Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When Was the Last Time You Complimented Your Partner?

Filed under: Appreciation,Compliments — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If you’re looking for ways to improve your marriage or relationship, you can start with a compliment. Compliments given with sincerity are a genuine gift of love. Offer them often. Be generous with praise for your partner. Catch them doing something right. Let them know you noticed. Compliments demonstrate appreciation. When you feel appreciated, you tend to feel loved. Everyone wants to be appreciated.

U-ROCKIf you haven’t complimented your spouse lately, it’s time to start. The road to prosperity in relationships is paved with a commitment to generosity toward your partner. A good compliment is not just something that can make you feel better; a good compliment has the power to improve your marriage. I’m not talking about the same old “You look nice today,” but different things each time.

We feel closest to people who cause us to feel good about ourselves.

When you give sincere encouragement and authentic compliments to your spouse, several things are accomplished.

• Your spouse’s self-confidence is increased.
• Your own self-worth is increased.
• The friendship between the two of you is strengthened.
• You will feel more romantic.

Be sincere. When compliments are not sincere, your compliments turn into flattery. Flattery is usually received with negativity and may be perceived as being manipulative.

Never keep compliments to yourself. “I’m so glad I married you,” is a good one. Compliments are to be shared. Sincere compliments cost nothing however a lack of compliments can cost you your relationship! Little kindnesses are what got you happily from “back then” to now. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place. Think back to all of the things that you used to say to your sweetheart when you were dating. Start there. Make a list. Begin to do it again! You may want to share your words of appreciation with a hug.

There is absolutely no room for “constructive” criticism in a healthy love relationship. Constructive means to build up. The intent of criticism is to tear down. Those two words do not fit together at all. Criticism by its very nature is only and always destructive, not constructive. Try constructive compliments instead; expressions of love straight from the heart. Those words will be music to your partner’s ears. Some might call it “ear candy!”

Perhaps all of us would be better off if we would take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

People don’t change because they are criticized. They change when the relationship is nurtured with warmth and goodwill – with compliments that inspires them to please their partner. Appreciation is on the list of top ten needs for most people.

“Those who give the best compliments must first develop an awareness of the other person’s gifts, talents, appearance, hard work and other things that play a part in an authentic compliment. Take note of the daily accomplishments, character traits and physical qualities you appreciate about your spouse. Material for a meaningful compliment abounds when you look for it.” ~ Zoe Maletta

All there is, is relationships! Relationships are about how we relate; with ourselves; with people; with our love partner; with the predicaments we find ourselves in; with our boss; with everything! If you want to keep your significant other happy and content – try an occasional compliment.

It is also important to earn how to receive a compliment as well as give one. Trading compliments with your lover is a sure way to keep your romance alive. There is nothing worse than getting a compliment that feels obligatory.

“Some partners truly stop celebrating or complimenting their partner in small or large ways because their partner will not take a compliment. Low self-esteem or a history of criticism can make anything positive feel suspect, manipulative and discrepant to an unloving self. Sadly, the dismissed compliment is depriving for both. It can engender anger, avoidance, and dismissal– the very things that re-enforce low self-esteem.” ~ Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D.

Look for something about your partner that is uniquely special that really deserves a compliment. Pay attention! Do your best to offer at least one compliment to your parter every day. Frequency is important. Make it a point to look for things to compliment. Things go better with sincere compliments!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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 an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Re-imagine, Re-design and Re-launch Your Relationship!

Filed under: Change,Choice,Communication,Compliments,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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After years of being together sometimes you drift away from the feelings you once had when you were first together. Usually one partner notices it before the other. By the time the other partner realizes what’s happening, the partner who noticed is ready to leave the relationship and there is shock and they are left wondering what happened. Often it is too late.

Change3In my years of relationship coaching I have found that if one partner wants to re-imagine, re-design and re-launch their relationship they can have a profound influence upon the other partner. First realize that your spouse may not be as frustrated and unhappy as you are and while it works much better when both partners are working on the relationship together you may need to make a commitment to yourself to be working on only changing you. Discover the things you might need to change in yourself before your partner will change. What you can do is take your eyes off your partner and put them on yourself. You have total control to change yourself, and no control to change your partner.

First comes conversation. Communicating how you feel about the relationship to your partner often get’s their attention. Open and honest communication can sometimes create an opening for love to be rediscovered. If you’ve not expressed your feelings previously, share how you feel with your partner. When you are willing to change some behavior, tell your spouse about your plan to change and enlist their support. If they don’t take you seriously, begin working on yourself. You don’t need their permission to make changes in you own life. If he or she discloses a desire to change, don’t be so quick to roll your eyes… instead be ready to help and not hinder the process.

Change2While sharing your love for your spouse, express your concerns and fears about the future of your marriage. If you are having doubts about your love, make a list of what you love about your partner. Sometimes it helps to remember what brought you together in the beginning. Never postpone having a conversation with your partner to identify the behaviors and face the issues that are creating the unhappiness in your relationship. As you learn to express your needs your partner will have a better understanding of who you are. To communicate your feelings may be difficult, but you must communicate. Increase communication and see what happens.

“People will Change only when they feel accepted for who they are. In other words, you need to communicate that you accept your partner just the way they are, flaws and all. At the same time you also ask them to change. The key is how you do that. The best way is to share your needs, wishes and desires with your partner and really let them in on why these are so important to you, and then leave them alone to think about it. Do not make demands. Ultimatums do not work, they only create resentment. You leave it alone and treat your partner like a friend. I am sure that there are a lot of irritants that kind of bug you about some of your good friends, but you let it be, for the sake of the friendship.” ~ Darren Wilk, MA, Certified Gottman Couples Therapist

ChangeBehaviorThere is a line in my romantic wedding ceremony that say, “Relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” That’s a big mistake. Another line reminds the couple, “When times call for you to be apart, may you always return to your togetherness in the same spirit of love that you are feeling in this moment.” In other words, you must focus on the good that has come from being together, not the distress that comes from drifting apart.

Someone once said, “What you think about and speak about, you bring about.” I believe this is true. If you’re playing the blame game; always blaming your partner for the way they have made you feel, you will get more of that. First thing to remember is that no one can get your goat if they don’t know where it’s tied up. They or the circumstance that you are in cannot make you feel bad. You have the choice to feel the way you do at any moment in time. So… wise up. Choose differently.

Begin to discover ways to renew and turn up the love that you had when you were first together. Focus on what you want your relationship to be. Let your imagination run wild. Re-fresh your thinking. Re-duce your complains and catch your partner doing something right… than thank them for being that way.

The frustration of your spouse’s lack of follow through on good intentions, or saying one thing and then doing another, or breaking promises can slowly erode both the emotional and physical intimacy in your marriage.

“How soon should you begin in your effort to address each other’s complaints? My answer: As soon as the complaint is first made. Why wait for a complaint to turn into a demand, or a disrespectful judgment or an angry outburst? Why not deal with the issue immediately, as soon as it is spoken.” ~ Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

The change in a relationship must first occur in your thinking. In a new Northwestern University study, professors Hui, Bond, and Molden studied romantic couples and found that the more you think your partner is “incapable” of changing, the more your partner’s sincere efforts fail to improve the relationship. Conversely, the more you believe your partner is capable of change and trying to improve, the more secure and happy you will feel in your relationship.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi

ChangePersonal change and growth can become issues in marriage because man and women develop at different rates. Couples change at different times in life and with different key motivators. We hope our spouses will change for the better: become more patient and kind; stop unhealthy habits; spend more time with the family; work less – or more; go to church more – or less, talk more – or less. We are all works in progress. in order for happiness to grow in a relationship, both partners have to be willing to grow and change and act in ways that make their partner happier.

What if your self-change strategy doesn’t light a fire under your partner? Acceptance comes next. When partners show each other love and acceptance they respond more quickly to each other’s changes. Accept that you can’t change your partner. You can only change yourself and your own behavior and reactions. Changing your own behavior may sometimes encourage your partner to want to make changes.

I once had a coaching client that accepted my challenge to avoid all criticism for 30 days. She began to “compliment” him instead. Her concern was that she might not be able to find something to compliment him about. When she began paying more attention to him she found that was not the case. Her husband noticed and began to change without her asking him to change.

Consider individual relationship coaching to prevent feeling depressed or helpless, to understand your role in the conflict in your marriage, and to clarify your plans for your future. Even if you believe your marriage is over, try one more time. Never leave without telling your partner you don’t think the two of you can save your marriage without professional help.

You once told each other that you loved each other. Perhaps it’s time to prove to them just how much you really do love them.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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 an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simply the Best!

Filed under: Appreciation,Compliments,Criticism,Relationships — Larry James @ 12:01 am
Tags: , ,

Compliments given with sincerity are a genuine gift of love. Offer them often. Be generous with praise for your partner. Catch them doing something right. Let them know you noticed. The road to prosperity in relationships is paved with a commitment to generosity toward your partner.

We feel closest to people who cause us to feel good about ourselves. There is absolutely no room for “constructive” criticism in a healthy love relationship. Constructive means to build up. The intent of criticism is to tear down. Those two words do not fit together at all.

Criticism by its very nature is only and always destructive, not constructive. Try constructive compliments instead; expressions of love straight from the heart. Those words will be music to your partner’s ears. Some might call it “ear candy!”

“When a man spends his time giving his wife criticism and advice instead of compliments, he forgets that it was not his good judgment, but his charming manners, that won her heart.” – Helen Rowland

Perhaps all of us would be better off if we would take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

People don’t change because they are criticized. They change when the relationship is nurtured with warmth and goodwill that inspires them to please their partner.

Appreciation is on the list of top ten needs for most people.

Read: “Relationship Slump Busters

Copyright © 2009 – 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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Author and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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