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12 Important Things You Should Say To Your Partner Everyday

12 Important Things You Should Say To Your Partner Everyday

Building a strong relationship is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of a happy life. While there is no instruction manual for assembling your ideal partnership there are a few simple things you can say to your partner everyday to get you on the right track. Make a habit out of saying the following 12 things to your significant other (without sounding like a robot) and pretty soon you will be that adorable couple that make all your friends sick.

1. “I love you.”

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    “I love you” is the easiest and most obvious thing to tell your partner. It even requires the least creativity on your part. Just make sure you mean it. Saying those three little words too often and without thinking will rob them of their meaning. Try to bust out an “I love you” whenever your partner makes you laugh or whenever they do something that reminds you why you are together. If you say the words while you are really feeling them your better half will hear the difference.

    2. “I was thinking about you.”

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      It’s important to let your partner know that they are on your mind even when you aren’t necessarily in the same room. If you see something cute or funny over the course of your day that reminds you of your partner, let them know. Inside jokes are a great way to connect the mundane “real world” to the world you share with each other. Send your significant other a text as it happens or save the story for downtime on the couch. Just don’t underestimate the effect that a “I saw something that reminded me of you…” can have on a relationship.

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      3. “How was your day?”

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        It’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating this phrase verbatim every day, but if you put some thought into it you will feel more connected to your partner. Ask about specific things your better half deals with in their day-to-day. Ask about that annoying co-worker or about the big assignment they’ve been working on. Giving your partner a way to share other parts of their life with you will help connect the dots between the times when you are together. It may also help you understand why they are always in a bad mood on Thursdays so you can be ready with their favorite dinner.

        4. “I support you.”

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          Encourage your partner by letting them know you support their decisions. Even go one step further and try to help them accomplish goals they have set for themselves. Life is full of obstacles and feeling like you have another person in your corner can go a long way to helping you overcome them. Don’t just be a couple, be a team. Reminding your better half that you have their back will strengthen the ties between you.

          5. “You get my motor going.”

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            If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time it is easy to fall into a less than thrilling routine. That makes it all the more important to remind you partner that they still excite you. Letting them know that “You look smokin’ hot in that dress.” or saying “You should not where a shirt more often.” will make them feel better about themselves and remind you why you started dating in the first place.

            6. “Sorry.”

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              Everybody screws up and everyone is wrong sometimes. Occasionally we even dig our heels in about something only to later discover we had no idea what we were talking about. Stubbornness has no place in a happy relationship, so apologize when you make a mistake. Apologize for getting angry. Apologize for hurting your partner’s feelings. Even apologize for things that aren’t your fault. Letting your significant other know that you are sorry that they had a crappy day is another way to remind them you are on the same team.

              7. “You’re the best.”

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                Your partner should be one of (if not your best) friend. If you don’t like hanging out, you definitely shouldn’t be in a relationship. It may not come as naturally as some of the other items on this list, but let your partner know that you think they are great. This is another one that works great paired with a laugh. A chuckling “You’re the best.” can be sincere and heartfelt. Don’t be afraid to throw in a “You’re my favourite.” during a quiet moment, either.

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                8. “I love your mind.”

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                  Something that is easy to overlook when dolling out compliments is your partner’s mind. We live in a superficial world with models and bodybuilders at every turn, but that is no excuse to let your relationship be superficial too. Tell your partner that you value their mind. Let them know that you think they are smart, funny, romantic, or talented. The goal of any healthy relationship is to have it last until well after beauty fades, so remind your partner that you’re in it for the long haul by valuing their mind equally with their body.

                  9. “I respect you.”

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                    Just like with your non-romantic friends, respect is a critical piece of your relationship with your significant other. Let them know that you hold them in high regard by asking for their opinion on things that are giving you trouble. Let your partner know that you admire something they did that took a lot of courage. When a person feels respected they also feel happy and safe, which are two cornerstones to any good relationship.

                    10. “I disagree.”

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                      Part of respecting your partner is letting them know when you disagree with them. No one wants to marry a push over and no one wants to raise children with a yes-man. You may be a team, but the strength of any team is in the thoughts and actions of its individual members. Maintain your own opinions and voice them in a respectful manner. Offering a different perspective may help your partner find solutions to problems that they might not have otherwise considered.

                      11. “We should go…”

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                        As we learned in phrase #5, excitement is an important part of a fun relationship. You and your partner should share experiences and memories as well as thoughts and opinions, so plan adventures together. Daydream about hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Try new things together. The only thing that gets the heart racing more than love is skydiving!

                        12. “Goodnight.”

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                          We live in an age when communication has never been easier. With the push of a button we can send impulse thoughts across oceans, so there is no excuse for not saying goodnight. It not only serves the practical function of letting your partner know you are now trying to sleep, it also lets them know that you are thinking about them. Even if you haven’t spoken all day, and even (especially) if you’ve been arguing, end the day on a positive note.

                          Featured photo credit: Andi_Graf via pixabay.com

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                          Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

                          Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

                          When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

                          Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

                          What Makes People Poor Listeners?

                          Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

                          1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

                          Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

                          Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

                          It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

                          2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

                          This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

                          Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

                          3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

                          It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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                          I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

                          If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

                          4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

                          While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

                          To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

                          My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

                          Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

                          Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

                          How To Be a Better Listener

                          For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

                          1. Pay Attention

                          A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

                          According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

                          As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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                          I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

                          2. Use Positive Body Language

                          You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

                          A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

                          People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

                          But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

                          According to Alan Gurney,[2]

                          “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

                          Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

                          3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

                          I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

                          Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

                          Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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                          Be polite and wait your turn!

                          4. Ask Questions

                          Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

                          5. Just Listen

                          This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

                          I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

                          I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

                          6. Remember and Follow Up

                          Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

                          For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

                          According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

                          It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

                          7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

                          If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

                          Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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                          Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

                          Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

                          NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

                          1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
                          2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

                          8. Maintain Eye Contact

                          When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

                          Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

                          By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

                          You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

                          And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

                          More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
                          [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
                          [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
                          [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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