Let’s explore APPRECIATION and how it is fundamental to building healthy and thriving relationships.
Each one of us has psychological needs to be seen, acknowledged and of course, appreciated for who we are and what we do, think and feel. Feeling appreciated is a fundamental human need that contributes to our self-esteem and how we value ourselves which affects our overall well-being. People who feel appreciated tend to go the extra the mile, do more, engage more, contribute more. They tend to feel better about their contribution and, very importantly, tend to think more positively about their value and place in society. As social beings, knowing that who we are and what we do is appreciated by others really makes us feel better about ourselves and others!
In fact, many conflicts start when one or both partners don’t have this need for appreciation met! And, given that most of us prefer peace over conflict, learning to express our gratitude and appreciation goes a long way toward enhancing our relationships with others. Showing our appreciation builds trust and mutual respect. It also increases the chance that one or both in the relationship will feel pleasant feelings of safety and well-being! When both partners focus on the positive aspects of their partner or the actions their partners have taken and less on critically appraising their lack of action, a culture of appreciation is created. Within this kind of positive energy field, partners are more likely to want to act in beneficial ways that enhance the relationship. Quite simply, this is because they are met with positive reinforcement. Overall, meeting and having the need for appreciation met enhances connection and intimacy between partners and lessens the chance of uncomfortable feelings emerging.
Furthermore, the likelihood of partners feeling that who they are and what they do contributes to the creation of a healthy relationship builds self-esteem and tends to lead people to want to express their appreciation for others outside the relationship. In this way, a culture of appreciation within a couple contributes to universal compassion as many others are impacted by the couple’s positive energy.