Give your partner one appreciation every day. It can be a quality that you love or something your partner has done recently. It is so important to give and receive appreciations, to be looking for things to appreciate and to be acknowledged for something wonderful you have done. Sometime, we fail to acknowledge what our partners are doing that is contributing to the betterment of the relationship. We easily focus on the problems and what our partners are not doing, which adds more attention to the negative, rather than increasing the positivity in the relationship. You want to reinforce what is working, not what is not working. So, today, appreciate your partner, explain why it is so meaningful to you, and what your partner is giving you by doing this. Make this dynamic a part of your daily routine going forward – it takes 10 minutes max, so there are no excuses!
In addition, make an agreement with your partner to eliminate negativity in how you talk to each other. This means no put downs, blaming, criticism, or anything where you make your partner feel “less than” you. You can still speak your mind and disagree without being negative. Instead:
– Use “I” statements to express yourself. (i.e.) “I feel ignored and dismissed when you…”
– Explain what comes up for you when your partner does certain things. (i.e.) “When I experience you as…the story I make up is that you don’t care about me.”
Be intentional in what you have to say. Talk in a way that makes your partner want to keep listening. If you are negative, as soon as you become aware of your behaviour, take responsibility for yourself and apologize to your partner. There’s always a chance for a do-over, so let your partner know what you wish you would have said. Remember the saying ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all’? Well, you may find yourself talking less! Eliminating negativity is the most beneficial thing you can do for your relationship. Furthermore, if you have children, it’s a great relationship skill to role model, as they learn how to relate to others from watching you (surprise!).
So, set the intention of starting these new ways of being today – there will be a huge payoff!