A strong, fulfilling relationship doesn’t just happen by chance—it takes work. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reinforce your relationship and develop an effective way of communicating.
Being able to recognize and understand your partner’s needs can be powerful and life-changing. You have the ability to create an environment where you support each other’s individual goals and celebrate partner success. If you feel like you don’t know where to start, these general tips can give you ideas about how to begin building up your relationship.
Boost Confidence Together
One way people can begin showing up for their partner is by building their partner’s confidence. Whether your partner is currently facing struggles or achieving their dreams, having support is highly motivating. One way we can show support is by expressing how proud we are of what they’ve accomplished.
You can tell your partner what they look like through your eyes and support them with positive words in times of struggle and in times of success. You can remind them that they are resilient and, even if things aren’t working out now, to continue to push through and pursue their goals.
Communicate with Empathy
Empathy can be a big factor in relationship success. We often see through the lens of our own perception. But challenging yourself to see things how your partner sees things may reduce the chances of misunderstanding each other.
Sometimes, your partner’s behavior may change when faced with stress, but perhaps this is the time they may most benefit from support. You can show support by being mindful of your words, and considering your partner’s reality. Approach conversations gently, with empathy, and with clear intent that you care for their wellbeing.
Practice Positive Speech
By creating a space where communication includes positive speech, you can encourage future conversations to follow that same pattern and support your partner’s success. When you experience strong emotions, try to take some deep breaths and remember that the words you choose have the power to lead the direction of your conversation.
Delivering criticism that is not constructive or nurturing may bring about animosity and negativity. Consider speaking to your partner as if it were you in that situation. Giving empathetic support often promotes the return of empathy and positive speech from your partner when you face future stress or strenuous situations.
Acknowledge and Show Appreciation
Take time to acknowledge what your partner means to you. Express to them how much you appreciate who they are and that they are your partner in life. You can give examples of things they do or say that positively impact your life.
You can make it a priority to say “I appreciate you,” to your partner more often than not. These few words may help set and strengthen a healthy environment for your relationship to succeed. Don’t underestimate the difference sharing these three words may make for you or your partner.
Honor Your Differences
People have different strengths, needs, and abilities. Recognize how you and your partner’s unique skill sets can complement each other. Valuing each other’s differences can help you honestly and sincerely cheer on your partner when they are succeeding, even if it’s in an area that you don’t excel at yourself.
Be Aware and Attentive
In a long-term relationship, your partner is going to change and grow. It’s easy to think that you know how they would think or feel about things.
Talk with your partner like you would with a friend. Stay curious about how they think, their opinions, who they are, and maybe who they want to be. Be attentive in understanding where your partner is at in life and how they aspire to be.
Many people in successful relationships understand that people change over time, and it is important to stay invested in how your partner is growing. Be flexible and adapt as you both change in your relationship.
Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected
No relationship is without arguing. The choices you make during a disagreement can greatly influence how it ends. Try to stay calm and resolve arguments with respect from both sides. Ensuring that you are listening to your partner and that they feel like their opinion matters may help bring empathy and understanding to the conversation.
Create an Action Plan
If you want to see a change in your relationship, intentionality may play a big role. Remember, you can be intentional and prepared with an action plan of resilient solutions for when an opportunity to encourage or support your partner arises.
It’s important to remember that if you’re creating an action plan to be supportive and boost your partner’s confidence, we cannot forget self-care – you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Extend kindness to yourself and remember that changes take time.
You can try to show consistency in your support. It may be frustrating when you see your partner in distress and not have words of inspiration or know the right thing to say. However, you can be there even if you don’t know what to say, even when it’s a challenge – sometimes, just showing up to listen can make a difference.
As a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a subspecialty in neuropsychology, I work with you to identify your values, support your emotional wellbeing, and help you improve your relationships to lead a balanced, happy life.
Start celebrating your partner’s success today and learn how to support each other with Raeburn Psychology. Call 786-788-8506 or complete my online form to schedule an appointment and begin your path to a better tomorrow.
*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.