Every contact you have with your loved one is loaded with possibilities. Each one can build or break a relationship. People tend to underestimate how even a brief interaction can change how people think about themselves, their relationship, and their future.
There are two simple words that are so powerful it amazes me they are not used more often. The two words are “Thank You.” I want to challenge you to use them more frequently this month.
A common complaint
I speak with many couples. One of the most common complaints I hear is that their partner never says thank you. Partners often ask for extra involvement and work, but seldom make a point of thanking them. They report that they want to be appreciated for their extra efforts.
On the other hand, I also often hear comments like: “why should I say thank you for what I should expect a good partner to do?” Yet, "Feeling valued and appreciated" is one of the best predictors of relationship happiness.
Power of "thank you"
According to a new (2015) University of Georgia research, a key ingredient to improving couples' relationships might just be gratitude. Researchers say they "found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last." The study was recently published in the journal Personal Relationships.
The results of the study indicated that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality. The study's lead author, Allen Barton said: "Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes."
Keep it simple
Don't complicate things too much. It doesn’t necessarily take cars, trips, or monetary gifts to make your partner feel valued (although some of it certainly could!) A simple “Thank you” does not take much time and is powerful. It only has to come from your heart.
Taking the time to say “thank you” is acknowledging that someone else went out of his or her way to make your life better. You are saying, “I do not take you for granted. You are a blessing to me. What you did was meaningful in my life. You are appreciated.”
When saying thank you, it's important to be specific. If you use the following simple formula at least 5 times a day, you will be amazed at the results:
"Thank you for. . ." (be specific about what you noticed, or the other did for you)
You'll find it only takes seconds to do this, and probably has a greater impact in your relationships than anything else you can do in such a short time, and with such little effort.
Remember. . .
One of the most powerful phrases in the world is “Thank you.” Use it generously with your partner, your family, and others. You will be surprised at the results.
For a much improved relationship, all it takes is a simple thank you!
Decide this month to say “Thank You” to your partner and at least 4 other people every day. Two in the morning and two in the afternoon. The results are great both for them and for you.
Share your thoughts
Tell us in the Comments below, how your "thank you project" goes, and let’s get a conversation going.