I was inspired to write this blog post after an enlightening conversation with Bernie Muir, co-editor of FeminineZone about how important – and often scarce – compliments are amongst families, especially during stressful times.
It’s a tough time in households with kids of 13-18 at the moment, Bernie told me. “A lot of parents are very vocal when [children] do something wrong, but not as vocal if they do something right,” she said. It is “also important to teach your kids to make compliments.” This is an important observation from a woman who has spent the past 9 years editing an online magazine dedicated to discussing the ‘real’ issues of what is going on between men and women, especially as they age.
Bernie’s view on the importance of compliments: “If you’ve got teenagers who are full of hormones and awash with self esteem…often what you do is tell them off…parents should find a way to compliment the youngsters especially during exam season and mock season. Add to that, it is likely that the parents are losing their jobs or have retained their jobs but are doing more…so the likelihood of having at the top of your mind to give out compliments is not there.” Additionally, they are probably not getting the recognition they need at work, making the importance of receiving compliments at home even more acute. So it seems that creating a compliment culture needs to begin at home.
She also told me a bit about the differences in complimenting behaviour and needs for men vs. women. “Men need appreciation for the things they do. It’s anthropological. A woman doesn’t need praise every time she fills the dishwasher, but a man does,” Bernie said. “He is doing something useful and wants to be noticed for it. Women need praise in different areas…such as kind gestures.” Because men and women need different types of compliments, one or the other may always be falling short Bernie told me.
“It’s one of the biggest bugbears of most relationships,” Bernie says, “because people don’t say things that relate to what the other partner needs. With so much negative stuff in the air – there’s no hope of it happening.”
This is why the idea behind ilikeucoz is so powerful and yet so simple. “You could be the only site thinking about this!” Bernie told me. Well, we hope that as word gets out about our appreciation engine, ilikeucoz, it will catch on and create a compliment culture just when we need it the most. And its half term, so why not take a pause and compliment the important people in your life – especially your children and your partner.