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Catch “Em” Doing Good

There’s a quick way to improve or enhance a relationship.

Very simply, the idea is to catch your partner “doing good.”

Instead of focusing mostly on what you don’t like or what’s not going well, notice things your partner does that you like and verbalize it. In other words, show appreciation. Here’s how to do it.

Notice things as they occur.

It can be little things such as picking something up or putting something away, saying something nice, coming in the door with a smile instead of a complaint, offering to go to the grocery store, or anything that’s helpful or kind.

When you notice, say what you see and say thank you.

Thank you can be said any way you like, just so it comes off as genuine and authentic. You might say “I appreciate that,” or “I love it when you do that,” or “Thanks for doing that.” Whatever works for you. It has to be within your normal style of speaking.

Be specific about the thing you’ve noticed.

“Thanks for putting your dishes in the dishwasher. Those little things make my life easier.”

“I love it when you text me during the day. Makes me feel closer to you.”

You want to specify the action you like, and then follow that with a statement about how it makes you feel or how it helps you.

Doesn’t have to be overly wordy. If you make too big a deal, it’ll come off as fake and can actually have the opposite effect. Be real.

Don’t do it in the middle of a conflict.

You don’t want to use this as a way to manipulate your partner. It shouldn’t be used in the middle of a dispute or conflict. It works best when nothing in particular is going on.

Works for any relationship.

This is a great technique for parents to use with their kids. Also works with friends, co-workers, or employees.

It’s an easy way to strengthen the bond with someone you care about, not to mention that the more you catch someone doing good, the more good you’ll get from them.

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