Have you ever felt taken for granted by a partner? Perhaps, it seemed like they only noticed you if you did something for them, or worse, they didn’t notice you at all even when you fulfilled all of your duties.
I’ve been there and I definitely did not like the feeling of being used. It felt like I was not seen, cherished or known for my real self.
One of my favorite relationship gurus, Bruce Muzik of loveatfirstfight.com, has a beautiful and effective process for making another person feel seen and loved. It has three steps:
1. Think of something specific you appreciate about the other person
2. Link it to a positive personal trait of theirs.
3. Share with them what you came up with in numbers one and two.
Here are a couple of examples:
Sweetheart, I love the way you cover all the details and confirm all of our reservations when we plan a vacation. You are excellent at finding fun and affordable trips for us. I really appreciate how you include me in the decision-making process too. You are incredibly organized, creative and thoughtful. Thank you.
Honey, I am always amazed at the meals you put together. I know you are busy but you still manage to create meals that give us a reason to gather at the table. I really appreciate your efforts and your flair for cooking. You are so caring, hard-working and creative. Thank you.
The bottom line is this process makes someone feel appreciated. Appreciation is the glue of connection.
When we feel overlooked, it is easy to feel disrespected as well. We feel if our partner respected us they would acknowledge us more. One way to make our partner or friend or child feel respected is to ask for their opinion. Everyone likes to be asked how they feel about something or what they think about the matter. Asking someone’s opinion essentially says, ” I care about what you think and your views matter.”
One word of caution, only ask for someone’s opinion or feedback when you are resourced enough to receive it. If, for example, you are in the budding stage of developing a new online project, it might be wise to wait and ask your critical-eyed (but helpful) partner for their opinion when you have the main details worked out. Otherwise, they may kill your enthusiasm and creativity.
Feeling seen, respected and appreciated goes a long way toward building safety and intimacy within a relationship. We feel secure enough to lower our walls and sensitivity. We don’t have to protect ourselves when we feel loved for whom we are.
My experience is when we show appreciation and respect toward someone, they tend to do the same in return.
Who could you show appreciation toward tonight? Don’t forget to link it to a trait of theirs. That is key. How do you feel when someone asks your opinion?
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