Article written by Kim K De Silva
Yes, really! Compliments.
Don’t you appreciate a heartfelt compliment directed your way? For most of us, in most situations, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes!” Compliments are powerful tools. Use them to strengthen your relationships, especially the one with your intimate partner.
From a simple gesture to an expression of overwhelming gratitude, a compliment goes a long way in making your spouse feel loved and appreciated. It’s a sign of kindness, which is one of the fundamentals for a thriving relationship.
Whether you are newlyweds or have been together for decades, the merits of complimenting each other regularly apply. Let’s dive in and discover the power of a compliment and how you can most effectively deliver them!
Why should I compliment my partner?
Receiving and giving compliments make us feel loved. Compliments are a way to show affection towards your significant other. By expressing your love and admiration, you are reminding them of how much they mean to you and how much you care. The offshoot of that is enhanced emotional intimacy. Increased emotional connectedness fosters opportunity for more physical intimacy too.
You can improve your communication. By expressing appreciation and gratitude for your partner, you are letting them know that you value their efforts and contributions to your relationship. You’re building a positivity loop and having conversations that focus on what’s going well. This provides a support and sense of security for those times you have to discuss areas of your relationship in need of improvement.
Compliments help you feel united as a couple. When you compliment your significant other, you are recognizing and appreciating the things that are important to them. This is especially relevant when complimenting them on something they are proud of accomplishing. You open the doors to understanding their aspirations and to conversations around how you can work together to achieve them.
Compliments provide validation and boost self-esteem. When you take the time to acknowledge and appreciate your partner’s positive qualities and behaviors, it helps them feel seen and heard. The open expression of your appreciation for their efforts offers validation of those efforts and creates motivation for those efforts to be repeated. Your spouse wants to make you happy. Let them know when they’ve hit the mark.
Create a cycle of positivity. Behavior that is rewarded is repeated. If you’ve enjoyed something your partner has said or done. Tell them. By acknowledging and complimenting positive behavior, you are encouraging your significant other to continue it. This can lead to a happier and more fulfilling relationship for you both.
The goal here is to obliterate “complacency” which is a prime romance killer. Mutual admiration, respect and trust play a role in keeping the spark of attraction burning. Don’t underestimate the value of well-placed, regular compliments to strengthen emotional connectedness and intimacy.
Are you in the habit of paying your partner compliments? What’s the last one you shared with them? Do you willingly receive compliments yourself?
Sometimes, depending on circumstances, and the fights you two may be having, you may not be in the mood to pay compliments. For some, it just feels awkward! Here are a few tips to help you in those cases:
Make a list beforehand of things you love, admire or respect about your partner – pull from that list.
If you’re struggling to make that list, ask your younger kids – they can be a little less inhibited with their praise.
Read that list at least once a day to remind yourself about their positive attributes.
Consider doing the same exercise above for yourself – Yes, compliment yourself!
Don’t want to say it to their face? Leave notes for them to find.
Send the compliment via text messages. Bonus points if the compliments are flirty too!
If all else fails, pay them the compliments when they are asleep. This gives you the practice of saying the positive sentiment out loud; and helps you build up the muscles to deliver the praise face to face.
Keep it positive!
A major indicator of a thriving relationship is the 1:5 ratio. For every negative interaction the couple has, there must be five positive interactions. Compliments help swing the balance towards the positive!
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Kim helps moms bring the romance and spark back to their relationship – like it was when they first started dating. Her clients work with her to feel loved and reconnected with their partners. She also helps women in cross-cultural relationships; or with those who are using Spanish as a tool to connect with family and community members.
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