I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Zeig, Ph.D. Psychologist, author, lecturer and founder of the Milton Erickson Foundation, this world-restructured relationship expert stressed the considerable power of appreciation when applied to the arena of love and partnership. The act of appreciation dramatically amplifies the love, that does exist. A love that has been wounded or frozen, will revive when met with appreciation. It is in that honoring of the human within, that your lover will feel safe to come forward and respond in the manner that they are receiving from you. Stagnant relationships begin to flourish. Partners who were shut down started to step-up and show affection. All humans need to feel ‘okay’ in the eyes of their lover. You can kick-start that flow of validation through appreciation.
The key to this success formula is found in demonstrating daily ‘small acts’ of warmth toward your mate. To express what is good and right in your partner, is the fuel that keeps the fire alight as it re-awakens passion and reciprocity. It’s not the splash of grand gestures, but rather the consistency of smaller meaningful moments that creates the magic of this gift so universallyought. A vibrant relationship thrives on litter forms of consistent, positive reinforcement. This is the cement that allows for your love to withstand the storm of everyday problems and challenges.
Those small, apparently insignificant moments of appreciation are powerful. You may choose to express your appreciation through an approving smile, a warm touch, or by listening to your mate with interest. This foundational output forms the bedrock upon which relationships survive and grow.
Having worked intimately with the most brilliant minds in this industry, Dr. Zeig cited the “5 to 1 Ratio Principle.” Based on research done by colleague Dr. John Gottman, humans have been proven to need at least 5 positives experiences to bear the weight of 1 that is negative. That means, for every one upsetting situation you and your partner encounter, there must be the balance of five other positive events to erase its negative impact. “This is the constant,” Dr. Zeig stated. And if you’re wondering as to the credibility of Dr. Gottman’s work, Zeig continued, “He can predict divorce within 97% of his clients.”
When focusing on what is wrong with your partner, you can not see what is good. Attention to the negative only reinforces notifying more than what is negative in another. Actively looking for the positive in your partner is a form of mental reconditioning. The application of this effort is small when weighed against the tremendous results it garners.
Concrete research has documented that “feeling appreciated” is key to the survival of a marriage and other partnership formats. Being attentive, appreciative and seeing the best in your partner creates the needed bond to withstand the vicissitudes of real-world living. In the simple act of being willing to see more of what is good in your partner, that good increasingly becomes evident.