In the early days of a relationship it is easy to come up with ideas for gifts. However, what gift could you give that they would just love to get. A gift that guarantees they’ll appreciate it. A gift that doesn’t get old. Well keep reading and you’ll find out.
The sad reality is a lot of relationships used to give this gift, but now, they do not. Its not flower or chocolates that I’m referring to. Yet its a gift we all need and love to receive from the ones we love. To put it simply, its the gift of “self esteem”, and its life changing to the one that needs it.
What is it?
Self esteem is a term used to reflect a persons overall opinion of his or her own worth. Its how we view ourselves. Its a self grading system of our skills, personality, etc. However it can be effected rightly or wrongly through life experiences. Your not their guardian or parent, but you are the other half of a relationship, so invest in it, and here’s how one investment like “self esteem building” can pay off.
How does it effect us?
For example if a teacher in school tells us that we are no good at English, we can begin to believe it. We see the teacher as a credible source, so if they are repeatedly telling us we are no good, because of how repetition works, we convince ourselves that we are no good at English. The problem with this is it may not be accurate. Maybe you’re not great at it, but it doesn’t mean you are terrible. Maybe the previous teachers where no good, or perhaps you just need to put more time into it. Either way, it doesn’t define you as a person, it just refers to your skills at that topic. With this negative “you’re no good” statement coming from a teacher, parent or even spouse, we can fall into believing it for everything that we do. We get a feeling that we can never impress them for they view us as a failure. The reality is we all want to impress those we respect and love. Not in a vain way, but in a way we know that they are happy with our achievements.
After the honeymoon period ends
Relationships today tend to forget this. After the honeymoon has ended, a few kids born, and a busy schedule, where is the encouragement? No more “you’re amazing” or “wow you did great honey”. Its not that we make a decision to stop, its just we get busy and preoccupied. We love our partner and we tell them that, but are we encouraging them? Nobody wants a co dependent relationship when we need to encouraging 24/7 just so they are happy, but encouragement is needed by everybody sometimes. Its not even about insecurities, its about confidence and their self esteem.
I can’t cook!
I used to firmly believe I couldn’t cook. Besides beans and toast, I was pretty ignorant to the ways of a chef. But I would cook for Fiona when times required. But here is what happened. Fiona would say “mmmm” to my beans on toast. This encouraged me to cook some more. So I got adventurous, and started cooking a “full Irish fry up”. Although the sausages where black, she cut off the burnt bits and still said “mmmm”. Cooking now became my mission. Definitely no Betty Crockett or Gordon Ramsey but I have improved, and thats the point. Fiona encouraged me on a weak skill, and now, its far stronger. She showed appreciation, she gave the best reaction you can give to food, and that is the universally known statement of “mmmmm”.
How do we wrap it.
So rather than saying to your spouse things like “you never remember stuff”, why not encourage their other qualities. Watch how self confidence will benefit them in all areas. We should all try and not use the terms “never” or “always” for it paints a grim picture when applied to a negative statement. It states that they are always like this, and there is clearly no hope of change in your opinion. Maybe they will repeatedly forget things, so rather than tell them what you hate, tell them what you love. For example rather than saying “you always forget the bins” say “I love it when you remember to put out the bins”. This will have a better outcome. Celebrate when they do positives and it will encourage more positives. Deep down they want your encouragement and approval, for they love you. Look at my story of cooking, now I cook a few times a week, although I am still learning.
The problem when we don’t.
The problem when there is no encouraging towards your partner, it can leave a potential little gap. This gap stays there, until somebody may try fill it. It could be a young girl at work that looks up to your husband, or a guy at the bar that glances at your wife. The girl at the job makes him feel like a man, and all she speaks is how great he is, words he hasn’t heard in awhile. The guy at the bar finds your woman attractive, and says things you may not have said in awhile like “you look beautiful”. Now let me be clear, if you haven’t been encouraging your partner its still no excuse for an affair. I suppose what I’m saying is that when you help build up your partners self esteem, its like having a fire blanket to extinguish any others that try to have a spark with your spouse. They wont care for words of encouragement when they already get them from the one person that loves them.
We are responsible for how we make our partners feel about themselves, and when you encourage their self esteem it benefits the whole house. We don’t want them getting a big head or puffed up, but we do want them being the best they can be. Nobody is perfect, and we may annoy each other at times, and say the wrong things. But lets always remember to build our partners self esteem more than anything. Complaining rarely achieves much, but encouraging words can change everything. One of the greatest gifts to give somebody and it doesn’t actually cost you anything, but will mean the world. Tell them in your own words, and truly mean it. Not some cheesy “you are amazing” or “sweetie you’re great”, but instead something you mean, something from the heart.
Encouragement opens up communication to the heart.