Respect is defined as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.”
Great and healthy relationships need high levels of respect on the part of both partners.
For those couples in a relationship who are less intentional and accomplished in this area, their lack of respect holds the partnership down to lower levels of well-being. Learning how to show respect is a must for both partners.
There are some simple steps you can take to stop any of the habituated patterns that are disrespectful, to replace them with more responsible ways of relating.
Although they’re not necessarily easy, doing them with your partner enhances the level of respect that allows your relationship and partnership to thrive.
With that said, here are 25 ways to show respect in healthy relationships.
1. Tune in and pay attention by listening attentively to find out your partner’s needs, desires, and concerns.
2. Use what you’ve discovered by paying close attention to show that you notice their needs, desires, and concerns by acting on what you discover.
3. When your partner is direct with their requests, take influence from your significant other by responding to what your partner asks for, and acting on those requests in a timely fashion.
Leave no room for procrastination; really show up.
4. Speak words of acknowledgment, appreciation, and gratitude not only for what your partner does but for who your partner is.
5. When using humor to enliven the relationship, be careful to only playfully tease and not wound with sharp barbs.
6. Only make comparisons to others for the purpose of calling attention to your partner’s strengths and talents.
7. There are intimate details that only you are privileged to know, so never violate confidentiality.
8. Become a worthy opponent to spar carefully with your partner to work out differences during a conflict.
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9. When bringing a complaint, be careful not to go over the line to criticism.
10. Replace cutting sarcasm with gentle language.
11. Speak directly to your partner rather than sharing your complaints with others.
12. Delete all forms of contempt, including rolling of the eyes.
13. Delete any impatient and irritable tone from your communication.
14. When your partner makes unskillful choices, be compassionate and reassuring by saying something like, “We all make mistakes and can learn from them.”
15. Validate your significant other’s offerings with encouraging words, like “You’re full of good ideas.”
16. Make room for your partner’s style. There are many ways to get things done.
17. Assure your partner that there is room for many opinions.
18. Support your partner’s choices whenever you possibly can.
19. Acknowledge whatever level of financial contribution your partner makes to the family expenses.
20. Acknowledge how much your partner contributes to you and the family on a non-material, emotional level.
21.. When you make an unskillful choice, apologize as soon as possible.
22. Take responsibility for ways you harm your partner and get busy learning from all breakdowns so that you don’t continue to harm your relationship.
23. Be quick to offer forgiveness when your partner makes unskillful choices.
24. Tell your partner that you are proud of her or him.
25. Declare your respect not only to your partner but also in front of witnesses.
Be sure to tell your partner that you are overjoyed with the partnership you are co-creating and how pleased you are to have a partner that is worthy of your respect.
When it comes to having a healthy relationship, you don’t have to limit yourself to the 25 ways above. They are just a starter kit; you can come up with some splendid ideas of your own to show respectful behavior towards your partner.
If you follow these simple relationship advice, you have a right to expect that evidence will start to show itself of a more enriched partnership.
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Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSW, have been trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors and have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975.
This article was originally published at blogs.psychcentral.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.