A truly successful relationship is one in which each partner is the other’s cheerleader. It follows the old African saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When a relationship is successful, there is a synergistic effect on both people. We call that relationship math – one plus one equals three instead of the simple addition answer of two.
As human beings we get our reflections of who we really are from others. Most often this starts out when we are really young. When we are given positive reflections, positive affirmations, we feel good about ourselves. With this modeling of behavior we learn to positively affirm those close to us in the same manner. Unfortunately, when we are not positively affirmed, we tend to follow that modeling, too, and not learn how to pass that on to others. It’s kind of like the law of inertia. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. So it is with being on either the good or the damaged path of interaction with others close to us. We tend to stay on that path.
It then becomes increasingly hard to positively affirm others when one is still seeking her/his own self-
affirmation. HOWEVER, it is a much easier behavior to learn when you have a cheerleader, a partner who will positively affirm you, while at the same time being very honest. Telling you something when it is false only leads to a giant rift when you find out what you have been told is not true.
When people are together in a healthy positive relationship, there is an implied trust factor. When a compliment is given, it is honest and sincere. Telling someone that he/she is the most gifted soccer player, singer, actor, salesperson, etc. without any basis will eventually damage that person, breaking the trust.
All this may appear overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Mutual affirmation should be about praising your partner for who they are, not for what they do. In fact, it’s far more effective. So the question
becomes how to mutually affirm each other on a consistent basis. It’s much easier than most would think, but the key is the word “consistent.” It’s the consistency rather than just for special occasions, that makes the difference.
The best affirmations are “secrets” between the two people. Greeting each other in a special way at the
beginning of every day tells your partner how important to you they really are. It also sets the tone for the day. When you greet someone in the morning, no matter how hectic with kids or any other distractions, it let’s your partner know how important she/he is to you and vice versa. It should be your own special words, or if schedules conflict, texts, or any other means. Here’s an example of an exchange between partners.
“Good morning to the center of my universe.”
“Good morning to the love of my life.”
It may sound corny, and maybe it is, but you will be amazed what it does to solidify and enhance the relationship.
Mutual affirmations truly are one of the most important keys to a successful, enduring relationship. These
affirmations will get both of you through even the toughest of times because each of you will know you are
doing it together and with each other’s support and love.
Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.