The power of this word has been written about for ages, and it applies to all areas of your life.
You can make your relationship better with this one simple word.
You may have heard the saying, “What you appreciate appreciates,” and this is true whether we’re talking about finances, performance, or of course, the quality of your relationship.
When things aren’t going well in your relationship, though, it can be hard to be grateful.
Let’s face it:
Relationships can be difficult.
And it’s hard to just ignore the negative things that go wrong in our relationships and look at the positive stuff.
Biologically, we are actually hardwired to pay attention to the bad stuff that happens in our relationships, because these negative things are sort of like huge warning signs that something could be going terribly wrong.
Losing a loved one can literally trigger a life or death type of panic that floods our nervous systems.
Negative interactions and negative emotions are therefore super critical warning signs that tell us to take care of our relationships, stat.
In terms of evolution, losing a loved one is dangerous for us as a species and even moreso as individuals.
So it only makes sense that we pay attention to the negative stuff.
But this is where so many couples go wrong.
All of the negativity starts to override anything good that’s going on and lethal, negative, self-perpetuating, escalating cycles start to take hold of couples’ relationships and pull them apart.
What you appreciate appreciates
So if all you see is the negative, that’s all you’re going to get.
Change that up. Start today.
I dare you to see if you can appreciate something positive instead.
And let your partner know.
If you can force yourself to be grateful for even the small things, you’ll start to see more of them, and then they’ll soon become bigger things.
Dr. John Gottman, relationship researcher extraordinaire, has found that happy couples have a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.
That means you need 5X as much good stuff in your relationship as bad stuff.
The bad stuff has more weight.
So start practicing gratitude and you’ll begin to usher what might seem like miracles into your relationship.
1. Every night, before going to bed, tell your partner 5 things about them that you appreciate.
These can be activities that they did, or qualities about them. If that’s too hard, start with 3. And if you can’t come up with 3, just tell them one thing.
Exercise your appreciation muscles.
2. Check out this post about patterns to see if the negative stuff in your relationship has cast you both into one of these dangerous but common cycles of disconnect.
3. Let me know how gratitude goes. Follow action step #1 for one week and then come back and post what you’ve found. I’m sure you’ll improve your relationship.
I can’t wait to hear your results!
Cheers to your best relationship,