Tell Me I’m Smart And Pretty

Posted March 19, 2021 by Prairie Wife -

“Tell me I’m smart and pretty.”

That is a direct quote from an email I sent to my boss…and my boss’ boss.

They asked my coworkers and me to all create a personal “User Guide”, a peek into how we work…the good and the bad.

The what to dos, and what NOT to dos when working with Prairie Wife.

What helps me function at my highest level, what makes me break down, and what just plain makes me angry or frustrated?

I know a lot of people would roll their eyes at this “assignment” but not this gal.

I LOVE a good stop and reflect and put it all out there moment.

After all…isn’t that what the last 7 years of blogging have been?

Taking a look at my life and sharing with you the ups and downs (and sideways and backward) moments in the hopes that it would help offer you support as you journey through this life.


But, as I got going on this project I found that it was actually kind of hard.

Seriously…take a second and think about how YOU would answer the questions below.

  • What encourages you to be your best?
  • What frustrates you about yourself?
  • What behavior from others motivates you?
  • What behavior from others makes you mad?
  • Why do you DO what you DO?
  • What do you enjoy about your job/life?
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • What is your line in the sand?


I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

I decided to focus on answering two basic questions “How do I see myself?” and “How does this impact what I do?”

In the end, I came up with a short and sweet (and what I thought was pretty great) user manual, and then I sent it to The Cowboy to read, and asked him to add a few thoughtful sentences.

After all, no one can call me on my BS like he can, and I knew he’d have some great information to add.

We HAVE been together for almost 20 years so he kinda knows what makes me tick, and what ticks me off.

Poor guy thought it was a trap and refused to answer until I assured him it was definitely NOT a trap.

Because I know you’re dying to know what he wrote, here it is.

“This user guide should be continuously updated because no single day is ever the same with her. I mean that in a beautiful and wonderful way. Be warned, she is either 100% committed for something or 100% against…no middle ground with this one.”

And, he’s not wrong with what he said!

The whole “tell me I’m smart and pretty” quote comes from me explaining that if I don’t hear positive reinforcement about my work I will begin to doubt my abilities and lose motivation.

If you throw me a bit of authentic praise every now and then I will work my guts out for you…ignore me and I’ll slowly but surely start to pull away.

And really, that’s a big deal for anyone in my life to know.

I am constantly running thought circles in my head doubting that I’m enough.

Enough of a mom, wife, friend, co worker, blogger, community member…blah blah blah.

Just one person occasionally acknowledging my efforts, can give me the strength to keep going full speed ahead for weeks and months!

After this User Guide exercise, I had a big talk with The Cowboy about HIS user manual, and then we chatted with the Cowkids.

And you know what, it has been REALLY helpful to see how the people in our family think of themselves and what motivates them to do better and be better.

I guess it’s kind of like the “5 Love Languages” idea but a bit more in-depth and personal.

If you have some time over the next week or so (maybe traveling somewhere in the car or some free time during Spring Break) why not do this for yourself, your spouse, or your kids?

You don’t even need to write anything down, just have a conversation…and then let me know what you’ve learned.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Categories: Health and Wellness, Life As It Happens

Tags: , , , , , , ,


* indicates required