You may have heard the saying “you get more bees with honey than with vinegar” the same holds true in a relationship. Although personally I do not want any bees in my relationship. What does all this mean and how can we use it to create the secret to an amazing relationship? Let me start by asking you a question. If there is something you really enjoy that your partner does, how can you get them to do it more often? Here is another question. If there is something your partner does that you do not like, how can you get them to do it less often? The answer is surprisingly the same. Positive reinforcement. Now I will be the first to tell you that one of the single most important traits to a healthy relationship is great communication. However it must be the right kind of communication. Sometimes how you say things is just as important as what you say. If the communication in your relationship consists of a few gestures you give each other in the hallway as you walk by you may want to consider reading this post. Even if your relationship has great communication and you are just looking for a few ways to improve it this will definitely be worth your time.
Let me start by sharing a story with you. I have a female friend who was complaining that her boyfriend never responds to her text messages or when he does it is often hours after she has sent him a msg. “So how does that make you feel?” I asked her. She told me it made her feel unimportant and unloved. When I asked her what she wanted to feel and how that may happen she told me if he would only text her back sooner she would feel more important and cherished by this man. I inquired if she had ever explained that to him. Often our partners may be unaware of something that may be bothering us. This was not the case here. “Oh yes. He knows” she told me and went on to explain the last time he text her back she ripped into him and told him that he better not wait so long to text her back and how awful it made her feel. So what was she showing her boyfriend? She thought she had explained to him that texting her back quickly would make her happy. What she had really done is show him that texting her equaled pain. She made him feel guilty and hurt. So how could she have handled this better? First, she could’ve been more compassionate. Maybe he did want to text her back. Maybe he had a lot going on in his life that day? Maybe he was driving and didn’t want to risk being unsafe. She could’ve explained to him “I know your busy, but if you have the chance it really means a lot if you could text me back as soon as you are able” or if she wanted to avoid the issue altogether she could’ve just expressed how much it meant to her that he did text her back by saying “It is so great to hear from you. Every time I receive a message from you my heart skips a beat and it makes me feel so loved” If we focus on what we enjoy from our partners and let them know what makes us happy quite often we will get more of that. It is also not a stretch that our partners can connect the dots and realize the opposite of that thing will upset us. In this case the young man would realize that if receiving a text made her happy then not receiving one would surely make her unhappy. What we focus on in our relationships as well as in life we get more of. So be sure to keep your focus on the positive by doing some of the things we mentioned earlier in the week as well as what we talked about here today. Praise your spouse when they do something that makes us feel loved. Everyone likes praise and everyone likes to know they made the person they love feel good. Let them know and soon you will find they are working to do it more often. Until tomorrow my friends, live an amazing and passionate life!