By Maurice Tate
I would like you to think back to your childhood. How often did you get appreciation from your parents? Or did you come from a family where criticism and even putdowns was the norm.
I have found that my early childhood has set up patterns of behaviour that I carried out in later life. I do not remember much praise at all in my early years. If you came from a very critical family, this behaviour is very familiar to you. Generally you will choose a critical partner as this is what you feel comfortable with! I personally married a very critical partner. And the relationship did have a lot of criticism and not much appreciation at all. In my new relationship I actually use praise everyday.
We want something from your lover and we feel entitled to having this. When we don’t get what we want we complain about it and we criticise our partner. Mostly the criticism drives our partner away or they give in and feel powerless. This cycle continues and eventually this can cause the couple to separate.
The cycle of praise goes something like this. We first make a commitment to use appreciation every day. During the day we actively look for things to appreciate about our partner. These can be about anything at all. We speak our appreciation to our partner and this actually cause us to see more things to appreciate.
When you are actively looking for the good in your partner you will see lots of things you love.
In fact I have found that in this act of appreciation my heart opens to my partner. And the great thing is that the person being appreciated feels love in turn.
As this way of praise in not learned in most families it can take some work to change energetic habits. What I do is write some sticky notes about appreciation and place them in places I see every day.
I suggest to my clients in my private practice to make a commitment in front of each other to praise each other at least 5 times a day from their hearts.
Generally women like men to be descriptive in their praise.
For example: I like that dress, compared to…
When you wear that dress I feel a warmth grow in my heart and I want to just hug you and melt into you.
Men generally just want short acts of appreciation like you are a great lover etc.
The next step is to eliminate blame in your relationship. You are responsible for your own feelings and emotions. What I do when my partner does something I find difficult is to express what I am feeling about that behaviour instead of blame.
I hope you try to bring more praise in your relationships with your partner, kids , friends and even at work. There is a lot of power in acts of appreciation.
Maurice Tate is a qualified sexologist trained at the Advanced Institute of Sexology. His Site http://www.bodyecstatic.com has heaps of tips to improve your sex life.