Author: Ann Schiebert
Dear Ann: My girlfriend is so mean to me. It makes me feel badly about myself. She calls me names and points out all my failings. What do you have to say?
An intimate relationship must be feathered by kindness, respect and agreed upon boundaries.
In the next three blog posts let’s explore these concepts.
Kindness: the art of rendering gentle interactions; evokes feelings of being treasured from a receptive other; a selfless act of giving tenderness to another; the desire to impart a non physical embrace to someone else; an gift with no expectations of appreciation.
If kindness was at the forefront of our relationships, perhaps we would feel so much more valued in our coupling. Kindness offers a rest from the battle field. It provides a respite from opposition or having to defend and explain one’s self. Kindness creates a place of acceptance. Kindness is the manifestation of the spirit of love within you. Behaving in a kind way is a component of Intimacy Filled Pastiming.
How can we be kind to others?
- Know where their vulnerable spots are and avoid them.
- Thoughtfulness – what does your partner value? Many of us have never had a discussion about what behaviors are valued by the ones we love. Do you like me to rub your back? Do you enjoy my company at the grocery store? Do you feel loved when I hold your hand? What kinds of behaviors can I do to let you know how much I love you?
- Being gentle – with words and touch.
- Remembering those events that are important to the one we love. One patient told me how much she loved Valentine’s Day. She said that for her it wasn’t about purchases. Each year, her husband made a Valentine card for her. She kept them in a scrapbook. Every Valentine’s Day they looked at the scrapbook together, and the woman made a point of telling her husband how loved she felt because he had taken the time to be creative in his acknowledgment of a day that was special to her. He had dedicated time to giving her a smile.
- Emotional nurturing – All of us have emotional wounds. Allowing the one we love to know what they are is an act of intimacy. Once we know the emotional soft spots of our partner, the quiet support of simply listening to our loved one can be soothing and healing.
- Giving without the expectation of reciprocation – when you give of yourself, do so without the expectation of even a, “thank you.” If there are strings attached to the gift of self, it’s manipulation – “I did this for you, now YOU need to do something for me.”
- Kindness is at the core of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Create an intimate abode of kindness. Your relationship will be enormously better for the decision to incorporate kindness as a major organizing principle of one’s interaction with the one you love.