Larry James' BLOG

Friday, January 14, 2005

Catch Your Partner Doing Something Right!

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 2:45 am

Instead of always pointing the finger and calling attention to the mistakes or faults of your partner, look for and focus on the good you see in them. Catch them doing something right!

Refuse to criticize, condemn or complain about your partner. Be aware of their good habits and say something to show them you notice.

If you are always looking for mistakes, you will usually find them. Instead, forgive the mistakes and move forward. If you have a tendency to put your partner down (even in jest) or invalidate their feelings, make a choice to change that behavior.

These behaviors drive a wedge in relationships and are difficult to move past. What you think about your partner, speak about your partner, you bring about in your relationship! This is not a good path to be on. It leads the opposite way of a healthy love relationship.

What is a good alternative?

Com’-pli-ments, n. – Expressions of praise, admiration, recognition or congratulation.

Giving compliments is an excellent way of catching your partner doing something right. They develop better communication and build trust with your partner. They have several psychological effects too.

Compliments help others feel good about themselves. It causes them to feel appreciated and respected. Being appreciated brings out the best in people. It boosts self-confidence and self-worth. Partners perform better when we let them know we appreciate them. It causes shifts in attitudes about the relationship.

Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men sometimes are. Giving a compliment can be very powerful when you say it directly, smoothly and sincerely. Pay attention. This helps in being timely in giving compliments. Waiting too long, lessens the affect. Point out something your partner has put a lot of effort into; something you wouldn’t normally notice.

When you are the receiver of a compliment, simply say, “Thank you.” It is so easy to thank your partner for a compliment, yet most of us are not very good at accepting compliments, and often answer compliments by selling ourselves short.

“Your haircut looks great.”
“Oh no! My jerk barber cut it way too short! He ruined it!”

“I love your new dress!”
“This old rag? I bought this dress on sale at Wal-Mart four years ago.”

These responses say a lot about how you feel about yourself. It basically rejects the compliment by saying “I really don’t deserve it.” It gives the gift back to the giver. When someone compliments you, don’t squirm. Look them straight in the eye, smile, and just say, “Thank you.”

Sincere compliments conjure up warm and fuzzy feelings. They help your partner to know you care and that you love them. They can put your relationship on fast forward.

Whatever you choose to say, say it like that you mean it. If your voice isn’t congruent with the power of your compliment, it will reek with false praise.

Genuine compliments given freely by your partner reach a special place inside of you. They are a warm reminder of how special you are.


admired their unselfishness
notice a job well done
acknowledge their sensitivity
appreciate their determination
point out their willingness to help
compliment positive personal qualities or extra efforts
express thanks for their kindness or thoughtfulness
congratulate their willingness to share responsibilities
be grateful for their patience with you
if it hadn’t been for you (fill in the blank)

There is a difference between compliments and flattery. When your compliments are sincere and honest they are well received. When they are not, your comments can be viewed as flattery which are untrue or come across as insincere praise.

Love partners can spot a fake compliment a mile away. Flattery is usually received with negativity and is often perceived as being manipulative. Flattery also often suggests hidden motives. They make us suspicious and we begin to wonder if the person complimenting us has an ulterior motive.

The third-party compliment is always great. It is a sincere compliment about your partner that you tell someone else. How you speak about your partner to your friends has a lot to do with how your relationship becomes.

Never miss an opportunity for a compliment to pass.

Become your sweetheart’s #1 fan.

Shower the one you love with love in the form of a sincere compliment and watch your relationship blossom.

Copyright © 2007 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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  1. Linda – Good point! I agree!

    Comment by Larry James — Sunday, March 6, 2011 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  2. I think this would be a great way to treat everyone, not just your lover, but your kids, your family and your dearest friends……

    Comment by Linda — Sunday, March 6, 2011 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  3. […] compliments is an excellent way of catching your partner doing something right. They develop better […]

    Pingback by 4th 100 Tweets from Larry James’ Relationship Twitter! « Larry James' BLOG — Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 7:39 am | Reply

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