Improve your relationship with positivity. February is the month of LOVE and becomes a great time to resurrect this basic relationship building addition. Valentine’s Day could be the ideal time for a small gift and a nice card expressing your own personal positive sentiments and appreciation. Marriage counselors often recommend this as the perfect time to revisit the importance of your partner and work on relationship building.
Who doesn’t love a compliment every now and then? Likewise, do you know anyone who relishes criticism? In a romantic relationship, it’s easy to fall into the habit of pointing out negative things your partner does that irritate you. Offering praise often tends to take a back seat. I often see couples who have fallen into the habit of pointing out negative things and have forgotten about the importance of positive interactions. The good news is that there are many ways to improve your relationship with positivity.
POSITIVITY – PRAISE SHOULD OUTWEIGH NEGATIVE COMMENTS
World-renowned marriage guru, Dr. John Gottman, refers to a “magic ratio” between positive and negative exchanges during a conflict. This ratio is 5 to 1. According to Gottman, when working through a conflict, there should be at least five positive actions for every negative one.
I believe this to be true day in and day out, not just during an argument or heated discussion. If you apply this rule of thumb to your everyday interactions, chances are you will feel closer and more strongly connected to your partner.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your relationship with positivity:
- Show affection — Simple gestures like a quick hug, holding hands, or a “love” note slipped into a lunch bag are great ways to remind your partner how much you love them.
- Be Empathetic — When your partner is dealing with something, empathy shows that you understand and can feel how they are feeling. This is just as important for a joyful experience as it is for a sad one.
- Be Grateful — Don’t forget to say thank you! Gratitude that focuses on your partner’s strengths (i.e. Dinner was great; you are such a good cook!) makes them feel better about themselves.
- Remember small acts of kindness — Little gestures often have more powerful impact than expensive gifts. You don’t have to make it obvious either. Subtle acts such as clearing up a cluttered workspace or stocking the pantry with a favorite snack can add some positive energy to your relationship with minimal effort.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove, Buffalo Grove and Des Plaines. Our Arlington Heights behavioral therapist Katrina Christie, MEd, LCPC, is rated one of the best counselors in the Northwest suburbs. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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