691. Attitude of Gratitude — Part 2

This post discloses sex differences that help or hinder the shaping of a mutual attitude of gratitude so essential for mutual happiness.

  •  A woman measures her value as a person by her importance to others in her world.
  •  A man measures his value as a person by his sense of both importance and significance in his world. He can live without symbols of importance (e.g., feedback from others) but not significance (e.g., personal dignity and honor paid to Self).
  • When someone makes her feel important—not just to herself but to others—she freely expresses her gratitude.
  • When someone makes him feel important, his reaction tends more to internalizing pride than expressing gratitude. When someone makes him feel more significant, his reaction tends more to gratitude than pride.  
  • Words from others can make women feel important, and so they need much input from others.  (Self-talk doesn’t work as well as with men, so women depend more on associating with others.)
  • Words make men feel important, whether self-talk or that of others. Importance is okay but temporary. Actions make men feel significant, whether his own accomplishments or actions by others in response to him. Significance is essential and permanent and insignificance his greatest fear.
  • (In the military, for example, medals, ribbons, and proficiency awards displayed on the uniform signify significance. Letters of commendation represent temporary importance. I offer this premise: Women value letters more than medals.)

As a couple, she wants to hear his gratitude expressed about her importance to him. He wants to see her grateful actions that reinforce his sense of significance. Not just to her but to the world outside, his world of competitive men. Who gets what first? That’s next, tomorrow.


Filed under How she wins

5 responses to “691. Attitude of Gratitude — Part 2

  1. Sharon

    Sir Guy, in yesterday’s post you clearly and eloquently explained why gratitude must be cultivated in the heart, as well as the differences in how males and females express gratitude. Today’s post is another very fine one. The explanation of importance and significance is weighty. So many of these things I wish I had learned earlier in life. Thank you. Blessings on you and Grace in this ministry of instruction and exhortation.

  2. 1970s Wife

    My words of gratitude, as a wife, seem not to have the same impact as the same words of gratitude from someone outside of our immediate family. How do I make my husband feel significant? Can you give some examples of things to do?

    Your Highness 1970s Wife,

    As to why you don’t seem to have the same impact, consider this: He already knows how important he is to you and family. He also has his own sense of significance. Both are relatively stable. He’s used to hearing you, so the impact is weaker.

    When outsiders show gratitude, they make him feel more important, but it takes a flood of it to change his sense of significance. So, what you detect is what my articles claim: Your words carry much less weight than your actions, which have already stabilized his importance to you and his sense of significance with you.

    You ask how to make husband feel significant, and I presume you mean more so. Realize first where it comes from. His significance stabilizes from his job and work and dependency of others upon him, such as employer, fellow workers, and family. Actions that glorify and reward how well he does at producing, providing, protecting, and problem-solving, whether for job or family, add to his sense of significance. Put your actions toward convincing him that he’s more valuable at those things than he previously figured.


  3. I understand the post and it makes sense. I agree with Sharon the post is a good one. I get the point about your military example (your premise), however as a woman in the military I value medals more.

    Your Highness Rose,

    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

    I salute you for your service, thanks. I’m pleased you value medals more. I hope you earn many in service to our country.


  4. anonymous

    What is the difference between significance and importance?

    Your Highness Anonymous,
    I use them this way. Men value their significance and women value their importance as they individually define it for themselves. I make the distinctions because a man’s greatest fear is insignificance and avoiding a negative is a very strong motivator. When his significance is threatened, a man reacts aggressively or even violently. On the other hand, a woman’s primal urges motivate her to become evermore important in her world. Pursuing a positive achievement is not as strong a motivator as fear, and so women are not as aggressive.

  5. mae

    Hi Guy, hope you’re doing well. I guess I’m just not imaginative enough but I wd welcome a specific example of how I can engage in actions that would make him feel significant especially as we have been a couple for 2 years. Any advice u give would be greatly appreciated.

    Your Highness Mae,

    Let this energize your imagination. You need to convert it into your situation.

    A man feels significant as the result of what he does that pleases him, his achievements that earn self-admiration. That’s his primary input. However, others can contribute by finding ways that show their admiration for who he is and what he does.

    Certainly, you see little things that you admire in him. For example, he treats restaurant servers with respect in spite of poor service. He’s thoughtful. He has character built on firmness. He’s predictable. He never forgets good things but eagerly forgives mistakes. His integrity emboldens you. He protects your interests better than you can. He’s handy.
    By accompanying you in public, his appearance makes you look good too.
    Never stop looking for more reasons/examples and remember these things.

    1. Smile more often.

    2. Enhance your displays of respect that he is due for doing nothing, for just being a man distinctly different than a woman. His sense of self-admiration compounds into significance. And it compounds even more when his woman—for whom he is about to or has given up his independence—reflects her respect for him and his actions.

    3. Don’t be overly enthusiastic with praise or admiration and don’t be phony. Be sincere. Admiration need not be recognized overly deliberate or obvious. Open and sincere smiles work too. Seed planting, indirectness, and hints of admiration will produce better results. (Being too obvious makes you come across as trying to change him, so subtlety works best.)

    4. If you think you run out of things to admire, then find things about him and his responsibilities for which you are grateful. It’s pretty hard not to admire some trait or action if you just find gratitude for it. Moreover, the more gratitude you find in him and your life together, the happier you will be. (Don’t worry about his happiness; he takes care of that in his own way.)

    Good luck, Mae,


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