One Daring Trick to Make Your Partner Delightful
It’s the holy grail of relationships.
People who discover and actually use this trick will see the most improvement of ANY of the things couples can do to be better communicators. It’s a simple trick, but most people don’t actually think of it when they have communication issues with their partner. You need to know the one daring trick to make your partner delightful.
What is it?
Good, honest, and clear feedback.
We complain a lot about how our partner doesn’t understand us. They don’t listen to us. They don’t get where we are coming from. We want them to change often in some “mystical” way to be the partner we dreamed they would be. We think they should read our minds. Know our deepest desires and understand us in a way only a “soul mate” could!
Ok, I’m being a bit dramatic, but I want you to really understand that you have a lot of preconceived notions about what a beautiful relationship looks like. Put down the Cinderella slippers and give me a minute. This is communication 101 and if you don’t learn how to do it, prince charming will never show up.
When we only complain about how our partner doesn’t get us, we overlook that we play a huge part in their misunderstanding. To be honest, we lie.
How are you today? —“Fine”
What’s the matter? —“Nothing”
Now, I need a disclaimer here for two reasons. One, if you are in a very co-dependent relationship, please quit reading this now and go to a counselor. Your partner won’t do much with your good feedback. Two, sometimes we have learned to answer this way because we have been hurt using honest answers. Really hurt. Usually because of reason #1.
Most people lie to their partner because we want them to care enough to figure us out. To just “know” we aren’t “FINE.” While I am happy to give lots of tips on understanding one’s partner, there is no magical formula for understanding your “fine.” We need details. Otherwise known as feedback.
So how do start giving better feedback immediately? Deliberate action.
Take Deliberate Action
Feedback is positive by nature. It is NOT criticism. So, you need to practice positive reinforcement to your partner. Did you tell them what made you happy yesterday? Probably not.
I’ve been sick for 5 days and am just getting over the flu. I have been a miserable person to be around, I’m sure. My wife, Mary has been amazing. She has taken care of me better this illness than any time in our 28-year marriage. She has checked on me, asked me repeatedly if I need anything, and my favorite, she kisses me on the head every time she leaves. I feel incredibly loved by her, even though I felt incredibly bad.
In years past, I would not have given her feedback. I would have “expected” her to behave this way and only said something if she didn’t live up to my expectations as a wife. My expectations of how she is “supposed” to act when I am sick kept me from appreciating what she did for me.
Now that I am feeling a bit better, I recently texted her a very detailed “thank you” with how much I appreciated her actions including the kiss on the head. I finished by telling her how blessed I was to have her for a wife and lucky to have her as a lover. I meant EVERY word. I am a blessed man. Feedback is TELLING her that!
So, here is a how you can start giving great feedback to your spouse. For the next week, start each day with words (written, spoken, charades – how doesn’t matter) to them about something they did the day before you appreciated. Bonus points if it was something they did in their love language that you noticed. It doesn’t have to be big. If you haven’t done this, it may be a long process to get them to believe you. Thank them for doing the dishes. Thank them for carrying out the trash, putting the kids to bed, paying the bills, keeping the lights around the house turned off, or any of a thousand things they did. Find one.
Now do it AGAIN.
Every day. For at least a week. Then make it a month. If you want a great relationship – you CAN’T STOP. The next thing you know, your feedback “loop” as we call it in communication will be a habit that will build and edify your relationship. It sure beats complaining!
Feedback really IS the Holy Grail of a Great Relationship!
So get out there and-
Make YOUR Relationships GREAT!
Would you like me to help you personally improve your feedback? Schedule a LIVE relationship coaching session HERE!