Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Train A Man. Or, How To At Least Get Him To Say "Thank You."

I was chatting a few nights ago with one of my oldest friends about guys when she brought up a point so valid I had no choice but to ask her if she would expand on the thought for a guest-post. I can attest to the fact that she is one of those gifted girls who has a way with getting people to want to do what she wants them to. For the rest of us, less-gifted and talented people such as myself, and if you have ever been at a loss as to how to bring up the fact that you would like something, be it a "thank you" or a new hoodie, consider this your somewhat sneaky--yet very practical-- guide to asserting yourself. Like I've previously stated, men don't read minds, and sometimes women's hints are so obtuse they fly right over guy's head. Help them out a little more-- state clearly what it is you want or expect.

If you have ever felt like you give and give and give, and see very little back in return-- this is for you.



When asked to write a guest post for this wonderful blog, I was hesitant at first. As I told Carissa, my writing has been very “scientifically limited” in the past three years. And when I say very scientifically limited, I mean the only 5 paragraph essay I now know comes in the form of an Abstract, Intro, Methods, Results, and Discussion section. However, after thinking about the many…colorful…conversations Carissa and I have on a regular basis, I thought why not! Let’s try writing this thing!

So in our latest conversation, my dear old friend and I were discussing the wonderful trait men have of not giving back. Not even a simple “thank you” springs from their lips unless their mother is hanging over their shoulder. Now, I know this isn’t true for all men. I have some amazing male friends who offer to help my mother with dishes when over around dinner time or aid my father in cutting up that giant maple tree that was just blown over by the wind storm (although I’m not sure this isn’t out of sheer joy of getting to play with a chainsaw). Yet, when it comes to male-female interactions between individuals of the same age, this general hospitality seems to be lacking. Unless you are frequent bedmates, men do not give back. And even in that scenario it’s more of a give-and-take situation, with the taking often overshadowing the giving.

However, I somehow have been bestowed upon with the gift of making men fall at my feet with gifts. Ok, not really. But I did recently convince one of my most notoriously unthankful friends of the XY-chromosome sort to put a little more effort into our relationship and (gasp) even get me a little thank-you gift. How did I accomplish such a feat you ask? Well, dear readers, read on and I shall share with you this golden secret:

Step 1: Appeal to his interests. In my recent escapade with Unthankful Male Friend A, I started the conversation by asking him if he wanted a free case of whey protein from a recent study we had done. (See how much of a science nerd I am? Even I’m disgusted sometimes.) I told him we had a ton of extra and I knew he would probably like some. His response (and this is a direct quote…straight from my phone to your eyes): “Yess please! Yessssss that’s awesome! Thanks! Appreciate it!” A bit overzealous, but still, perfection for where this conversation was headed.

Step 2: Remind him of your recent favors to him. Be it cooking him dinner, giving him a ride, spotting him a few dollars, or favors of the sexual kind, sneak in a little zinger about how much you’ve done for him lately. Again in my recent conversation with the Indian Giver, I told him about a possible internship for next semester where I would work with the Philadelphia Flyers farm team. Hot hockey bros. Sweaty (shirtless) workout sessions. Free tickets. Then after his so indirect comment about accompanying me to games (“That’d be ill. I’d come to any games with you in a heartbeat,”) I struck. “At least you’re easy to please. A pinny, whey protein, and a signed puck. Now that I think of it, you owe me for all that. Hmmm…” So direct, even a caveman could get it. (NOTE: It is NOT useful to be this direct in all cases. This kid is a dunce at times. I mean, he still refers to girls as his “bids”. Yeah. That kind of guy. Clearly he needed the “extra” help. Other men, however, do not need such a direct reminder. In these cases you can simply slip in a “That conversation we had when I gave you a ride to Location X was great,” or a “How’s that sweater look with those jeans I bought you?” Just be sure that you include the words “I” and “gave” [or some version thereof] in your reminders. These words are direct enough to get his mind reeling about the various good deeds you’ve done for him lately while still indirect enough to not make him feel threatened.)

Step 3: Be prepared. Once he realizes that “Hey, she has done a lot for me lately. Maybe I should repay her or say thanks”, be prepared to tell him what you want or need. Or, if your male friend is more sensitive (I’d like to think creative), be prepared for a nice evening out on the town free of charge to you. Either way, make sure you’re ready for what he brings back to you. If you decline the night out on the town or don’t tell him what you need done, your loss. Your chance to get that shelf in the kitchen fixed? Gone. The chance to go to that new restaurant that is just a little bit out of your price range? See ya later. He may not directly come out and say that he wants to thank you for all you’ve done lately. In such a case proceed to step 3a.

Step 3a: Do not underestimate the sneakiness. You have NO IDEA how much power flattery has over men. Once again, stroke his ego. One sentence will do. “You’re so good with power tools.” Then, sliiiiiiiiide in the fact that you need some doo-dad or wing-ding fixed and he would be just the guy to do it. After my snarky comment to Sir Takes-A-Lot, he replied with “Yeah, I have been scoping out a sweatshirt for you, would you really wear it? Cause I deff owe you something.” So maybe he didn’t need as much aid as I provided him with, but regardless, the extra little push was enough to get a “haha iight word. I’ll get you one for Thanksgiving Break :).” And yes, he did add a smiley face. Suddenly #1 Lax Bro had turned into #1 Santa Clause and putty in my hands. I knew I should have asked him for a pony…


No comments:

Post a Comment