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Relationships and Appreciation – Research and the Appreciation Diet

By December 2, 2013Blog
relationship advice

Relationships that incorporate frequent appreciation and recognition tend to be happier, healthier and closer.

Do you show as much recognition and appreciation as you could of all the things, big and small, your partner does for you and your family unit?  Do you continue to let them know what a positive difference they make to your life and your mental state?

By eliminating complacency and reintroducing the simple relationship habits we used to implement naturally at the start of our relationship, we can get our spouse/partner to engage more within the relationship.  After all, we know from behavioural psychology that reinforcing good behaviour means the person is more likely to repeat it.  By recognising and showing appreciation for something someone has done, or regularly does, they are naturally inclined to repeat such behaviour.

Even in the business world, research into business relationships shows similar outcomes because we are, after all, human beings.  In the 2008 “Global Recognition Study” the research conducted by the firm Towers Perrin for the O.C. Tanner company interviewed 10,333 people from different organisations from 13 different countries and found that increased appreciation led to a significant increase in engagement which they identify as the amount of a person’s “effort, energy, and imagination” they’re getting.

How much of your spouse’s (partner’s) effort, energy, and imagination are you currently getting?  Is it in direct correlation with the amount of appreciation and recognition you’re currently giving?

If you have stopped showing your spouse or partner appreciation and recognition, is it because you don’t care about the relationship being successful anymore or is it because you have lost touch with the simple daily actions that shape the happiness of your relationship long-term?

If you need to reignite the passion, or even the actual love, in your relationship, begin a daily diet of appreciation and recognition.  It will make you both feel good and you’ll both reap relationship rewards.  Do this consistently and persistently for at least four weeks and see where your relationship is after the four weeks compared with where it was before you started.

Daily Relationship Appreciation and Recognition Diet

  • Every morning, before you part company for individual commitments, tell your spouse or partner something you appreciate about them.  This will start their day well, as well as yours.
  • When you come together again in the evening, verbally recognise something else you appreciate about your partner.
  • At bedtime, show your partner verbal appreciation for something else.
  • Adding non-verbal recognition to your verbal one, like a touch, hug or kiss, also helps reinforce the message of appreciation.
  • Remember, the appreciation can be about them as a person, how they make you feel, how they help you, or about something they have done or something they regularly do.  If it makes a positive difference to your mental well-being, your life experiences, and/or your relationship, tell them.

Over time, not only will your partner be more inclined to repeat such behaviours or retain such traits, they will also associate you and the relationship with that wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling they get inside when you recognise the things (big and small) that they contribute to your life together.

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