One Simple Step to Nurture Your Relationships and Increase Positive Feelings For Yourself and Others- It is very simple and yet, so often, overlooked. Practice gratitude with the people in your life. Tell them why they are important to you and thank them for what they do for you on a regular basis. I see many people in therapy who feel undervalued and unappreciated or they don’t know how central people in their lives feel about them. These feelings do not discriminate between male and female, parent and child, supervisor and employee, etc. We all want to know what we do for people makes a difference. We need to know that we have value. We need to know that we are important to someone. We need feedback and affirmation that we are doing a good job at being a spouse, a child, a parent, an employee, a friend, etc. Take the time to tell the people in your life they have value to you. Tell them exactly what it is they do that make them special and important to you. Tell them as often as you can and be as specific as you can. Go beyond the word “thanks’! This kind of mindful attention and daily practice will provide you with gifts as well. It will illuminate for you the gifts and blessings in your life and in your relationships. It will foster and grow in you the warm and fuzzy feelings of positive emotions as well as deepen the feelings of emotional connection between you and those you love and care about. Be happy and be well!
Communication Tip- To help improve your communication with your partner, child, friend, etc. do not use abusive language when disagreeing about an issue. This includes cursing (you know the words I am talking about here), name-calling (lazy, fat, stupid, b*tch, *sshole, etc.) and shaming (bringing up past behaviors that may be embarrassing to the other person in an attempt to make them feel ashamed that have nothing to do with the current conflict). The practice of these behaviors is psychologically and emotionally abusive as these behaviors are typically intended to hurt the other person, intimidate them, get them to back off, power and control struggles, etc. Destructive communication may occur in a number of our relationships to include romantic, parent-child, maybe even with some of our family members and in our friendships. In your next disagreement, see if you can 1) stop using curse words, 2) reframe from name-calling and 3) address the BEHAVIOR you are having an issue resolving 4) ask for the person’s help to solve the problem. Lastly, 5) ask them for a behavior change. Let me know if you were able to reduce the temperature of the argument by leaving out some of these “hot” communication practices. Be well!