Quick scan of facebook and my brother posted this one… Great article – purely scientific, looking at the “masters & disasters” of relationships.
There’s a whole load of good stuff in there, but this observation is great (highlighting mine), the first is about respect & appreciation of the partner’s ‘bids’ for connection:
“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have … which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”
“It’s not just scanning environment … It’s scanning the partner for what the partner is doing right or scanning him for what he’s doing wrong and criticizing versus respecting him and expressing appreciation.”
How often have I fallen into that trap? Not necessarily intentionally, normally out of neglect – not choosing to respond to those points of connection ‘can I have a quick word with you about…’ – “Not now. Busy.” Or something along those lines…
And that’s not just with S. – I have 3 connection-hungry children too!
What about this one – the other important trait is kindness:
Research independent from theirs has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved.
“Kindness doesn’t mean that we don’t express our anger … but the kindness informs how we choose to express the anger. You can throw spears at your partner. Or you can explain why you’re hurt and angry, and that’s the kinder path.”
Loads of food for thought from these ones!
(Photo credit: Reuters / Michelle McLoughlin)