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I’ve recently been assured that some men think it’s annoying when women talk about themselves. Well, duh. That makes sense. Most people can’t tolerate listening about someone talk about themselves constantly. But hearing about ourselves is just weird sometimes. Which brings me to the next Pro Tip:

We all want to be complimented, but hearing compliments too much can be annoying, unnerving, and can even feel faked or forced. I like being told nice things, as it feels reassuring and makes me feel better about myself. But when someone constantly calls me pretty, or hot, or gorgeous, it loses its value and I feel like they’re just saying it because they feel like they should, not because they mean it. It can get to the point that I feel the opposite is true, and they’re trying to appease me by saying these things, but in fact making things worse.

That being said, this applies more to suitors and guy friends than it does to a current partner. For instance, hearing a compliment from Irish is almost always met with joy and sometimes surprise. Granted, he doesn’t overdo it. In fact, I’d love for him to compliment me more often, but I think his opinion is that it’d get old and tired quickly. Not sure if I agree there.

But anyway, my point was that when my guys compliment me too much, it becomes counterproductive and actually makes me shrink away from them a bit, cuz they seem too eager to please and like they’re trying too hard to make me feel good around them. Here’s a hint: if I feel good around you, it’s because of the way you treat me and act around me, not necessarily the things you say. In this case, actions indeed speak louder than words.

While I appreciate compliments as much as the next girl, don’t overdo it. You’re hurting yourself and making me feel like I am, in actuality, not hot or cute or whatever. If I stop smiling and/or giggling when you do it, that’s because it’s no longer working, so lay off it for awhile. Just saying. Err… just writing.

Sometimes a hug or a random cuddle means more to me and does more for my ego and self-esteem than a compliment, whether it’s warranted or not. I’m not sure if this applies to just me or to the bulk of females, but hopefully it lands somewhere in between and someone finds it helpful.

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When a girl mentions in passing that she’s not into all that cliche Valentine’s Day stuff… ignoring it is usually a safe bet.

Case in point:
While talking to Irish a few weeks ago, I had mentioned my Valentine’s Day experience from last year, including how Jay had gotten me everything – teddy bear, balloon, flowers, card, chocolates, etc. – because I had never gotten any of that stuff before. But in that case, it was too little, too late. Damage had been done to the relationship that just couldn’t be undone with cute or tasty gifts.

Well even after hearing that, I received an edible arrangement, teddy bear, and balloon at work yesterday. It was awesome and I was squeeing like a fool. Unfortunately it was after 5 so most people had gone home, but I still texted some friends and ran to my girl upstairs to have a girly squealing fit together. And to share a chocolate covered piece of fruit.

I had already received a box of chocolates from Irish that he had AngryGinger grab for him, and I figured that was all I’d be getting. I was wrong. And I’m glad I was.

Also, when he was making the steaks for dinner (so very delicious), I checked my email and saw he had sent me a gift certificate for Squishable.com so that I can get myself a fox when it comes back in stock. I started squeeing again and ran over and hugged him for ages. It was awesome.

So the safest bet when it comes to Valentine’s, or really any holiday, is to get your girl something small at least, just to show you care. Even if it’s just a card. But if you think she’s more receptive, then go bigger, because it will be appreciated, and you will get hella brownie points.

Even is she says she doesn’t want to exchange gifts, you should still get her something. Saying that you’re not going to get each other gifts on a holiday for financial reasons or something is a TRAP. Better safe than sorry, and in this case it’s better to err on the side of giving too much, to an extent of course. Keep it sweet and simple.

Time for a new segment that I hope continues: Pro Tips. Here’s the first of many:

When I’m venting and bitching, just let it happen. Don’t tell me I’m wrong or try to solve my problem, unless I ask for it. Cuz really, I know why I have to do these things I bitch about having to do, but I still just need to get the frustration out of me.

Men tend to want to solve problems instead of listening. Not that I’m complaining that they want to help, but sometimes we just don’t want it.

Something women don’t tell men… Don’t help unless we ask for it. Just listen while we bitch.

Of course, the flip side of that is men like to fix stuff, so maybe we should open a bitchfest with, “just venting here” or something that triggers the “solving” area of their brains to shut down.

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