are nurturers and therefore they love to tend to men like a flower – pruning and watering with the expectation that he will change into something better which, also sends the message that there is something constantly wrong with him. But you are not his mother. Stop trying to mother the man by nurturing him to what you want him to be; stop looking at a man and saying “Wow, he would look so good in those pants; I’ll buy them for him and make him wear them.”

Tip: Understand and accept that men don’t like to change, don’t want to change, don’t believe that they need to change and they only change when they really have to do so and; the more you try to change him, the more he will rebel and the more you will destroy the bond, love, romance and mutual respect.

Real gift:  Acceptance.  Men don’t want to change.

1. Falling in love with his potential:

This is one of the biggest mistakes women make; women fall in love with a man’s potential, hoping and expecting that he will blossom into something extraordinary but as I explained above, men only change when they want to, and when you are constantly waiting or pushing him to be something more or something better, this only sets up you, the woman, for major disappointment. It also sends the message to the man that he is not good enough, and in turn, destroys the love and romance in the relationship.

Tip: Love the man for what he is now and not what you think he might one day be, for he might never choose to become that which you want him to be. Choose the man that matches your values and your dreams and goals in life.

Real gift: Love unconditionally. Very few people are aware of their potential and even less people live up to their full potential.

Please note: I am still emphasizing balance in all of the above 5 gifts/habits. In other words, there will be times that you might need to push someone who is not living up to his potential or you might need to issue an ultimatum demanding change if there are dangerous behaviors – drug or alcohol abuse, violence (verbal, mental, emotional or physical), any addictions (gambling, spending, etc) or behaviors that threaten the financial livelihood of your family.

The ultimate gift for men and women

The best gift to give your partner, whether you are a man or a woman, is to express gratitude and to show appreciation to them – for whom they are both inside and out.

In my newsletter from April 2007, “The beauty in you” I share a powerful exercise that truly highlights, draws out and expands the love that you have for each other.

Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi was a 13th century Sufi mystic who composed thousands of passionate love poems, many while dancing in a circle to the beat of drums or the music of rushing water. Rumi wrote, “If you could see yourself through my eyes, you would realize how beautiful you are.” In my newsletter above, “The beauty in you”, I explain and outline this exercise where you describe to your partner the beauty you see in him or her.

Finally, here is one last tip for men for Valentine’s Day – and it’s not a typical gift: do the chores around the house and watch how she responds.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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