It is funny to me how when we are in a relationship for a long time we can lose sight of how to compliment our partner. As a relationship counsellor I have been working with this with quite a few of my couples over the past while and when we talk about what each person does to lift his/her partner up, most struggle to come up with something. The challenge with complimenting is that we sometimes compliment our partner on the things that we ourselves need recognition on and not on what our partner needs. Add to that the fact that many of us, having spent an extended period of time with our partner, have gotten accustomed to the very things we cherish or love about our partner. This can cause us to get kind of lazy and not invest in making that effort.
Please use this newsletter as a friendly reminder that we all need a boost and that in relationships there are few things that feel as good as being really noticed by your partner. What are the things about your partner that you appreciate most? What are the areas that you know your partner struggles with the most in terms of their confidence or self worth? How can you start making an effort to invest in healing or repairing some of their insecurities? It isn’t your job to make him/her feel better about him/herself all the time but as his partner supporting him in this part of his journey can be one of the kindest gifts you can offer.
One final thing to add to this. Pay attention to your own vulnerability while giving your partner a compliment. Do you notice feeling uncomfortable? Does it make you anxious or feel awkward? Interestingly most of us believe that saying positive things would be really easy. In actuality what I see frequently in my office are couples who have become comfortable in being critical who have become afraid to open up and express just how much they care about or need their partner. It may take some time getting used to opening up in this way but your connection will undoubtedly be strengthened by doing so.
What are the ways in which you are going to start noticing your partner (and telling him) again? Let me know in the comment section below.