The Easiest Way to Increase and Keep Good Feelings in Your
Excerpt from The
Joy of Relationship Cards
by John Grey, Ph.D. and Bonney Meyer, R.N.
(Full text available here)
Appreciation is an important source of positive
energy in relationships. Our hearts never tire of receiving it.
Yet, over time, we often start taking things for granted. Without our
even realizing it, statements of appreciation for one another tend to
decrease. Things we once noticed with great delight become expected -
and appear to go unnoticed.
Reawaken your heart to the importance of making statements of appreciation
to your partner each and every day - just as you did when you first met!
What are all the little things you really like about your partner? It
may be time to recall these now - and to share your appreciation for them
in some visible way.
Each small act of appreciation rekindles warmth between partners. It reminds
us of what we like about being together. Think of it as refueling the
flame - a basic way to keep good feelings and enthusiasm alive in a relationship.
Appreciation can be expressed in many different ways - a hug, saying thanks,
verbalizing love or admiration, or giving a special little gift, something
you know will be enjoyed!
A rose illustrates several key things about appreciation. First, after
it blossoms it lasts for only a few days. This points out the need to
express your appreciation frequently. Just as it's not enough to give
one rose per year, it's not sufficient to voice thanks or love once in
a blue moon. Also, a rose is small. This says that the size of your display
of appreciation is not as important as your constancy in giving it. Many
small acts of appreciation are far more powerful than any single large
act. Be generous by showing appreciation often.
Finally, as a rose naturally has thorns, so can a relationship. The issue
is not that the thorns are "wrong." The issue is how to handle
the rose so you don't get stuck by its thorns, so that you can appreciate
its beauty up close. Similarly, how you handle the thorny parts of relating
will make all the difference between getting stuck or not - stuck in negativity.
If you only focus on what's wrong or missing, blaming your partner, you
lose sight of all the positive things in the relationship.
When a relationship suffers from negativity, it may mean there's not enough
appreciation being shown. Appreciation can begin to turn such situations
around. It can fuel partners to move in a positive direction. If you are
frustrated that your partner is not doing something you want them to do,
rather than complain, appreciate them for whatever they are doing. Hearing
complaints tends to hold us back from taking positive steps. But appreciation
empowers us, uplifts us - and inspires us to further positive action.
Appreciation rewards us and lets us know that our many contributions are
being seen and felt. No matter how routine an action might be, saying
"Thanks for fixing that" or "Thanks for doing the dishes"
or "Thanks for driving" helps a partner feel their contribution
was worth the effort.
It takes an active awareness to continue giving appreciation. You must
frequently clear your eyes, see one another in a fresh light, and notice
anew the variety of contributions, large and small, each of you makes.
Partners who appreciate each other frequently create a relationship that
is continually rewarding.
The above text is originally from the Joy of Relationship Cards, and is also a part of an interactive self-coaching
system called the Relationship Advisor. Click here for information about accessing the complete set of vital
keys to relationship success.Each essential ingredient, such as that above, also includes a self-guided
section that helps you apply the information to your specific life circumstances
and make positive changes.