"Catch your partner doing something right." The Gottman Institute
I'm sure you are familiar with a savings account. You start a savings account by making a deposit. If you continue to make deposits, then your savings account grows. If you only make one deposit, then your savings account doesn't grow. Apply that concept to your relationship. This doesn't mean keep score, this means work towards building a positive perspective in your relationship. The Gottman Institute research suggests this is a great way to build a reasonably happy relationship. Here are five helpful tips to help build your emotional bank account in your relationship:
- Sliding glass door moments. These are just a couple of minutes in a relationship and this is where trust is built and how it is kept. For example, you come home after a long day at work and your partner wants to talk to you about the children. You can simply say I am tired and walk away or you can stay and listen to your partner. This may not make a huge difference at the time but in the long run it will.
- Contribute regularly to your emotional bank account. The small things can make a big difference. Your partner will notice. And, contribute with a smile. Remember, it's not what you say it's how you say it.
- Complain don't blame. This means don't criticize one another. Learn to have a discussion about your problems. This also means don't get defensive. Learn to accept responsibility for your behavior and control your defensive behavior.
- Tell your partner how much you love and appreciate them. Regardless of your love language, we all need to hear this. No one ever gets sick of someone telling them they love them or how much they appreciate them. The more specific you can be the better.
- Take care of yourself. This means get plenty of rest, make good food choices and exercise regularly. Take breaks during the day and don't be too hard on yourself with your internal voice. It's true we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.