What are the keys to a happy and successful relationship? Laughter? Financial Stability? Friendship? Communication? These all seem like things that are important, but researcher John Gottman has been studying married couples for the last two decades and the lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often.
Kindness means you are being friendly, generous and considerate. Evidence shows the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.
There are times when being kind is hard. When you’re angry or upset, kindness is not at the top of your list, but acting in this way consistently is the key to a happy and successful relationship.
It’s important to keep in mind that being kind isn’t about the big gestures once in a while. Kindness is found in the details. When practiced daily in your relationship, it will thrive and grow. And therein lies the key, being mindful of making these small gestures that we know how to do on a consistent basis.
If you need a regular reminder, here’s a list of 20 ways to practice kindness for a happy and successful relationship:
- Don’t put your partner down.
- Pick up their favorite flowers, candy or take-out without needing a special occasion.
- Respect your partner’s view of the world.
- Laugh together as much as possible.
- Give your undivided attention when they speak.
- Call them and ask if they need anything when you’re at the store.
- Make breakfast on the weekend if you find yourself up before them.
- Think before you speak
- Smile when your partner walks through the door.
- Encourage your partner through their hard days.
- Praise your partner for their good days.
- Apologize when you’re at fault.
- Make your limited time, quality time.
- Take responsibility for your actions and your words.
- Leave a note around the house with kind words.
- Ask for nothing in return to a gesture.
- Give your partner their alone time.
- Be mindful of how you verbalize anger.
- Pick up chores around the house when your partner isn’t feeling well.
- Compliment and acknowledge your partner.
Kindness is about not only thinking about ourselves, but shifting our concern to the person we’re in a relationship with. Once we shift our concern, they will automatically be more concerned for us, creating happiness and harmony in the relationship.
What are some other ways you show kindness in your relationship? Tell me about them in the comments section.
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