Because the little things count, people.
What are the keys to a happy and successful relationship? Laughter? Financial stability? Friendship? Communication?
These all seem like things that are important, but researcher John Gottman has been studying married couples for the last two decades and the lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable and healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often.
Kindness means you're being friendly, generous and considerate. Evidence shows the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they are kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.
There are times when being kind is hard. When you’re angry or upset, kindness is not at the top of your list, but acting in this way consistently is the key to a happy and successful relationship.
It’s important to keep in mind that being kind isn’t about the big gestures once in a while. Kindness is found in the details, and when it's practiced daily, your relationship will thrive and grow.
If you need a regular reminder, here are 20 ways to practice kindness for a happy and successful relationship:
- Don't put your partner down.
- Pick up his/her favorite flowers, candy or take-out.
- Respect your partner’s view of the world.
- Laugh together as much as possible.
- Give your undivided attention when your partner speaks.
- Ask if your partner needs anything when you're at the store.
- Make breakfast on the weekend.
- Think before you speak.
- Smile when your partner walks through the door.
- Encourage your partner through his/her hard days.
- Praise your partner for their good days.
- Apologize when you’re at fault.
- Make your limited time, quality time.
- Take responsibility for your actions and words.
- Leave kind notes around the house.
- Ask for nothing in return to a gesture.
- Give your partner his/her alone time.
- Be mindful of how you verbalize anger.
- Pick up chores around the house when your partner can't.
- Compliment and acknowledge your partner.
Kindness is about not only doing what's best for ourselves, but shifting our concern to the person we’re in a relationship with. Once we shift our concern, they will automatically have more concern for us, creating happiness and harmony in the relationship.
Ravid Yosef is a dating & relationship coach based in Los Angeles. Learn about her personal coaching services and create the love and life you've always wanted — your first consultation is always free!
This article was originally published at LoveLifeTBD.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.