I am convinced that kindness and gratitude are integrally linked.
We often don’t even think about kindness, but often we are unkind, especially to the ones we love most. Why is that? Why do we take for granted the love of the one person dearest to us? I think it is because a lot of us get a little lazy — or even comfortable, if you will — after our first years of courtship and marriage. Before we know it, our focus has shifted to the kids or our career… and all of a sudden, the one we are supposed to be closest to becomes something akin to a stranger.
The Gottman Sound Relationship House details key components foundational to the health of your relationship with your partner. The essential components of the Gottman friendship system — and important ways to show your partner kindness and gratitude — include:
- Love Maps — knowing your partner’s inner and outer world well)
- Turning Toward — literally doing just that, taking time to turn to your partner and reconnect, listen and respond kindly
- Fondness and Admiration – being kind and sharing the ways — big and small — that you admire your spouse on a daily basis
Working on these three elements can help you rebuild a system that may be failing or even in great distress.
And yes, this is a challenge! So much so that Shaunti Feldhahn wrote a book about it. In The Kindness Challenge, she discusses how kindness can change your relationship. I highly recommend the book and the 30-day challenge that accompanies it.
Can you be kind, give appreciation, and be thankful for (and to) your partner for 30 days? I’m confident it will change you as well as your relationship!