ERP 131: How Kindness Can Strengthen Your Love – Part Five

By Posted in - Podcast December 23rd, 2017 0 Comments

In ERP 125: How Kindness Can Strengthen Your Love – Part One, I talked about the article, titled “Masters Of Love,” by Emily Esfahani Smith

The article discussed the key to lasting relationships comes down to kindness and generosity. Based on the research of Gottman and others, “kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage.”

(Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear explanations, stories and examples.)

If you are interested in practicing more kindness in your relationship to strengthen your love, download this free pdf. The goal is to choose one kindness action or gesture a day for 25 days.  

25 Tips for Building Kindness (16-20)

21. Be inclusive.

In relationship, we can drift into being a little more self-focused. Over time the relationship can become one-sided, in that one partner dominants the decision making.

How do you and your partner make decisions? Do you make unilateral decisions or do you solicit your partner’s input and feedback?

If you are the more assertive one in the relationship, perhaps take a little more time to include your partner in the decision making process. Consider their needs, values, and preferences AND take time to understand the importance of what those things mean to them. Most likely their interest have a particular significance to them, and when we don’t take time to learn more we could be missing a great opportunity.

  • Ask their opinion. What do you think?
  • Let them know you value their perspective and thoughts.
  • Include them in conversation and activities.

22. Have your partner’s back.

How can you work together as a stronger team? This takes time, practice, and trust to develop. We all have our unique strengths and weaknesses.

Maybe together, you and your partner can look at your collective efforts and how you can compliment each other and have each others’ back.

We all go through phases and seasons, maybe it be worth considering how to help more, if your partner is struggling. Is there a way you can offer to make your partner’s life easier and take something off their plate?

Another way of having your partner’s back is to take your partner’s side when they’re upset about something outside the relationship. This means being supportive even if you think they’re being unreasonable.

23. Put Your Partner first.

Putting your partner first may be harder for people who have children and/or busy careers. However, many times I have seen clients feel hurt or insecure with how their partner does not prioritize their needs and preferences. This is especially true for the natural giver and pleaser in the relationship.

From time to time, prioritize your partner’s needs first. Help your partner feel important and cared about. Instead of putting work or the children first, put their needs first. Help them feel special.

  • When you walk in the door, hug them first.
  • Make their favorite dinner.
  • Do something they want to do. Share in an activity they enjoy.

24. Practice acceptance instead of control.

Respect your partner’s choices and preferences. Give space for your partner to be who they are.

To alleviate anxiety, stress, and fear, it is common to want to control your partner as a source of relief.

Offering acceptance to your partner helps create a feeling of unconditional regard, where your partner can let their guard down and feel okay to just be.

25. Appreciation & Gratitude

In the article “Masters Of Love,” by Emily Esfahani Smith quotes John Gottman “There’s a habit of mind that the masters have, which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”

  • Look for the good.
  • Focus on your partner’s positive attributes.
  • Intentionally appreciate your relationship and your partner.

Your mindset and focus will greatly influence how you treat your partner. By choosing to attend to the positive aspects of your relationship, by recalling good memories, or your partner’s strengths, you will add positive energy into your dynamic.

When negativity arises, notice what is going on for you. You may be irritable for other reasons (i.e. long day, giving too much to other, needing a little self-care), or you have a concern with something within your relationship, or it might be a habit to scan for the negative.

In all situations, it will be helpful to counterbalance the negativity by consciously choosing to acknowledge goodness in your partner.

The next level is to express your appreciation and gratitude through the form of compliments, appreciations, and acknowledgements.

  • “You look great.”
  • “I see how hard you are working and it means a lot to me.”
  • “Thank you for making me laugh.”

Cultivating positive interactions, big and small, helps you strengthen your relationship.

  • Appreciations. “I appreciate…”
  • Thank your partner.
  • Write a love letter about what you admire about them, a endearing memory together, how you have grown closer as a couple, etc.

If you are interested in practicing more kindness in your relationship to strengthen your love, download this free pdf. The goal is to choose one kindness action or gesture a day for 25 days.  

To take your relationship development to the next level, check out the Connected Couple program.

MENTIONED:

TRANSCRIPT:

Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 131: How Kindness Can Strengthen Your Love – Part Five [Transcript]

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If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching work with me.

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