How important is kindness to your relationship?
When we are struggling in a relationship, kindness may be the last thing on our mind. Anger, frustration, even sadness may block our ability to access good feelings about our partner. Yet, without feelings of loving kindness toward our partner, we decrease our incentive and ability to work through difficult issues.
The very act of thinking kind thoughts toward others has been shown to activate the area of the brain associated with empathy (http://bit.ly/1HxNUBo). Not only does this predispose us to want to work together toward solutions, it also helps us feel better about ourself by decreasing anxiety, increasing self-compassion and optimism (http://bit.ly/1Munhkl, http://bit.ly/1HxNUBo, http://bit.ly/1V3EyGJ, http://bit.ly/1OdNLrq).
Here are some tips on how to access kindness toward yourself and your partner prior to working on challenging relationship issues:
- Start with yourself. If you don’t love yourself, it is extremely difficult to give love to another. Think about your best qualities. Are you kind, generous, understanding, friendly? Affirm your good qualities internally or aloud, “I am a kind and generous person.”
- Next, think of what attracted you to your partner. What are his or her best qualities?
- Now visualize your partner smiling at you and send him or her loving-kindness and gratitude for these qualities.
The more we practice kindness toward our selves and others, the more likely we are to have satisfying relationships and lives!
Bobbie L. Dillon, M.S., empowers people to create Peace-Full Relationships™--fulfilling authentic relationships--as a Peace-Full Relationships™ Coach, Trainer, & Relationship Mediator™. Check out more resources and on-line and in-person classes at BobbieDillon.com. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn.