How to stay close part three
Be great Givers!
How to stay close part three
How to Stay Close Part Three: Be Great Givers!
Having closeness means giving the best part of yourselves to each
other. Giving comes in lots of packages. I
don’t necessarily mean giving physical gifts to each other though
that’s certainly nice and can be important part of keeping
closeness. I mean giving of yourself to your partner. Giving means
being willing to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, giving
compassion, being willing to validate and seeking to understand, be
emotionally supportive and giving up being right for the sake of the
relationship. Follow these steps (Stosney & Love, 2007) to be
more giving and loving with each other:
- Replace resentment with
compassion—Have compassion for each other’s vulnerabilities,
shame, fear, worries, and frailties. Happy couples achieve this
kind of compassion and help each other manage their vulnerabilities,
not hold it against each other. When you find yourself resentful,
try holding your partner in a loving, compassionate space. You’ll
be surprised at what you discover about yourself. See my article, Give up Resentment for more on this important concept!
- Commit to understand your
partner’s perspective. Regularly discipline yourself to
really listen to your partner’s perspective or imagine what their
world is like. What’s it like for her when you get irritated that
she’s crying again or don’t want to hear about her troubles with
her coworkers? What it like for him when you get irritated and
withdraw affection when he wants to watch the game or go out with
the guys? You don’t have to agree with your partner’s point of
view, but say things to validate and communicate that your partner’s
perspective is equally important. You can download my e-book called "Honey Let's Talk: A Couples Guide to Improve Communication" for lots more information on how to listen and validate.
How to Stay Close Part Three: Be Great Givers (continued)....
- Give your partner the benefit
of the doubt – When you’re frustrated, hurt, angry or
irritated, develop the habit of giving him/her the benefit of the
doubt. Start to wonder if maybe you don’t know the full picture
about what happened. Until you do, begin to say, my perspective is
incomplete until I know his/hers. In order to keep the
connection and be open to your partner’s explanation, you need to
suspend judgment. Maybe you don’t know how hard her day was with
nasty customers or his day was with grumpy kids and this is why s/he
is irritable, withdrawing or demanding. Get in the habit of
getting into his/her world before you justify your reasons for being
- “Step into the puddle” with
each other. What this means is
joining your partner in their emotional space (emotionally tune into
and support). Why? Because we implicitly promised that we’d care if
the other one was in pain or distress. Give your partner a hug or a
listening ear (not advice giving or fixing one). Make empathizing
statements like, “Oh that really sucks. I’m sorry was so hard on
you.” Rub each other’s backs and bring each other hot tea.
Really be there when you’re partner is feeling sad, hurt,
disappointed or stressed out. See my article How to Be Supportive
for more ways to really be there for each other.
Don't Miss All Three Articles!
How to Stay Close Part One: Be Great Friends!
How to Stay Close Part Two: Be Great Lovers!
If you enjoyed How to Stay Close Part Three: Be Great Givers sign up for my free quarterly e-zine or check out my other blog posts!