“It’s not as though I don’t do anything around here!”

"The Kiss" by Mimi Stuart © Live the Life you Desire

“The Kiss” by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

If someone says, “Did you see all the stuff I did for you today?” ignore your impulse to get defensive or to snap back “I do a lot for you too !” or worse, “Why do you always have to list all the things you’ve done for me!” These types of responses are very detrimental to your relationship.

When people mention the things they’ve done, they simply want acknowledgement and appreciation. Yet many people respond defensively as though they are being attacked. Even IF the other person is implying that you never do anything, show him or her the appreciation desired as follows:

“Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. You are wonderful for doing that for me.” If you want, you could add, “Please let me know when you need help. I would love to do something for you,” or simply do something considerate for them.

So many arguments could be avoided if people could understand the underlying desires that motivate a person’s apparent complaints. It is usually a simple desire for recognition, which should be a joy to satisfy, rather than an excuse to become critical, hostile and argumentative.

To have a loving, trusting, and mutually-enhancing relationship, there must be a constant effort to be kind and see the best in other people and acknowledge them for their efforts. Then everyone will shine and try to live up to their best.

by Dr. Alison Poulsen

Read “Overgeneralization: ‘You never show appreciation.’”

Watch “How to ask for more affection, intimacy and sex…and…how not to.”

Read “Seeking approval: ‘Why doesn’t my father appreciate me and all that I have accomplished?’”


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