What is something that you and I can never really get enough of? It’s praise.
Many of you may be thinking that praise is so obvious. Unfortunately, sharing praise is too often so overlooked and so underutilized as a relationship boost. That said, sharing praise with your partner is so very powerful and it only takes a minute.
Do you know anyone who would rather face criticism, even constructive criticism, over praise. Hmmm, I don’t. Stop for a moment and really try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Are you verbalizing your praise and backing it up in your dearest relationships?
If you want to really add an instant spark back into your special relationship, verbalize your appreciation for something uniquely special you find in your partner. Criticism causes us to feel as if we have let someone down and that is an energy zapper. Criticism doesn’t even have to be verbal, it can be as subtle as a perfunctory shrug or disconnecting pass of one another. The further we venture from what we have hoped for in a relationship (love and appreciation), the more energy we lose.
So what if right now you can’t think of anything to appreciate in your partner? If that’s the case, you are probably not very aware or present and you may need to quickly wake up. What first attracted them to you? If you notice and verbalize your appreciation of them, it can help you cement your feelings while raising your partner’s. What about they way they care, look, act, or give? When you stop verbalizing, you stop communicating, and nothing can ever be assumed in any relationship. Even the best relationships need maintenance though hopefully it won’t seem like work. If it does seen like work, the more you practice and look for things to appreciate in your partner, the more fun it will be, the more you will uncover, and the better energy you will feel and give forth.
Give your gift of praise with thought and the sincere delivery that is worthy of your message and their gifts to you. Direct eye contact and a real pause to punctuate the message really helps – not the passing “oh by the way” hastily delivered sort. A minute here and there daily or even just a couple of times a week can really make a huge difference to both the giver and receiver.
A worthy quick exercise is to sit down and write five or more things about how your partner helps you or has enriched some area of your life. These may very well be very different qualities from what you possess.
So what if your partner doesn’t return the favor? That may often happen, but if you stick with giving, you will eventually cause your partner begin to take notice and want to really shine in the area you’ve highlighted. And remember, true giving is unconditional giving – giving without any expectations of receiving anything in return.
Give praise freely and back it up with a smile, kiss, or whatever your partner enjoys and see what develops. And even if you decide to do nothing, be sure to at least steer clear of either stated or implied criticism; it’s a real relationship assassin.
So do you think that you could spare a minute for praise?