We all need praise and appreciation on a daily basis – it’s nourishment for our souls. We may say we don’t need it but it is well known that kindness and genuine appreciation have an incredibly soothing effect on our central nervous system and raises our serotonin levels. It can calm us and help us to keep going when the going gets tough.
Learning to acknowledge instead of making your partner wrong is one of the most powerful relationship survival tools available to you. John Gottman is a researcher and family therapist who has worked extensively in couple therapy. He talks about the disintegration of respect and goodwill in a relationship when there is too much criticism and not enough praise. In my experience as a relationship counsellor I have found this applies to working with families as well. Where there is a deficit in praise and acknowledgment, a relationship starts to break down, disappointment and resentment can set in. It is very hard to steer things to a better place if damage is long term.