Boosting Your Partner's Sef-Esteem
  "The Four Legs of Self-Esteem" 1
  Our self-esteem incorporates four areas of our being:
  • Mental
  • Social
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  "People need to feel capable mentally, likable socially, attractive physically, and vital spiritually." 2

Our spouse needs to feel that they are competent around us and others. Compliments like "You know so much about literature" or "I wish I knew as much about music as you do" help to let our partner know that we recognize them as being smart and that we appreciate that quality in them.

Everyone, including our spouse likes to be liked. We can build-up our partner's self-esteem in this area by mentioning how we notice that "you're so good in making guests feel comfortable", or complimenting them by saying something like "people love to be around you because you're so interesting". Take notice the next time someone gives you a compliment in this area - it probably will make you feel good inside. When we give compliments like this to our spouse, the same thing happens.

Isn't it nice when someone compliments you on how you look. Even if you feel a little awkward in accepting the compliment, it still feels good. Likewise, its important to compliment our partner on how he or she looks on a regular basis. None of us is getting any younger, and it's important to feel that our spouse thinks we are just as pretty or handsome as the first day we met. Small compliments like "you look pretty in that dress", or "that tie looks especially good on you" can go a long way in helping our spouse to feel good about themselves.

Lastly, our spirituality is an important part of our being, we are all spiritual in different ways and to different degrees. Get to know the spiritual part of your spouse. Its quite possible that our spouse may be strong in an area that we aren't. Perhaps, our partner is better at praying than we are. A compliment such as "I love the way you pray so clearly" will be appreciated. Or, perhaps your spouse is more public in acknowledging his/her faith than you are, you might say "I like the way you standup for your faith in a group setting, that gives me more confidence to do the same".

It's important to be honest and sincere when giving compliments. An insincere compliment will do more harm than good. It's also important to to compliment our spouse often and pay attention to all of the areas noted above. If we always tell our spouse "how pretty she is" but never compliment her on how smart she is, we risk giving the impression that "she is really pretty but not so smart".
  Assessing How Well You Stroke Your Mate's Ego 2
  T  F I can almost always find something to praise my partner for.
  T  F I give my partner twice as many positive comments in a given week than I do negative ones.
  T  F I am confident that my spouse feels encouraged and affirmed by me.
  T  F When my spouse has a new idea that isn't initially to my liking, I refrain from judgement and listen with an open mind.
  T  F I honestly admire my spouse.
  T  F I can recall a specific incident within the last week where I deliberately praised my partner.
  T  F My spouse is not defensive.
  T  F I tell my partner how much I appreciate him or her even when I think he or she already knows it.
  T  F My spouse could immediately name one specific thing I've affirmed him or her for in the past seven days.
  Add up the number of "True" responses. If it is eight or higher you're doing a pretty good job. No matter what your score is - the book "The Love List Eight Little Things That Make A Big Difference In Your Marriage" by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott will help you improve your marriage.
  1 That's Not What I Meant! - Tim Stafford
2 The Love List Eight Little Things That Make A Big Difference In Your Marriage - Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott


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