Have you ever woke up to a perfectly wonderful day, where you feel good, the sun is shining, you eat a bowl of your favorite, sugary cereal and are ready to take on the day? Then someone along the way makes one critical comment and your day is completely derailed. Just in a matter of minutes, the prognosis of your day goes from sunny and positive to negative and gloomy.
We are funny creatures. We can be showered with hundreds of complements (does that ever happen?) and receive one negative statement, and all we will focus on is the negative. A demeaning or critical comment can often rob us of our mental or emotional energy. They knock the emotional wind out of our sales. It is fascinating because one negative person can suck all of the positive energy out of the room if it continues unabated.
Now, I understand, we make the choice to let negative or critical statements ruin our day. We choose to dwell and ruminate on them. But, we would not have to waste the energy trying to overcome these toxic comments if they weren’t made in the first place.
The Gottman institute released a study stating that we receive six critical statements for every positive statement that comes our way. This is a sobering and harsh reality. We already focus on the negative heavily in lieu of the positive, but we also receive six times as many negative comments as we do positive. We get verbally assailed on a daily basis.
The tragedy is, for many, they get beat up throughout the course of their day by the words of others, and then they go home and get pounded on more. This should not be so! Our homes should be a safe house. They should be places of encouragement. Each spouse should be the others greatest cheer leader. Words have tremendous power, especially when spoken by the most significant person in your life.
Men need to be told that they are doing a good job; that they are making a difference. Wives need to communicate respect to their husbands. Women need to be affirmed as well. Men need to communicate to their wives that all the many things they do never go unnoticed. They need to be told that they are attractive and desirable. Both partners need to continually lift one another up. They don’t need to be torn down or demeaned, especially in front of other people.
Let me also point out that negative words spoken in jest, are still just as hurtful. So often one spouse will say something hurtful to the other and then say, “I was just kidding.” Sometimes, this seems like a copout. I think often one will say what they truly thinking to the other and then cover their tracks by saying it was said in humor.
So how are you doing? Is your home a safe house of encouragement? Are you lifting up your partner? Are you reminding them that they are special and desirable? Do you continually let them know how deeply you care for and respect them?
Be an encourager to your spouse. It may just change the temperature within your marriage from cold or lukewarm to a much cozier place.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” I Thessalonians 5:11
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
What is one of the most encouraging things someone has said to you?