Every time I go to the Norwood Spar or the 'Tops' bottlestore, I get the best subliminal messaging of my week. I queue to ring up the groceries (loaf of bread, coffee - man do we get through coffee in this house - dishwash liquid, Tanglewood natural yoghurt) and she asks me if I need plastic bags (oh no! I forgot to bring them again!) and then as she totals it all up, and I tell her I'm paying with a debit card, and she swipes the debit card, and she asks me to punch in my code, I look up, and two words are flashing green on the little screen on her till - tender validation. Isn't that sweet? The same at the bottle store. Beer for the boys, a not-too-cheap bottle of red for me. And there it is - blinking green at me. Tender validation.
I'm usually in a grump at this moment, having wended my way through grindy traffic, or squeezing the shopping in between appointments that are Much More Important than bloody Grocery Shopping! Usually a little bit of a scowl lurking around my jowls. I'm not fond of grocery shops, supermarkets, places where I'm reminded that I'm not a hunter gatherer after all and the harvest from my kitchen garden is still not yielding packaged pizza dough. I grumble to myself, like the wolf who missed Red Riding Hood, until I see it. Tender validation.
And I always obey. I always tell myself something really nice, really tender. I do. I say - Tam you're so clever and nice and well done for getting through that traffic, and you're just the best, no-one knows what it takes to be you, but I do, and well done, I think you're great. Good choice of wine too.
Try it - a little bit of tender validation. It works a treat, it really does.