Appreciate a Loved One

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sometimes the ones you care most for are the ones you neglect the most. It's easy to forget about the feelings and aspirations of those closest to you as you move around them daily and sometimes take them for granted. Appreciation of their presence in your life is always something worth stopping for, to take the time to reflect over and will rejuvenate the strength of your relationships.

Ask yourself a key question: "What did I learn about this person today?" If you have a hard time answering that, then it's time for step two.
Ask questions. It's easy to fall prey to complacency. Remember that this person is just as complicated as you are. Find out more about your loved one. You may be surprised at all the things you still have to learn 5, 10, 15, 30 years into knowing this person.
Listen. Really listen. Then ask more questions. Become interested in what that person has to say. Don't just listen to what they say and then turn it around to be about you.
Do something different. Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. Get out of the house once in a while. Go somewhere, do something you have never done with that person.
Open up your heart. Telling someone an inner wish or dream creates new bonds and strengthens old ones.
Realize that a hug never hurts. Be free with the hugs and they will come back to you tenfold.
Do something nice for them whenever you can. Stop off at the store and buy them their favorite ice cream. Send them a letter or a postcard. Call them up just to wish them well. These things do not go unnoticed.
Clean up after yourself. Leaving a mess for your loved one to take care of is not only rude and insensitive, but it's just bad manners. They will appreciate you more if you appreciate them.
Tell them what you think about them. Most of us respect our loved ones and what they are doing with their lives. But how often do we tell them? It's not so hard to say, "I really think what you are doing is remarkable." Or, "You have incredible courage to do what you are doing." It feels good to be open with those you love.
Though it's wonderful to be honest with a loved one, it is possible to be too honest. Know the boundaries. Do not criticize someone maliciously ever.
Don't convince yourself that this exercise isn't worthwhile. It is - you'll be doing yourself and your loved ones a disservice by not believing.

Communicate to Save Your Marriage

If you are looking to save your marriage then here are some tips to help you communicate with your partner. Arm yourself with four “tools”: time, an understanding attitude, patience, and empathy.

Schedule some time to be spent only with your partner everyday to maintain a strong bond.
Give complete attention to your partner, whether chatting or resolving an issue.
Listen to your partner without any interruptions. Maintain eye contact and keep an open mind. Grasp the expressed feelings along with the words. Facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, and words – all of these matter.
Make a careful choice of words while communicating to avoid any misunderstandings.
Don’t get carried away with emotions while communicating.
Instead of blowing your lid off in front of your partner, vent your anger on a piece of paper. Sometimes, we do regret later what we had said in a fit of anger.
7. Keep the positive aspects in the spot light rather than the negative ones.
You don’t like a particular habit of your partner, for example, throwing a wet towel on the bed. Don’t start with “I hate it when you…” instead, say, “I really like it when I see you hanging your towel on towel-stand!”
If you don’t like a particular dress on your partner, instead of saying, “you look fat/bad in this dress”, say, “why don’t you wear the ‘so and so’ dress? It looks sexier on you than this one!”
It is said – the best way to win an argument is to avoid it. How true! When you feel the discussion is getting heated up, withdraw.
Shouting, screaming, crying are the worst ways of communicating your feelings. They only leave your partner feeling hurt, confused, or even a failure.
Never dig out past conflicts, no matter how tempted you are.
Don’t hesitate in saying “I am sorry.” These are the wonder words that make your partner lose all anger. In fact, it leaves no room for further debate.
Stop blaming each other. If you think, “I can save my marriage by putting all the blame on my partner”, you are harboring an absurd idea in your mind.
Taunting, scorning, commenting, and teasing are not the right ways to save a marriage. There are many people who hurl verbal abuses at their partner and when their partner retaliates with a divorce paper in hand, they cry, “save my marriage!” First learn to respect your partner and treat him/her as you would want to be treated yourself.

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