A week ago, I was conversing with a friend and she said something extremely profound. We were discussing relationships and she said “You have to validate yourself.” Her words hit me like a bucket of ice-cold water. I agree 100%. Don’t look for another person to validate and affirm who you are. You have to value and affirm yourself because other people may never rise to the challenge. Specifically, about marriage, a husband or wife may never be the personal cheerleader that you feel you need. In fact, their absence of providing validation doesn’t mean they love you less or care about you less. Don’t hold it against them, validating others may not be on their radar or a part of who they are. They may also have a different way of showing they value you that you don’t recognize. Try to look for the positive moments in your relationship and focus on the person’s intent to affirm your relationship. Frankly, only you know the specifics of what you need to thrive in this life and you need to find a way to provide it for yourself and have a healthy self-worth. The Greek Philosopher Thales once said, “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.”
If you are in a relationship and your spouse doesn’t know how to give you validation, then teach them subtly. Providing validation and value at the most basic level, it isn’t a difficult task and the results are extremely rewarding. If you feel that a little more joy is worth obtaining, then try validating your spouse. Validation can be as simple as providing eye contact for your spouse. The beauty is in the small sweet actions that shows the other person that you are thoughtful and present. In the Business Insider Article, Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits, the advice is clear
Kindness . . . glues couples together. Research . . . has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved.
So today, be mindful of your actions towards your spouse because a little kindness could be the glue that keeps you two together. Be nice, think nice. One study also reports, people who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner’s ability to fight off viruses and cancers. Being mean is the death knell of relationships.
What can be done today to make a difference in your relationship?
- Smile – A kind smile can help your spouse feel loved and happy.
- Use kind words – Catch your spouse doing something beneficial and compliment his or her actions.
- Show love – Does your spouse like hot food? If so, cook. Does your spouse like love notes? If so, write one. Does your spouse like personal time? If so, provide them with uninterrupted time. Does your spouse like walks in the parks? If so, walk with her or him. The point is, do something simple to show your spouse that you care and you will also validate him or her at the same time.
- Pay attention – Look at your partner when he/she speaks. Be engaged by the words they are speaking and respond when appropriate.
- Hang out – date your spouse, make time for him or her.
- Say thank you – show appreciation even for the small things.
- Think positively – think about your partners actions in a positive mindful way. Don’t harbor on how you wish he or she was; instead focus on the good.
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