If I recall anything from my upbringing, it's the following two rules: "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all," and "Remember to always say 'please' and 'thank you'." It's not only great life advice so you can trick people into thinking you're a civilized human being, but it will also help you maintain healthy relationships with others, especially those with whom you're in a committed sexual relationship. In other words, show some appreciation, will ya? Seriously, would it kill you to thank your fella for dinner, dessert and the following orgasm? I think not.
A study by the smarty-pants at University of California, Berkeley found that the simple act of thanking someone when you're in a relationship goes a long way. About 50 undergrads between the ages of 18 and 60 (yup, I guess some undergrads are 60), who had been dating their partner for a year or more (about half of them were living together), were given a nightly survey to fill out for an entire week regarding such things as basic manners. Researchers collected the data and nine months later, gave the same couples the same survey. Those who felt appreciated were far less likely to break up. The mutual love and respect gets stronger if you just say "thank you" from time to time.
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The researchers also wrangled up some of the participants into a lab to see how they interacted with each other. It was those couples that leaned in, made comforting touches and excessive eye contact that were found to be happier in their relationships because these gestures, although seemingly small, are proof of mutual appreciation. You realize you have it good, so you're more attentive and responsive — again, this is a one-way ticket to Happy Couple Land.
You may have thought your mom was full of it when she tried to instill basic manners in you, but now you know the truth: People who feel appreciated are happy, and happy people want you to be happy.
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I think our lesson for the day is over.
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