Being a relationship therapist has given me many valuable insights into what nurtures relationships…
…And what harms them.
And whilst the love and connection between every couple I work with is as unique as a snowflake or a fingerprint…
…There are a handful of mistakes I see repeated over and over again.
Today, I’d like to share one of them with you.
I call it: Telepathy.
In this post, I’ll explain what it is and then share a simple antidote to it.
Here’s a personal example of my own experience of this relationship mistake, to help you.
In my 30’s I sent my dad a Father’s Day card.
In it I wrote some kind words and ended with:
“I hope I can make you proud of me one day.”
The next time I saw my dad, he said thanks for the card and added:
“I am proud of you, you know that.”
I wanted to say: “How could I know that when you’ve never told me?” But that’s not the kind of family I grew up in. So I just thought it instead.
And here’s evidence suggesting why Telepathy is harmful to healthy relationships:
The California Divorce Mediation Project reported that the most common reason given for divorcing given by close to 80% of all men and women was gradually growing apart and losing a sense of closeness, and not feeling loved and appreciated .
“…and not feeling loved and appreciated.”
Telepathy is a terrible tool for healthy relationships
And yet most couples I work with are guilty of using it.
If you expect your partner, your children, your friends to just “know” that you hold them fondly you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
Telepathy is harmful to all of your relationships.
Don’t be a victim of it.
So What’s The Antidote?
The antidote to this common relationship mistake is: Appreciation.
It works like this:
If you ever think something nice about somebody you love or care about.
If your partner does something for you that you appreciate…
Why is appreciation so powerful?
Because we all want praise from those we share our lives with. We all need more obvious fondness and admiration from those we treasure.
Cos I gotta tell ya…
..Feeling appreciated – being told you matter, by someone who matters to you – creates a warm fuzzy feeling which – over time – helps to create a powerful connection between couples.
And connected couples are happy couples.
If you ever look at your partner and think: “Damn, I love you so much.” Tell them.
If your child does something that makes you feel proud… Tell them.
If your friend helps you out of a tight spot with some good advice and you’re grateful to them… Tell them.
Hell, you don’t have to have a reason.
Just tell those you love you love them, you’re proud of them, that they matter to you…
…Whatever it is you appreciate about them.
Don’t expect them to just somehow ‘Know’.
Got the message?
Now go tell someone you love you love them.
Appreciation is just one of my ‘Golden Rules’ for a healthy relationship, if you want help with your relationship…
 Gottman Institue Level 1 Manual page 1-38