Apologies to anyone who tried to link to the Couple's Chore IQ. The link was unintentionally password protected. It is now available for download without registering or inputting a password. Sorry for any confusion. Peter
The interaction between perception and reality is at the heart of relationships. One of the places that illustrates this dichotomy is the chores each member of a couple does, or rather how each person views his or her contribution compared to how they view the contribution of their partner. When both people believe chores are shared equitably, harmony reigns in the relationship. But if one person feels overwhelmed, under-helped, and under-appreciated, then stress and frustration rear their ugly heads.
For instance, consider something as seemingly clear-cut as washing the dishes after dinner. Do you do it, does your significant other do it, or do you share the job? How does your significant other rate his or her own contribution? If you say you do the clearing up all the time, and your significant other says you do it all the time, at least your individual perceptions are based on a mutual reality.
For my book Essential Manners For Couples, I surveyed people to find out where perception and reality don’t match up in the household chore department. Interestingly, one the most glaring differences was who contributed to keeping the kitchen and the bedroom neat. More than fifty percent of the men surveyed said they shared equally in these chores, while only twenty-seven percent of women said men helped keep the kitchen neat, and twenty-nine percent said men helped keep the bedroom tidy. Men see themselves as sharing in these chores while women perceive themselves as carrying the load.
Who does the chores in your household? You can find the Chores IQ Test for Couples at the Emily Post website. Take the test individually and then compare your answers. Where you agree, celebrate. But where you disagree, it’s time to talk.
Peter Post's Essential Manners for Men was first published in 2003 and became a New York Times bestseller for advice books. Essential Manners for Men 2nd Edition is available now.
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About the author
Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."