I like John Gray. I think his Mars Venus info has its place. But I was disappointed to hear that he’s still talking about saying things to score points. He tells guys that every expression of appreciation is worth one point in girl currency. You get a point for saying, "tell me more." You get a point for working hard. You get a point for a single rose. You get a point for a dozen roses.
John Gray’s point system misses the point.
You can go cheap or you can go deep. If you’re saying things to score points and monitoring your tone to sound sincere, you’re going cheap.
Do you live your life to score points? Think about it. I don’t appreciate the beauty of my hiking trails to score points. I don’t appreciate brilliant ideas to score points. I don’t appreciate great food to score points. I do it because I value those things. And if I’m excited about what someone does, I don’t tell them to score points. I tell them because my appreciation overflows.
Now, it’s true that sometimes we develop a habit of not sharing our heart-felt appreciation. That’s a good habit to change.
Points feed transactional relationships
But a problem with sharing appreciation to score points is, it’s transactional. It feeds transactional relationships, not synergetic ones. It’s "give to get," not "give as a gift." And the sense of obligation it creates can be deadly to relationships. It gets people thinking they’re owed. The best relationships are ones where giving is for it’s own pleasure, not to score points.
Here’s another point problem. It turns men into little boys and women into mothers. Now there’s a turn-on for you! (In case you missed it, that was irony.)
The same is true of giving in business. I don’t weigh in on a colleague’s work because I hope they’ll weigh in on mine. I do it because I enjoy it. I often close by saying, "thanks for letting me play." If it starts turning into work for me, I reconsider. Keeping score changes the relationship, and not in a good way.
It’s about the synergy
If you don’t feel appreciation, don’t express it. Do go deep and find out why you don’t have it. Do have conversations with yourself, and perhaps with others about how you can show up more dynamically. Don’t settle for transaction when you can have synergy. Don’t miss the point by going for points.