More Desirable Than Money,
Beauty, or Power...


Expressing your appreciation often — especially if it’s the highest quality appreciation — is more desirable to your partner than money, beauty or power could ever be.

Shakespeare said, " Nothing is more common than the desire to be remarkable." When you appreciate something about your partner, you are making your partner 'remarkable.'

If you haven’t thought about the frequency or quality of your appreciation, you may find you’ve been giving your appreciation in meager doses, like, “Oh, I like your purse,” or, "Nice tie." You could be giving much stronger appreciation, like, “You’re always so cheerful. You lift my spirits, Thanks.”

Giving frequent, high quality doses of appreciation will not only make your partner happier, it will help insure that your relationship lasts.

Appreciating someone is the act of communicating how important he or she is to you, or how important was something he or she did.

You may call appreciation many things:

You may:

As you can see, appreciating someone is a huge category of things. If you’re more comfortable calling it “respecting someone” or “acknowledging someone,” feel free.

The idea is simple. Someone does something you value (an act), or is someone you value (the person).

Appreciating that person is the act of communicating your appreciative thoughts to that person. I say “act” because it involves an action, not just a thought. I say “communicating” because that implies the person “hears” the message.

The communication can be in person, by phone, by Instant Message, by email, by note, by card, or delivered via another person.

Communicating Appreciation

The real magic of appreciation comes when you “enrich” your expressions of appreciation so that your actions are more powerful and more frequent.

Let’s start by being clear on what makes an expression of appreciation powerful or wimpy. We'll use a couple of examples that are outside of your relationship, because if you practice appreciation in all aspects of your life, you'll be even more skilled in appreciating your partner

Appreciating a stranger

You’ve got your arms full of stuff, and as you approach the door a stranger stops and holds the door for you. How do you express your appreciation?

You smile and nod. (wimpy)
You say, “Thank you.” (fairly minimal)
You say, “I appreciate you holding the door.” (appreciating the act)
You say, “You’re very kind; thank you.” (appreciating the person)
You say, “Thank you! You’re very thoughtful. I really appreciate your help.” (You’ve appreciated both the act and the person, and said it was meaningful to you.)
You say, “Wow! Thanks! You’ve saved my life. Come to dinner Sunday.” (You’ve gone too far. That’s over the top.)

Appreciating A Co-Worker

You’re the boss, and one of your employees does some good work.

You smile, and give the employee a thumbs up sign (better than nothing but fairly wimpy).

You smile and say, “I like what you did” (appreciating the act).

You smile and say, “Good job. You always do that, so well” (appreciating the act — more powerful because you made it continuous with the word “always”).

You smile and say “Good job. I can always count on you” (appreciating the act, and also appreciating the person).

Big grin as you say, “Terrific job. I can always count on you. You make my job easy, and you’re really good for this company.” (You appreciated the act, the person, saying why the person is meaningful to you, as well as meaningful to the company.)

Big smile as you say, “Great job. You’re terrific at what you do. My boss was saying nice things about the department, and I told her you were a really important reason things were going so well,” (appreciating the act, the person, and sharing your appreciation with the person, and third parties as well).

Okay, you’ve got the idea. Now let's use a relationship example.

Communicating appreciation is a skill, learned by practice. If you practice appreciating your partner powerfully and frequently, you are demonstrating the positivity that researchers have found is so important in making a relationship last.

© 2005 Visionary Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved