This form of communication means a lot to me personally. When a person encourages or "inspires courage" in their partner, it allows them to feel strength in their spouses backing. It's like knowing whatever you do you have someone in the background cheering you on. Encouraging words help inspire potential in the person hearing them. These include statements like, "you are such an exceptional writer. I would like to see more of your work." Helping develop potential in each other can make a relationship truly feel like a partnership.
Using kind words seems simple enough. In a healthy relationship, both individuals say nice things to each other. But, it also means the tone of voice we use. I cringe when I think about all the times my words have been kind, but my tone has been sarcastic. The tone negates the positive power the words might have and turn the communication into a negative experience. Kind words can help build intimacy and can even allow partners to discuss a hurt in a way that will allow healing.
Chapman points out, "Love makes requests, not demands." Although it's hard to see sometimes, love is a choice. When we put our pride aside, and speak to our partner with words that consider the other person's desires and needs, we allow trust and intimacy to build. It's important to express our own needs and desires in a way that is a request for them to be met and not a demand. In doing so, we affirm our recognition of our partner's choice to love. Emotional love can not be demanded. "When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and ability," Chapman states. In my experience, if I request my husband to help me with something it builds a tighter bond then if I were to have done it on my own.
Communication is one of the most important things in building and maintaining relationships. Words can, and often do, harm self-esteem and relationships. We can choose to speak to our partners in a way that does not bring negativity into their world or our home. By thinking about how we speak to each other, we affirm the worth the other person has in our lives. Like love, speaking kind, humble encouraging words and giving verbal affirmations is a choice. We can choose to create a positive emotional climate in our homes. The result will be a new year in which we build each other up and fill our partner's love tank. Could there be a better gift?