A little while ago, I was babysitting for a family friend, and I was reading to their daughter before bed. She’s been obsessed lately with fairy tales, so I read her a few stories from the big book of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales she keeps in her room. There is so much you can learn from fiction,e specially old fiction, and I find that life lessons can come from the most surprising texts (though fairy tales were often used to teach children lessons in times past).
One of the stories I read to her that night was “The Woman and the Goblin,” in which a goblin plays pranks on a woman (such as letting the cat in to drink the cream in the cupboard, messing up rooms she had cleaned, and making her burn what she was cooking) because she doesn’t believe in him. Now, this is literal in the story; she doesn’t think the goblin exists. But for most men, knowing their girlfriends/wives don’t believe in them, meaning that they don’t trust the man in their lives to handle things, can build resentment.
The story ends with the goblin repenting his old ways and loving the woman, after he hears her reading poem she wrote about a goblin, praising his “power and glory.” Even though the woman is writing about a figurative goblin (referencing creativity in writing, rather than the actual goblin), the goblin thinks the poem is about him. The narrator states that his mind was changed so suddenly about the woman because he is a man.
It seems like a funny way to end a story, but the lesson, while it might not be a new one for those reading this, is true. Men like to be admired, be it for their strength, brains, bravery, or other masculine qualities. Make a list of your boyfriend/husband’s good qualities, and try to compliment him on one thing every day. Make sure you phrase it in a way that shows you admire him, like “I always love/like how you ____” or “You’re always so ____ when ____.” It may seem awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will seem and the easier it will be.
You might think he knows what you like about him, but it’s always good to remind him. Everyone likes receiving compliments, and this small thing can make a huge difference in a relationship.