The secret sauce of relationships

Do you know how to almost instantly turn around a struggling relationship? Start noticing what the person is doing right. And acknowledge it.

When we are upset at someone, it is easy to start focusing on what they are doing wrong and how they are annoying us. However, most people in our lives are doing more things that are right and wrong. It is just that the human mind tends to focus on what is wrong while ignoring or taking for granted what is right.

Your 16 year old, for example, might be driving you crazy because he just cannot clean up his room, or wakeup without being nagged. These annoyances become the focus of your relationship because this is what you notice. You take for granted that he helps out without being asked, is loving and plays with his little sister for hours.

To turn the relationship around, just start acknowledging the things that you have been taking for granted. Even small, tiny things. Once you start looking for what he is doing right, it is amazing how the list begins to grow.

Now start acknowledging small things from the list. Without a big fuss or going over the top.

"I noticed you helped comfort your sister after her team lost yesterday. Thank you for that".

"Thank you for raking the leaves off the driveway. Made my drive out of the garage so much more pleasant".

"So glad you came home when you said you would. I appreciated that we ate dinner on time."

"You picked up the newspaper from the front door! Glad you got to it before the rain.

You get the picture? Brief but specific. Not over the top.

Make appreciation a daily habit. You may be amazed at how this tiny effort improves the emotional climate of the relationship.

Really amazed.

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