As most of you know, I like to walk and use my audible device to listen to my books. I am a multi-tasker at heart and try to get things done throughout my day as efficiently as possible. I am an avid reader and most of the books that I read are to further improve both my clinical skills and my mentoring skills for our other clinicians.
Most recently, I have been reading “After the Affair” by Janis Abrahms Spring. It’s a great book to read if you have faced this issue in your marriage. She does a great job of breaking down the way that couples respond to infidelity in a marriage and has great tips for how to move forward.
One particular line that I especially liked however was when she mentions that it’s a partner’s task in a relationship to find the positive things they like in their spouse’s behavior and affirm it. I like this concept not only for couples but for any relationship.
We are often teaching couples and parents how to respond in a positive way rather than a negative command. For instance, “Don’t sit on that chair” versus, “I really like it when you sit on this chair.” See the difference? Then when that person sits in the chair again, reaffirm it. The person will immediately know what you like and will, on their own, move to that chair.
Telling others what we want and like is often something that is uncomfortable for us as it might feel that we are being bossy or selfish. But mindreading is not something that we come equipped with.
I like this tip for any relationship. It’s not a mind game but truly letting the other person know what you like without being negative.
I wonder if you all would like to try this tip and to focus on it being your task. Find positive actions and affirm them. Consider it part of your job in any relationship. I would love to hear from you to see if it created a positive outcome.