Oy vey! Have we become a negative society or what? In the course of a day – if you were to pay attention to your internal voice, and your verbalized words you would likely notice a trend of commiserating negativity. The grass is too long. You don’t have enough money. The dinner you ate last night was crappy. The purple blouse you bought makes you look fat. Your neighbor is a jerk. The dogs are driving you crazy. The kids don’t know how to act right and are ungrateful little doo-doo heads. You don’t have enough time in the day. Your spouse never washes the dishes. Your spouse always makes an excuse to get out of sex. The list of complaints and things that we found negative in our lives is endless and comes in waves of communication and thoughts.
When it comes to the people we love the most, we also tend to become the most critical. Your spouse does not make enough money. Your husband has been wearing the same ugly shirt for three days in a row. Your wife has not cooked a good meal in a week. And since we love these people, rather than hide or sugarcoat our feelings, it becomes super easy to let them in on every little nit picky thing that we find wrong with them. Maybe we don’t necessarily mean to use them as a sounding board for all things that frustrate us – but it becomes easy. For most of us, we treat perfect strangers better than we do the people that are closest to us and that we love the most.
Unfortunately, many may not truly understand the amazing benefits that can come to a relationship by simply complimenting your spouse. When you live with someone and are married to someone, it is super easy to overlook the good things about him or her. When they dress up and look especially handsome or beautiful, we take it for granted. Imagine the power of a short, well placed, and well-meaned compliment to make the moment special?
The key in complimenting your spouse is to avoid superfluous compliments that are only bestowed when the giver is looking to receive. IN other words, don’t tell your wife that she is a hot sexy beast of a woman because you are trying to get her into the sack. Instead, make sure that you show her often that you appreciate the way she looks, and that you think she is beautiful. Don’t just shower your husband with complements about how strong and sexy he is because you are vying to get him to mow the lawn for you. Instead, tell him often how much you appreciate his manliness.
Compliments to someone else do much more than just make another person feel good. Research has shown that when we compliment others and focus on the positive things about other people (and other things) we shift our attention from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. In fact, a compliment has long been considered a two-way gift. When you give a compliment to someone else – especially your spouse, a chemical reaction of pleasure takes place in your brain. And the same thing happens to the receiver of the compliment.
One of the best things about a compliment, especially when directed to your spouse – is that they are always socially acceptable. And sure, even though your spouse may drive you crazy – paying them compliments often, helps you to stay focused on the many things you love about your partner. When you live with someone, it is super easy to take them for granted and to not notice the little and small things that they do on daily basis that make you happy, or that you appreciate. One of the most basic needs of the human spirit is to be appreciated by others, and a compliment does just that.
Of course, there are some tricks to complimenting well. Flatter and compliments are definitely not the same thing. In order for a compliment to work, you should be both sincere and specific. IN other words, don’t expect to be reciprocation because you gave your spouse a compliment. And, make sure that you are specific. Saying you are a great wife, is not the same as saying, “You always make the best dinners and I look forward to dinner each and every night.” Another rule of compliments is not to diminish them by saying too much. Don’t say, “Wow honey you look great compared to how you looked this morning!” This will only make them feel bad about how they looked this morning. Instead just drive home the fact that you think they look amazing. Period.
Compliments within a relationship can go a long way in keeping emotional and physical intimacy alive. One of the most common complaints among married people is that they feel their partner does not appreciate, or notice them anymore. Complacency sets it, and we tend to believe that because we are still married – that our partners should automatically know how we feel. Nothing can be further from the truth. Compliments show that you respect and pay attention to your partner. Most importantly, a compliment shows that you are choosing to focus on the good things in the relationship. They also are an easy and simple way to boost the mood between you and your partner, to make someone else feel good – and to ensure that you are personally staying focused on the abundant blessings in your life.
Start out today, by paying 5 compliments per day to your spouse. Do this for a week. In the course of the week, you will likely notice that your relationship will improve and that the two of you will develop or redevelop, a sense of intimacy and appreciation that can become diminished over time.