I recently read an article about employees in the workplace who were surveyed about what they wanted most from their jobs. I was surprised by the results. More employees said they wanted recognition and to be appreciated then those who stated they wanted raises or better benefits. Similarly, several months ago Oprah did a show on why men cheat, and the resounding answer was because they felt taken for granted and unappreciated. Maybe that wasn’t exactly why they cheated, but it was definitely the root of the marital dissatisfaction that made it possible.
It doesn’t take rocket science to know that appreciation makes even the hardest work go by more smoothly, however, it bares some serious examination at the notion that appreciation can affair proof a marriage. I suspect appreciation is an insurance policy against lots of potential relationship bumps and pit falls.
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Recently I have been keenly aware in my relationships and other’s I’ve observed about how we invest in relationship. When a relationship is well established and there has been a consistent investment of the good stuff, for lack of a better way of putting it, when times are tough, you can draw against it - or from it. People are there for people who are there for them. If that makes relationships sound like a barter network, that’s because in almost all cases they are. The easiest way to invest in a relationship and build relationship capitol is appreciation.
Just by definition to appreciate is to grow. Value appreciates or depreciates depending on a lot of factors. However, in relationships, romantic or otherwise, the most important factor is attention. When you are putting your attention on things about others that you appreciate, value grows. When you express that appreciation you build relationship capitol. That relationship capitol my friends, can affair proof a marriage, create supportive family relationships, and grow friends that are there during the hardest of times.
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The key to appreciation is it’s best used in heavy doses before a crisis in relationship arises. Once something has gone awry retro-active appreciation is rarely effective and usually much more labor intensive. The good thing is once you start looking for things to appreciate about those around you, the easier they become to identify. Honestly, appreciation is way more fun then alternative of criticizing or even just ignoring the other person all together.
So, if you are looking for away to build stronger relationships, insuring your relationships against upcoming weather, appreciation is quite likely the least expensive and most effective policy you can find. Just remember, it’s even more valuable and powerful when you appreciate, to express that appreciation.