I appreciate when you…

Yesterday was April 26, 2011.

Last night I sat with family around the TV, and watched the seventh game of the NHL playoff series between Vancouver and Chicago.  It was the big game.

A year from now though, I won’t remember what day it was.  I probably will remember the moment though a game was played.  I watched it with family.  The home team won.  It was exciting.

Moments and Relationships

If our lives are an accumulation of moments, then the way we live tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year will be the product of what we are doing right now.  And, being a somewhat stereotypical Canadian male, sometimes it seems to me that my life has been defined by an accumulation of assorted NHL moments.  Yikes!

Of course, and fortunately, I have other types of moments, too. Those moments usually connect to others; my spouse, my family, my work colleagues, my neighbours, my communities.

We know good relationships usually develop slowly over time.  Kate Feldman says daily life is foreplay for relationships.  How do we create moments today, no matter how mundane or small, that nurture good relationships?


Appreciative moments

Perhaps the easiest and most effective way is to show appreciation. Appreciation may be the most significant human psychological need.

Appreciation is about being positive.  We learn it early in life. As children, when we are appreciated by others, we feel good, and our behaviour reflects it. We never lose that capacity, to feel appreciated and act in positive ways.  And when we behave in positive ways to others, they tend to reciprocate, and the relationship bond strengthens.  (As an aside, mediator Tammy Lenski shared a nice story and insights, on her blog this week, on the power of positive reinforcement in conflict management, as learned from her four-legged friend.)

Human relationships expert Harville Hendrix (who I’m a big fan of) says, In a conscious relationship we intentionally design actions that move us closer to our goals. Each day matters, since the whole can never be greater than the sum of its parts. Appreciation expressed clearly today, or the time spent in idle chatter, is giving weight and definition to your life.

What’s your relationship goal with your partner, your colleague?


If you see it as a positive one, what moment of appreciation will you share with them today?


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  1. Even though we have never met in person I have felt that you consciously choose to shine a light on others actions you appreciate and want to support their flourishing. Specific, vivid appreciation of another is probably one of the most powerful way we make life meaningful and memorable. We are signifying the positive actions and the individuals who took them, thus magnifying their significance. Perhaps we are also enabling such actions to become more contagious. Have to ask the co-authors of Connected to explore that notion in their studies. Thank you Ben for your thoughtful posts 🙂 You bring out our better sides

  2. Kare, your support is kind. Agree with you around magnifying positive actions. I find (as I’m sure, you do too), highlighting the upside of others a good way to learn interesting things, and stay inspired and motivated, from day to day. Although, probably a bit of a thirst for what’s new, too. I haven’t read Connected… yet.

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