One of the most common "communication" issues between men and women arises from the problem of praise. Women would like to be praised, but too often do not want to do what is necessary to gain praise. They want everyone to think well of them, even if they actually aren't doing very well. They are hyper-sensitive to anything that may be "negative" to them.

You see this in couples all the time. The man, being an innocent in this whole program, will say of a neighbor's house: "You know, they really keep a nice home there." His wife's response will be "So, you're saying I'm a bad housekeeper" or "well, why don't you marry her then?" He, if he is like most men, is just puzzled, because he said nothing of the sort. This is one of the many, many communication problems between men and women.

The man was just praising someone who earned praise. The wife was looking for an offense. Knowing she was not, in fact, a good housekeeper, she was too quick to find offense in someone else's success. Not receiving praise for her own failure to keep house, she was offended that he would praise someone else. Two thoughts come to mind.

First, this shows how our failure can hurt others. We lack confidence, often because we are not really good at something, and we therefore stop others from being praised or, just as foolishly, we demand that everyone be praised equally. We cannot say that someone is a "great teacher" without also saying how good "all our teachers" are. We cannot praise one person without praising everyone. "Everyone is special," we say. Of course, as The Incredibles pointed out, this means no one is really special at all. The result is that people, generally, are not praised enough for real reasons, but are praised too often for nothing at all.
Second, this shows how much we all crave praise. Women really want to be praised, they just don't want to earn praise. They want their husbands to find them attractive, but they don't really do anything to be attractive and, often, withhold sex (which is greatly involved in attraction).  They would like to have their homemaking to be praised (especially when out with friends), but do not want to keep house. They want their cooking to be praised, but do not want to learn to cook. So, when someone actually cooks well, keeps house well, and appears attractive, they do not want that person praised at all. 

We must all learn that praise is earned. I do not praise someone because I love them, because loving them is about who I am, not about who they are. I praise someone because there is cause for praise. A home that is a wreck is not cause for praise. A wife who does not work cannot be praised for her work. Children who are ill-behaved will not bring praise to their parents. 

The excellent wife is not praised because she is loved, she is praised because she is an excellent wife. She is praised by the "work of her hands." She is praised because she makes life better for people around her. She is praised because she dresses well. She is praised because she keeps her home. She is praised because she loves her husband. 

She is praised because her life calls forth praise from everyone who knows her.

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