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Secret of love is kindness

Secret of love is kindness
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Secret of love is kindness

Highlights

Commit to being in healthy relationships where you care for your partner and your partner cares for you. Turn in to your partner as the small things often matter more than the big things

Kindness is important in any relationship. But in a 'love relationship', it is even more important than in any other relationship. Because when you get so intimately involved with somebody, you tend to let down your best kept guards. You end up telling each other things you kept as a secret from most of the world for reasons best known to you.

When maintaining a healthy relationship with the person you're interacting with imperative, the give skill is prioritised.

Give stands for:

Gentle (Be)

Interested (Act)

Validate

Easy Manner (Use an)

Be gentle

We all respond more positively and less defensively when approached with gentleness. Being 'gentle' means not using attacks, threats, or judgments and shaming behaviour when the going gets tough. Being gentle helps keep people feelings like they're on the same team. Not making threats, especially in arguments, is paramount to creating a safe atmosphere for communication, as is being able to tolerate a 'no' or boundary setting. Finally, avoiding judgments includes not using should statements, engaging in name-calling, or utilising a condescending tone.

Act interested

Pay attention. Get off of your phone, listen to what they're saying, avoid interruptions, and give that person space to communicate. Gottman's research focuses on turning toward your partner — it doesn't mean necessarily agreeing with everything that is being said, but genuine interest goes a long way in terms of others feeling supported, understood, and respected.

Validate

Validate the person's emotions, stated desires, and opinions. There is a kernel of truth to be found in each situation, regardless of whether you may feel the same way, think the same way, or want the same things. This can be done by the aforementioned acting interested, reflecting back what you're hearing from them (verbally or non-verbally) to ensure you're understanding their perception and what they're trying to communicate, noting and observing that their experience makes sense based on their own vulnerabilities and past experiences, or because anyone would feel that way in that situation, or by being radically genuine in your responses.

Use an easy manner

Be light-hearted. Smile, use a gentle tone, relax your body posture. All of these things have both a physiological impact on how you're feeling, and how the other person will perceive you. Show kindness and compassion to everyone you interact with friends, family, and strangers. Be kind to your partner. Be kind to your kids. Be kind to yourself. Don't settle for being mistreated. If you are not in a healthy situation, do something about it and take action.

Commit to being in healthy relationships where you care for your partner and your partner cares for you. Turn in to your partner as the small things often matter more than the big things. Anyone can be kind. Anyone can practice being kind. Anyone can be taught to be kind. Show it to others and expect it from others. Show your kids what it looks like to be in a loving relationship. It starts in our homes.

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