There are few things men enjoy more than praise from women. The kind of woman who is constantly badgering men to be better men and never compliments them on anything is a woman who is constantly discouraging men, too--in more ways than one. If you have a number of single men in your social circle, you may want to consider praising them from time to time. This is not from some ulterior motive; it is merely to make them happy and confident. How they will have the confidence to ask girls out and get married when the women of their own social circle never hand out any compliments is beyond me.
Praising men doesn't have to be over the top or fake or anything like that. It should merely follow upon a random thought that flits through your mind. Most times you admire something about someone, it is a good idea to tell them. I still remember my flush of pride in Toronto's Pearson Airport a year ago when a young woman, a complete stranger, praised my floral ankle boots and asked where I got them. Well, I think men, who live in a near-constant state of competition, appreciate praise even more keenly.
I myself am very lucky to have a goodly number of handsome, intelligent and skillful Single men in my circle. It is a great joy to me, especially as I am so far from my brothers and sisters and nephews and niece. Some dress beautifully, and they inspire the other men to dress more beautifully. (One of the more amusing, and sometimes scary, aspects of men is the extent to which they influence each other.) At least two are excellent cooks. One paints. One composes music. One has an incredible eye for antiques. One is a very hardworking academic. So actually I find it very easy to praise them: they keep doing praiseworthy things. Of course, they often talk a lot of rubbish, but with men it's not talk that matters (unless it is abusive, in which case you must escape them) but deeds. They do many good deeds.
And the Eavesdroppers have done us a good deed by answering our questions and minding their language and generally being good chaps. There was only one comment I couldn't pass, and that was because it mentioned a female body part men really should not mention to women they are not married to, unless they are their doctors. Most women get offended by that, never mind my beloved readers, The Most Easily Shocked Women on the Internet and Proud of It.
"But Seraphic," I hear you squeak, "what about all that stuff the Eavesdroppers said about being cold and freezing a guy out so he won't think we're interested in them?"
I think this technique is better used on strangers than on friends, personally. I also think we all have to stop being so cowardly about men's feelings. Men are not women. They do not like it when you say "No" to them, but they will not curl up in bed listening to Taylor Swift eating chocolate and weeping, as so many of us do when they say "No" to us. I think it a much better idea to get a good reputation for being the kind of girl who really appreciates her male friends and then just handle unwanted courtship attempts with graceful firmness.
Anyway, let's face it: we're all mixed up about whether we want courtship attempts or not. Which is worse: guys never showing any interest, or the wrong guy occasionally showing interest? Lucy Maud Montgomery hands Anne of Green Gables marriage proposals like badges of freaking honour.
Well, that's enough from me. You girls talk in the combox about what you heard from the boys. Agree, disagree, exclaim, wonder--go for it.
Because our eavesdroppers turn out to be such a decent bunch, I will consider having more Gentlemen's Days in future. For the time being, though, this returns to a girls-only zone. If you're dying for heart-to-hearts with men you cannot see and will probably never meet, there are dozens of Catholic message boards on the net and, of course, the dating sites.