THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Flower power: Why give out the dying foliage

Women like receiving flowers. Men think flowers are stupid.

Men think: Flowers die, they don't do anything when they are alive, they cost a fortune, and they are a cliché. Men know that women in general like flowers, but men also believe that women they know personally do not like flowers. The women they know are the exception to the rule.

I think it's safe to say that mostly women are reading this. Women are reading to figure out how to get the men in their lives to send flowers.

Here is what it is going to take: Bottom line impact. Yes, the guys want to get laid, but dinner seems better: it is like money well spent to them – you still get the sex, but you also get good food. What do you get with flowers? This is how men think, for the most part.

So, here's what you get:

1. Flowers make the giver happy.

The act of giving flowers elicits a real smile (as opposed to a fake, oh-that-was-nice smile) more often than other gifts of similar cost, according to research from Jeannette Haviliand-Jones, psychologist at Rutgers University. And men are conditioned to react very positively to a real smile.

2. People think you are smarter if you're a guy who gives flowers.

That's right. Send the flowers to your significant others' workplace. Science says that people will perceive you as having higher emotional intelligence than your peers. Next step: Start milking your significant other's network of contacts since they are already impressed with you.

3. You will be a better manager.

Men give flowers at work, too. Not every bouquet means I love you. Some bouquets mean, "Get the project done on time or we're screwed." Give flowers during crunch time because flowers and plants at the workplace increase productivity. This seems like a good time to link to the post about when I got flowers from Marc Benioff, CEO of They definitely made me more productive.

Nancy Etcoff, evolutionary psychologist at Harvard and author of "Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty" (Doubleday) concurs that flower make people happier. She found that if you see a vase of flowers in the morning, you have more spunk all day and less stress and anxiety at work. So don't just send flowers to your girlfriend and your co-workers. Send flowers to yourself.


Penelope Trunk has started several companies and worked for many more.