Linda: Respect is defined as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.”
To have a great relationship, there needs to be a high level of respect on the part of both partners. For those couples who are less intentional and accomplished in this area, their lack of respect holds the partnership down to lower levels of well-being.
There are some simple steps we can take to stop any of the habituated patterns that are disrespectful, to replace them with more responsible ways of relating. The following simple steps, although not necessarily easy, will enhance the level of respect so that your partnership can thrive.
- Tune in and pay attention by listening attentively to find out your partner’s needs, desires, and concerns.
- Use what we have discovered by paying close attention to show that we notice their needs, desires and concerns by acting on what we discover.
- When your partner is direct with his or her requests, take influence from your significant other by responding to what your partner asks for, and acting on those requests in a timely fashion. Leave no room for procrastination; really show up.
- Speak words of acknowledgment, appreciation, and gratitude not only for what your partner does, but who your partner is.
- When using humor to enliven the relationship, be careful to only playfully tease and not wound with sharp barbs.
- Only make comparisons to others for the purpose of calling attention to your partner’s strengths and talents.
- There are intimate details that only you are privileged to know, so never violate confidentiality.
- Become a worthy opponent to carefully spar with your partner to work out differences during conflict.
- When bringing a complaint, be careful not to go over the line to criticism.
- Replace cutting sarcasm with gentle language.
- Speak directly to your partner rather than sharing your complaints with others.
- Delete all forms of contempt, including rolling of the eyes.
- Delete any impatient and irritable tone from your communication.
- When your partner makes unskillful choices, be compassionate and reassuring by saying something like, “We all make mistakes and can learn from them.”
- Validate your significant other’s offerings with encouraging words, like ”You’re full of good ideas.”
- Make room for your partner’s style. There are many of ways to get things accomplished.
- Assure your partner that there is room for many opinions.
- Support your partner’s choices whenever you possibly can.
- Acknowledge whatever level of financial contribution your partner makes to the family expenses.
- Acknowledge how much your partner contributes to you and the family on the non-material, emotional level.
- When you make an unskillful choice, apologize as soon as possible.
- Take responsibility for ways you harm your partner and get busy learning from all breakdowns, so that you don’t continue to harm your relationship.
- Be quick to offer forgiveness when your partner makes unskillful choices.
- Tell your partner that you are proud of her or him.
- Declare your respect not only to your partner but also in front of witnesses.
Be sure to tell your partner that you are overjoyed with the partnership you are co-creating, and so pleased to have a partner that is worthy of your respect.
Please don’t be limited to these ideas. They are just a starter kit; you can come up with some splendid ideas of your own. If you follow these simple guidelines, you have a right to expect that evidence will start to show itself of a more enriched partnership. Don’t take our word for it, look to your own experience and see what you discover. And be sure to enjoy the exciting process as much as you can.
Linda and Charlie Bloom are excited to announce the release of their third book, Happily Ever After . . . and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams.
Praise for Happily Ever After:
“Love experts Linda and Charlie shine a bright light, busting the most common myths about relationships. Using real-life examples, they skillfully, provide effective strategies and tools to create and grow a deeply loving and fulfilling long-term connection.” – Arielle Ford, author of Turn You Mate into Your Soulmate