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If you are in a relationship or have ever been in one, then you understand how incredibly different men and women are. Men need praise while women need affirmation. There are many ways to show love to your partner depending on their personality, but regardless of how they need to be shown love, empowering each other will make a world of difference in your relationship.

Rather than criticize or dwell on the behaviors and habits we are not familiar with, I say we empower our partner with these 8 ways below. By doing these 8 things on a daily basis, you may start to see a shift in strife, negative feelings, or aggravation that you’re dealing with. If you’re in relationship bliss, then these may help you to continue to grow your relationship.

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Listen: 

Listening to your partner is the most important thing you could possibly do in a relationship. In a world of daily distractions wrapped up in a social media frenzy, taking the time to put your phone away and listen to what your partner has to say could be the medicine to building a better bond. Think about what it feels like to have someone fully engaged in a story or joke you’re telling. Yep, it feels good doesn’t it?

Be fully engaged with your partner to empower him/her and see how that attention alone will empower them to continue in their story or conversation.

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Communicate:

Every day we communicate with others… our friends, our family, teachers, coaches and siblings, but communication in a relationship is a far more complex thing. Emotions, past experiences, and daily stress play a much larger role in the way we communicate with our partner. If you take the first note above to ‘Listen’ then communication may come easier.

In empowering our partner it is not about what is being said, but what our partner wants us to hear. We all communicate in different ways and so it’s important to learn HOW your partner communicates to understand the emotion behind the words. Flex in voice, and tone of words can often be taken the wrong way so listen or talk with your partner about what something really means. It could save you a world of disappointment down the road when you understand how they communicate.

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Encourage:

We live in a day of age where both women and men can become successful in their careers and where competition thrives.  Never allow competition to enter your relationship! It can change the tone on how you encourage them, make them feel important, and how you build up their self esteem.

We all love hearing words of encouragement when we need it the most, but often times we need it when no one else knows. In times of stress, dealing with a friend or family member, a test coming up or any other daily occurrence, that is when we need encouragement the most and why it’s important to encourage your partner daily.

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Compliment:

This one is obviously for the women because we always love a good compliment, but believe it or not I’m going to emphasize the impact a compliment has on a man. They need compliments just as much as we do and let me tell you why. Men have more of an ego, more of a drive to please, and need to be affirmed of their actions, looks, and skills.

Critisicm may not necessarily break a man down because he may be pretty confident in who he is, but constantly nagging, or seeing the negative in their actions will only leave them with resentment. When they do something nice, thoughtful or need a compliment, don’t hold out on that because of anything else that may be bothering you. Compliment them and see how that can change their feelings towards other matters.

Also, if you are a man reading, women ALWAYS need a good compliment. Make her feel pretty, desired, and loved. 😉

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Laughter:

Laughter is medicine for our souls. Let this also be medicine for a relationship. Laughter creates a flirtation and joy in our being that makes being with someone even more enjoyable. In times of strife or conflict, laughter can often times mend the silence and get a relationship back on track. Of course that will take more than just laughing, but it’s remembering the fun times, the laughter that brought you together.

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Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement goes hand in hand (no pun intended) with encouraging your partner. There may be decisions or times where a serious talk is needed and maybe you don’t agree with something, but in times where you are excited for your partner make sure to give them positive reinforcement. Especially in marriage, a decision should be made between both parties for the better of the household, and in that case make sure your partner knows how excited or happy you are for them for whatever the new venture, new job, decision or matter may be.

Your positive reinforcement of that decision will build the confidence in them to succeed and move forward without a doubt in their mind. Be each other’s back bone.

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Affection: 

Who doesn’t love kisses and affection!? Sweet kisses throughout the day are a treat and always welcomed, but in our busy lives, even a touch on the back, holding of a hand and a long hug can make all the difference. Affection is important regardless of our mood, so try not to allow the stress of the day affect the way you show affection.

With affection we feel wanted, affirmed, and desired, which are all very important in feeling confident and secure in a relationship. Keep in mind some people don’t need affection to feel loved and others need it badly. That is where communicating how you like to feel loved is important to understand each other.

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Leadership:

I have come to find that this one is a big one for a relationship to be balanced. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. In a relationship we must not let pride rule how we see those strengths and weaknesses. A man wants to be ‘the man’, to lead his family and lead in areas that make him feel empowered. This isn’t in a superior kind of way, but in a loving, ‘let me take care of you’ kind of way.

I have learned to not let my own independence change how I let Chris lead, which I’m not going to lie was a learning curve for me.  In the end, I get to see the joy that he feels when he can lead in his strengths and the respect he gives when he allows me to lead in my strengths. It’s a give and take and believe it or not we are not always right. Let your partner be right sometimes and let them lead in the areas they excel.

You will see how that balance of leadership increases respect and love for one another which in turn will empower not only your partner but the entirety of the relationship.

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