Who knew a simple compliment could improve a relationship?
Ever wonder if you can really change your partner? Well, screaming and yelling sure won't do it. In fact, he/she may become resentful. Just as with children, we need to be praised for the good things we do.
The last thing you want to hear again and again is what you're doing something wrong, what you need to fix, or how you don't measure up to the person your partner needs you to be. So, before you begin to complain about what he/she isn't doing, try complimenting him/her on the things he/she is getting right. 8 PERFECT Love Songs That Teach Us To Love Harder
Most people would argue that you can't change people. Believe it or not, your partner hates that all you seem to do is complain. Or, that you fail to appreciate him/her. I know that this profound idea seems unjustifiably simple, that a simple compliment may change things, but I've seen it work. I can't pretend to have stumbled upon this knowledge on my own though.
One day I was having lunch with a friend when she introduced me to this concept. At the time, I wasn't necessarily looking for her advice when she mentioned how happy she and her husband are together. At first I thought, here we go again. She's always talking about her husband. If she does have qualms with him they are usually minor in nature; in fact, most of them virtually go unmentioned.
One thing she said was, "Don't talk about the man you're with negatively because you chose him; he is ultimately a reflection of you. Besides, what does it say about you if you go around always complaining that he’s such a loser, or that he isn’t great in bed?" Lose The Baggage! How To Get Out Of Your Relationship Slump
Well, I thought that was sound advice; maybe a bit old school, but I could see her point. Then, she mentioned something that corroborated with something I recently read by Relationship Coach and Marriage Educator, Jenna Couture. In her article, "Relationship Secrets: We Just Say Yes," Couture wrote, "Make your mate a priority." Although she doesn't say "yes" as Couture asserts, she does compliment him.
Intrigued by this, I asked, "Compliment him? You mean you compliment his looks, his ..." "Him ... for the things he does,” she insisted. "At first, he rarely helped out with the kids. He was always busy. We fussed and argued all the time ..." "You two? You seem so ... so ... happy," I said.
In fact, they're always fondling each other. It's damn near sickening at times. I can only imagine what their kids must think when they see their parents canoodling. 14 Ways To Decode 'Guy Talk' On Dating Profiles
"That wasn't always the case," she admitted. "We were on the verge of divorce when we went to Couples Therapy. Our therapist had us do so many exercises together to stimulate some sort of communication between us. One exercise involved looking at each other and telling one another what we loved about the other."
I laughed. "Ok. This sounds a lot like that Adam Sandler movie, Just Go With It. You know, the part where Nicole Kidman's character is complimenting her husband every time they leave one another."
She laughed too. "It sounds crazy, but it works. We aren't that bad though. I just make a point to remember to thank him when he helps out with dinner, helps with the kids, helps with errands. You know, the little things. It's the little things that we forget to acknowledge. Sometimes, I don't even say 'thank you,' I may just kiss him and tell him that he's great," she continued. Love Games: Make Him Want You Tonight, Part 1
"It's like by thanking or complimenting him, he gets inspired to help me out more. I thank him sometimes when we're curled up in bed because that's become a ritual between us. It's our only alone time with our busy schedules."
"That's interesting," I admitted, contemplating that last time I thanked my guy for anything he did.
"We don't do this every day, but we do this at times. Not every day, so it's totally sporadic. It's like a nice surprise. Just when I think he's forgetting, that he's starting to take me and what I do for our family for granted, he reminds me that he isn't; that he loves me. In turn, I remind him that I really appreciate the person he is and vice versa." When A Good One Is The Wrong One
"No wonder you two seem so happy," I mused, reflecting on this simple concept.
"We are now. Telling him what I like about him and thanking him, has even spread over to the kids. When I started telling my son how proud I was of his C's, he started doing better. Maybe because I took the pressure off of him somehow. Now, he brings home B's. I can handle that and I praise him for it. The same type of positive reinforcement people preach for children can work with adults as well. Isn"t that funny? We are so much closer now because we seem to really appreciate one another. I never thought something that simple could work," she admitted.
After our conversation, I tried this method on my own blended family. So far, so good. But we are still a work in progress. My friend was right about one thing; it's the little things, the things we do and don't say that add up and matter. Why More People Are Choosing Friends With Benefits
So, the next time your partner does something that upsets you, try to compliment the good things he/she is doing. Who knows, maybe this positive reinforcement thing will work like reverse psychology on him/her. Maybe if we focus more on what works instead of what doesn't, our relationships with our loved ones will become that much better.
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