“I know sometimes it may seem as though I take you for granted or that I do not care but I would like to let you know that I appreciate you every moment of every day. I appreciate how you always know how to make me smile even when I do not want to. I appreciate how you are always there to hear me vent when I need to. I appreciate how you set me straight even though I usually am very resistant. I appreciate how loyal you are…I know that no matter what you always have my back! I know I am not perfect but the fact that you have accepted me with my all my flaws inspires me to want to be better and do better. Because of your love for me I have learned to love myself more! Thank you for being not only the love of my life but also the bestest friend ever!”
See 300 more examples at www.pairs.com/appreciations.
by SETH EISENBERG
What’s the most important thing you can do for your relationship?
That’s a fairly common question among hundreds of thousands of people who reach out to PAIRS Foundation, a pioneer of best practices in marriage, family and couples education, at a moment they’re open and often eager to strengthen commitment, intimacy and feelings of love.
While some skills help improve communication, relieve stress, anger, sadness, pain and other upsetting emotions, negotiate differences, understand and reconsider past decisions and many more of the very common challenges couples and families face in the 21st century, nothing is more important than the habit of looking for what’s right in others and generously expressing sincere appreciations to them directly.
If you’re stuck when it comes to appreciating another person, that’s not about the other person.
What gets in the way of expressing appreciations to loved ones?
Sometimes anger. Sometimes guilt. Sometimes jealousy, envy or resentment.
More often than not, it’s knowing that if we acknowledge others for the good we see in them, it raises the bar on the importance of treating them with kindness, respect, compassion and love.
That also means being able to apologize and make amends when we do anything less.
For many, especially those who think any human being always makes the right decision, says the right words, behaves the right way, or has the right answers, that can be difficult. Try to find an example, any example, of anyone who always gets it right. You won’t find one; although some are better at hiding the potholes of life they’ve stepped in than others.
If you’re not already a master at appreciating the people in your life, here’s a chance to be inspired by 300 very real appreciations shared by very real people.
After looking through the list, make the commitment to start developing (or strengthening) the habit of appreciating others right away. The free smart phone app at apps.pairs.com/pairsdtr is a great place to begin. Give yourself a chance of living a life in which the dreams you value most have the best chance of coming true.
How about starting with an appreciation for you?
Seth D. Eisenberg is President/CEO of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation in Hollywood, Florida, a pioneering industry leader in marriage and relationship education. He is the author of PAIRS Essentials and Loops: The Secret Saboteurs of Intimacy and How to Get Rid of Them Forever, available from Amazon.