people are love and respecting (now).
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You didn’t know I spoke German, did you? Yes, I took two long years of it in high school and my last name is German, loud and proud. If you didn’t know, “Was ist das?” translates to “What is that?”
And “eins, zwei, drei” is “one, two, three.” But now we are totally getting off topic.
So what is a Respect Card, you ask? Let me tell you.Photo Credit: Lauren Reavely
Many people feel like this “language of respect” is foreign to them. An idea that has opened many women’s eyes to the power of respect language is when I’ve challenged them to write a respect card to their brothers, fathers or husbands. Still, many have wanted more tangible examples. Well, guess what? I have a couple for you.
I was scrolling through Facebook one day when I read this from my friend, Karyn:
Three years ago tomorrow, I married the man who is currently in the nursery, shushing and singing and wooing his daughter to sleep. I married him, trusting that he would be a good husband, a caring father, and faithful friend. I married him not knowing the way he would pull his tired body out of bed, hours before leaving to work a full day at a stressful job, to make oatmeal for our early riser and let me have a few more precious moments of sleep. I married him not knowing the way he would consistently put himself second, would back down from his most stubborn holdings in a fight in the name of better understanding, would split every work bonus in two so we both get our a share of the “blow money,” would change diapers without flinching and wear our baby in any number of contraptions his obsessed wife presented, would be patient with me and show me grace at my least lovable moments. I married him not knowing how well he would love me, married him simply trusting his promise and his heart. Had I known then what I know now, I would marry him again in a moment, in a heartbeat, because this man has been an incredible, incredible gift. Happy Anniversary to my Fave – thank you for making me laugh, for tolerating my ridiculous point of view, for entertaining my whims even when you don’t understand them, for loving me well. I’m so glad you’re Fable’s daddy, and I’m so grateful we chose each other.
I also recall an event where I spoke about the power of notes similar to this–notes that honor the men in our life for their hard work and thank them for their friendship. One of the single women at the event said it made her think about her brother who had three kids and was working a couple of jobs to provide for his family. She decided to text him and say,
“I was just thinking about you and wanted to say how much I respect the fact that you work so hard and are present for your family.”
She said he immediately wrote back and said,
“Are you ok??”
When she replied and said she was, but had just wanted to tell him that, he responded with,
“Lets talk soon. I love you.”
She said, “Joy, my brother and I don’t talk on the phone and I don’t know if he’s ever told me he loves me.”
She was floored.
This is not to say women don’t want to be honored for working hard or to receive friendly words of respect, but over and over it has been proven to me that many men are wildly deprived of language like this. It energizes them deeply when it comes from the women who are most important to them in their life. So I encourage women not to underestimate what a gift like these words can be to the men in their life.
Women often say, “I mean, I think it, but I guess I don’t say it that much.”
Write a respect card, note, or text to a dude in your life today. I promise it will be the most inexpensive gift you can give. (But make sure it’s just that–a gift. When you give to get something in return, I call that manipulation. Ha.)
For more examples, check out my dad’s book Love & Respect, or watch my dad and I talk about it in The Illumination Project, which you can now stream online!! And don’t worry, men, there are lots of tips in there for you, too!!
Von Ganzem Herzen,
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Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.