Acknowledgement vs. criticism

We went to a garage sale this morning that was being held by my sister.  It is so wonderful to have your beloved family live so close.  When we left I thought Michael sounded a bit brusque in his request to go.  Once again – in the name of righteousness and honesty – I let him know about how he appeared.  Once again I was not coming from a space of kindness but one of ‘I will tell you what is wrong with you to help you be a better person’.  The problem is that letting someone know what is wrong with them doesn’t generally lead to the desired changes.  It just leads to discouragement, hurt and defensiveness.    I pulled myself up quickly and apologised from the heart.  He accepted my apology with the graciousness and generosity that is so wonderful about this man.

I am happy to say that I do remember far more often these days that it works much better to be loving; attentive; kind and acknowledging as a way to encourage and support my darling to become more of the man he wants to be.  He is, of course, wonderful already in so many ways and when I focus more on those aspects rather than any faults, I am more in love; our relationship is strengthened and I feel a wonderful sense of fulfilment.

I am loving the fact that I am getting the beauty of encouragement and acknowledgement as a way to nurture and grow the relationship.  Many of us don’t realise the importance and power of consistent acknowledgement of what we like about our partners.  If we did this on a daily basis and saw the changes in our partner we would all do it more often.  Acknowledgment is like feeding a plant so that it flowers more.

jess watters