Use your actions AND your words.
By Jordan Gray
We are creatures of routine. Coffee in the morning; scheduling meetings, lunches and appointments. Dinner at a favorite restaurant, monthly contracts and paying bills. Sometimes we find solace in parts of our lives becoming automatic. Because, quite frankly, life is more difficult if we spend most of it thinking about life.
From personal responsibilities to business opportunities, it’s easier for us to live our lives if we compartmentalize our tasks and get into a routine.
In our relationships, sometimes getting in a verbal routine can cause a certain stagnancy, or worse, stasis.
Regardless of whether your partner may or may not know how you feel about them, here are 5 ways to keep your compliments fresh and enhance the quality of dialogue in your relationship.
1. Fresh start!
Waking up can be hard. I’m guilty of not having my wits about me right in the morning. In fact, it’s rare that anyone does. It doesn’t help that I am sometimes in more of a rush than I’d like to be.
But, regardless of how much time you have or how you feel, what you say to your partner in the morning can potentially shape the day for both of you.
A genuine compliment to someone that we care about actually conditions our mind into thinking positively.
Taking the time to point out something that you appreciate about your partner can be just as rewarding for yourself as it is for the person you’re talking to. And whether it’s something new, or something you assume they know already, if it’s coming from a genuine place it’s always a contributing factor to enhancing your relationship.
If your partner has a different schedule than you and happens to be peacefully still sleeping, just do it softly.
You can also implement this before you head to bed.
Tell them five things that you appreciate about them, right before you fall asleep. Or tell them some of your favourite parts of your day together.
2. Strong, silent type.
Ok, so you’re not one for words. Or you try to be verbal but find yourself wincing at how corny you may come across. Let’s face it, even though I can assure you that your words will be greatly appreciated, we’re not all blessed with articulating our appreciation for our partners. Well, fear not!
Compliments can be hidden in actions that show the same type of observant appreciation. You’d be surprised how effective an extra squeeze when holding hands can be.
Another non-verbal way to communicate your gratitude is to simply convey your happiness. A simple look and smile of contentment with only gratitude at the forefront of your consciousness can be enough.
The important part here is to be genuinely thinking about a specific thing you’re appreciative of. That way, if your partner takes the bait and sees your look as an opportunity to ask: ‘What?….’ You already have the words available.
3. Sneaky Stickies.
Complimenting someone shows that you’re paying attention. So that’s a good place to start! Take the time to observe your partner when you don’t think they’re watching. Try to notice the things they do in their day so you can find places to stash little messages.
Sticky notes are great for this. Spend some time surprising your partner in the mundane tasks that make up their days. The best is when you can find a spot where you know they’ll be in private and be a bit naughty. Never underestimate a good “you have the most magnificent little bum” sticky note on your partner’s favourite item in the fridge.
The more well thought out and specific these little notes are, the better. When someone shows appreciation for the things we usually take for granted, it puts an extra warm spot inside us when we think of them. So get creative!
Telling your partner that you’re proud of them, in front of family or friends, is a great way to show gratitude.
More extroverted personalities especially appreciate this. It lets them know that you’re not afraid to tell the world how you feel about them. Plus, it’s an easy way for you to compliment them without feeling like you’re being too cheesy. Bragging about your partner seems to come easier for those who feel uneasy saying it directly to their face.
If you start to put these into practice, they’ll quickly become second nature. Showing/telling your partner how you feel about them on a daily basis will create a stronger bond between the two of you…with the added bonus of making your relationship way more fun.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.