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These Simple Gestures You Do Will Make Your Relationship Happier, Even Though You Don’t Feel So

These Simple Gestures You Do Will Make Your Relationship Happier, Even Though You Don’t Feel So

Being thoughtful is the easiest way to build and keep a stronger, happier relationship. Everyone’s life gets busy, but taking the time to do something nice for your honey will not go unnoticed. When one person in a couple is thoughtful, usually the other half feels inspired to be so as well. And when both partners are finding simple ways to remind each other they care, it makes for a really sweet, loving relationship where the focus is positivity and happiness. In a world where there are so many things to worry about, wouldn’t it be nice to have a relationship that fills you with joy?

Finding ways to be thoughtful will not only make your significant other feel great, they will leave you with a smile too! Doing nice acts is contagious and fuels a pleasant environment. Don’t underestimate the value of the little things in life!

1. Mail a Letter

Romance is not dead! Just because we have the internet and texting, don’t underestimate the sentimentality of mailing your love a letter. Long or short, the effort of sending a piece of mail (even if you live together) is very sweet and thoughtful. You can express how your partner makes you feel, or you can just wish him or her a good day. This small gesture will be a great surprise when he or she opens their mail and it’s not all bills!

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2. Plan a Picnic

Alone time is always special, but taking that little extra moment to plan a meal that isn’t made at home, or even at a restaurant, shows you went above and beyond. Whether you pack caviar or just PB and J, the good deed won’t go unnoticed.

3. Hide a Note

Whether it’s in your babe’s pants pocket, luggage or lunch — the surprise of finding a little love letter is always wonderful. The fact that you took the time to wish your love well, or to have a good day really will brighten his or her mood. This one never gets old!

4. Show Up at Work

Work can be stressful and/or boring. A visit to your partner’s office is a simple way to brighten his or her day. You don’t need flowers or lunch, sometimes just a great hug from the one you love can really heighten a dull day.

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5. Arrange for a Surprise Visit From a Friend

A good surprise can take a lot of time, thought and effort, but when it’s pulled off everyone involved feels elated and excited. Take a moment to call your love’s friends or family and arrange for a get together. Whether near or far, coming home or showing up at a restaurant where a long-lost pal is waiting is a wonderful shock. This idea will be talked about for weeks thereafter!

6. Fill the Fridge With Favorites

Do you know what your honey loves to snack on? Why not go out and buy those goodies and put them in the fridge or cupboard. No notes necessary, when he or she realizes you took the time to think of his or her favorites, the consideration will be greatly treasured.

7. Clean the Car

Having a messy car can be stressful to some, and who wants to put in the effort to get it cleaned? Offering to clean the car or surprising your beloved with this act is sure to bring smiles all around.

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8. Give a Massage

Light a few candles, get out some good lotion or massage oil and get ready to lather your loved one down. You don’t have to be the best masseuse to try and help your hun relax. If a whole body massage is intimidating, perhaps just try a foot rub while watching TV together. The idea that you want to make him or her feel good will certainly set the tone for a great night.

9. Buy a Gift for No Reason

When you are out and about, if you see something that makes you think of your significant other, buy it! Gifts don’t have to be just for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s Day. They are so much sweeter and more thoughtful when they are bought as a “just because.” Your loved one is sure to have a big reaction to this, and you will be feeling good as well!

10. Give Up the Remote

It’s very common to have different tastes and interests as far as what you like to relax in front of. But every once in a while, give up the remote! Cuddling and snuggling actually releases endorphins that make you both feel satisfied. Your show can wait, the idea that you just wanted to be next to your dearest will not be overlooked.

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We tend to put forth our best selves in the beginning of a relationship, and then as time passes we forget the little things that made our union so special and exciting. Bring it back with these thoughtful gestures. No act is too small to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.” Sometimes, the smallest acts are really what mean the most. Challenge yourself to do something thoughtful every day. Not only will you see a change in your partner, but you will see a change in yourself. As the energy in the relationship elevates, your entire life will brighten. Doesn’t a world where people are happy and nice to each other sound great? Make it happen, it’s not that hard!

Featured photo credit: The Kiss Pedro Ribeiro Simões via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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