You may think you appreciate and recognize your partner, but is it in a way that your partner connects with?
In this podcast, you will learn the impact of recognition and appreciation in a relationship, plus the tools and skills to truly make your partner feel celebrated.
Interested in learning more and interacting with our team directly on this subject? Register for the ‘You Don’t Appreciate Me!’ If you have ever heard this statement, this training is for you.” happening on February 23. Click here for the full details – bit.ly/3Iz6b7V
An article from The Gotman Institute –bit.ly/3rOb727
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Adam Salgat 0:00
Have you heard about the Chapman foundation for caring communities corpse Foundations of Leadership? The great resignation has shown us that employees want to know that they matter and are valued. As leaders, we must have the skills to connect and develop meaningful relationships with our team members. Foundations of Leadership is a four part series, in which we will explore the process of change that we and our team members experience, develop skills to help others through the process. And finally, learn to repair our relationships after we have made a mistake. The first class is February 8, but the registration deadline is Monday, January 31 2022. Class space is limited and seats are going fast. So sign up today. This is an excellent way to start off your year by becoming a better leader. Click the link in the description of this podcast to register.
Welcome to the listen first podcast brought to you by the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Our vision and mission is to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening, leadership, care and service to create a truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. And listen first.
Adam Salgat 1:31
Hello, and welcome back to the listen first podcast. I’m Adam Salgat. And with me today is Katie Trotter. Katie, tell me a little bit about your holiday, how was your Christmas? How was your new year,
Speaker 3 1:43
it was great. It was probably one of the quieter holiday seasons that we’ve had in a while. And I really just appreciate it some time to have things moving a little bit slower.
Adam Salgat 1:53
Yeah, I can’t blame you there. It’s always good to slow down when we can. And it was kind of the same for us to have an opportunity to relax. We’d like to our young ones stay up till about 11 o’clock. And after New Year’s Eve, I should say a museum till about 11. And then they kind of pooped out. So we put them to bed and got to stay up ourselves a little bit longer and watch the ball drop, which we have YouTube TV. So it was delayed by like a minute and a half, we realized when our cell phones were midnight, and they were counting down at 30. We’re like, oh, well, I guess there’s a delay on the internet. But one element of the holiday season is certainly a gift giving, right i mean we we look for special gifts, whether those be physical items, or maybe something that we do for someone like for example, two of our girls did not have their like one month photo picture frames completed or I should say their monthly photo picture frames up their first year, you know, when you take a one month, two month three month photo, I spent time digging through our photos and on Facebook, finding all you know months leading up to the one year and then putting them in this picture frame that our mother in law had bought each of them a while ago finally completed that for my wife, it was a bit of a physical book really more of a sentimental item that I knew that she wants to complete. The reason I bring up gift giving is the idea of we always want to make people feel good, you know in our lives, and especially our partners. And so today we’re going to talk about partner appreciation moving beyond gifts. And to get started Katie set the set the tone for us a little bit of what that means the idea of showing appreciation to your partner, but maybe it’s not about a physical gift or even, you know, little gifts that you might buy or little gifts, you might tell them, we’re going to break down ways to show appreciation and how that connects into our daily life. Right? Not not with Valentine’s Day coming up or anything like that, how it connects into our daily lives.
Speaker 3 4:00
That’s great. And Adam, I think I love how you really pulled out that concept of gift giving, I think we often talk about acts of service doing something to help your partner. But what we really want to focus on today from appreciation is how we can give meaningful verbal recognition statements daily, right or hourly, if you really want to be a show off about it, but just all of these small moments that you can seize to really make your partner feel appreciated.
Adam Salgat 4:26
I love that. So I think there’s a level of remembering who we really care about and what we want to do for them right and so I think it’s oftentimes easy to like not do that on the daily right to not give any type of reaffirming statement about thank you for handling dinner or thank you for taking care of the floor that you know the dirty floor or any any of these little things that happen in all of our lives every day. So let’s talk a little bit about setting up a story maybe do you have an example of what this looks like in real life?
Speaker 3 4:57
I thought the timing of it was was really great. When I saw the topic come up, especially in a holiday season, when things can tend to feel a little bit distracting, right, you’re trying to balance schedules or parties that you might need to go to or tracking on the gifts list and all of these different items. I think sometimes these words of affirmation can stop you in your tracks and kind of reground you a little bit, we had gone through the holiday. And because I had a little bit of time off, I love to cook. So for me, I had made a bunch of meals up for the week, I really enjoy that process. And I knew that my husband, Jonathan had a busy week coming up. And so I put a bunch of food in these tiny little Tupperware ears and had them stacked in the fridge. And I really didn’t give it a second thought. And then the next day, I got a message from him that just said, I was so happy. When I opened up the fridge and saw all of these meals, it made it incredibly easy for me to grab food each day. And it was one less thing I had to think of. It just kind of caught me off guard, right, like stop me in my tracks of oh, this was something that was really meaningful to him. And I probably wouldn’t have even known that if he hadn’t said anything. Right.
Adam Salgat 6:05
So it’s important to form that statement. And there’s something and we’re going to talk about, you know, creating FBI appreciation statement, because there’s a couple things that caught in the way that he phrased it to you. In our pre conversation you had talked about like, what if he had come home and seeing the mess in the kitchen? And talk about, you mentioned, Gottman? What’s his name? Exactly the author? It’s
Speaker 3 6:29
Dr. John Gottman, he actually describes himself as a researcher of relationships.
Adam Salgat 6:34
Yes, so Mr. researcher of relationships gives us a little bit about I don’t know the best way to put it, and I’m sure you’re gonna give me the right term. But I think of it as setting your mind in the right state, you know, keeping, keeping the right frame of mind when you’re thinking about your partner.
Speaker 3 6:49
Yeah, and it’s kind of like training your brain in some ways. And he talks about in his research, this positive sentiment override versus negative sentiment override. And so sometimes we can get into a point where we really fixate on the things that our partner does that might bug us. So to your point, using my example, Jonathan very easily could have walked into the kitchen that day, and his attention might have been on all of the dishes that were still in the sink when I was done. And then as the next day happens, he might also start to notice that my shoes are out in the middle of the floor, right. And at day after day after day, if you start to fixate in that space, then you start to not even notice the positive things. And if a neutral behavior happens, he might just perceive it in a negative way. So that negative sentiment override, you’re just kind of in a rut at that point.
Adam Salgat 7:39
Right. So the idea here is trying to keep yourself at least in a neutral space, right? Where a potential annoyance is just a simple annoyance. And a potential good deed is a good deed. So they, at best, but really, I think probably be best always look at positive intent and think of the best we can and go from neutral to even positive, right? Yeah,
Speaker 3 8:03
you really actually start to build this mental habit of scanning the environment for things to appreciate. And I think it’s such a beautiful environment that gets created when you can have both people in the relationship who start to get into that space. Because it’s really hard to have somebody thanking you for things and appreciating you and not want to get that back.
Adam Salgat 8:22
Tell me a little bit about what’s been I don’t know if the right word is recommended. But talk about consistency, or how often something should be said, what’s the thought there.
Speaker 3 8:33
I mean, I think as often as possible, but I know that there is there’s like a magical ratio they talk about which is basically five to one. So for every maybe I don’t even know that corrective is the right word, but we talk about the fact that there might really be a behavior that you need to talk to your partner about that’s really bugging you. But they would say the ratio of having given them five, affirmations or recognition statements to every one time that you have to talk about a behavior that bugs you, it makes for a much more productive conversation.
Adam Salgat 9:04
So there’s something here that comes to mind. But it really isn’t the mindset that we should have. Or you know, think think of when we hear these things. So the five the one thing that comes to mind is buttering buttering them up the idea of like, we’re trying to soften the blow or trying to make it easier knowing that we’ve got some negativity to come. That’s not really the intent of this, right? It’s
Speaker 3 9:27
no not at all right. And we really want to get to a place where all of these things that we’re doing is completely genuine. There are always a lot of things to value and appreciate about individual people. And it’s probably even easier for someone that you are choosing to be in a committed relationship with, right because there are so many things that you love and value and appreciate. It’s probably more for some of us who have that analytical number brain that really needed to say just give me a rough idea.
Adam Salgat 9:56
Sure, so it just gives them some, you know, a tick mark to follow a checkmark Just an idea of like, Am I doing this enough? Am I doing this? What’s maybe recommended and so that five to one ratio is something to keep in mind.
Speaker 3 10:09
Adam, you make a great point, though, because if I need to confront Jonathan about something, I don’t want to real quick in one hour, say five nice things to him, just because I want to try to set the scale,
Adam Salgat 10:19
right. And that’s not exactly what we’re trying to paint here. If something needs to be said, hopefully, you’ve already got a relationship where it can be done and done constructively. And that’s another topic about you know, how to confront a whole nother podcast. And I think a story that comes to mind for me that I’d like to share about this type of situation about the little things that bother you and understanding what the person had been through with my wife, Becky, who’s awesome. I talked about her all the time on this podcast. So those those that listen often No, I share many stories. One of one of the things that she does, the Swiffer mop gets left out after being used. And it just, every weekend, I can find it either sitting like leaning in the kitchen or leaning in the hallway. And there’s a part of me that goes, Okay, there’s a spot for that. So why don’t you put that back now that it’s done, like what happens that you put that back, but I’ve had to remind myself of a I didn’t sweep the floor, and I didn’t off the floor. So maybe I can just put them up away and not necessarily bring it up to her in the idea of like, why don’t you ever put that away? Right, then obviously not the best way to phrase that small confrontation to have. But that’s something that comes to mind that idea of like, keeping the right mindset of something that might be a small annoyance doesn’t turn into a big time. I don’t know big time argument or fight, because maybe you haven’t taken the time to address other other elements that are happening in your relationship.
Speaker 3 11:50
I love that example, Adam, because it also shows your intentionality right in the moment when you notice that you’re kind of taking the pause, scanning the environment for the thing that you do appreciate, right, the fact that she took the time to sweep and mop and all of that, which is step one, right? There’s the internal mental part that you have that voice inside your head, which is great for you, it still has that benefit of trying to rewire the brain. But now we really want to talk about how do you get that out, and deliver it to your wife in a way that she will really feel impacted by it. And I think that’s kind of where that FBI message comes in. Because sometimes we either keep it all inside, or we might think all of these wonderful things about I’m so glad she swept into Maps, and then it comes out as thanks for love you. And those are great things to say don’t get me wrong, right? That’s great vocabulary to use often. But when we can be more specific, I think it can hit people in a different way.
Adam Salgat 12:46
Right? So let’s talk about that. Then FBI feeling behavior impact. If you’ve been through the OCL class, you have a pretty good concept of these and how they can be used in a confrontation situation. But also, in this case, what we’re talking about today appreciation. What is yes, it is way more fun, and how much of an impact that can certainly have on somebody when we take the time to do our best to create this specific feeling behavior impact. And that, in my mind, it’s really just given a structure to something that a lot of people don’t really have a structure for. And for some people, that structure is highly needed, meaning they just don’t know how to express feelings. But by breaking it down. They find you know the specifics, and it just helps make it simpler. And for other people, it might come very naturally, where they are pretty quick to say to someone, thank you so much for handling this task. It meant a lot to me for this reason. And now we get to do such and such. So that was really open ended FBI there. So let’s work on this specific one. Or maybe we go back to Jonathan’s and we could break that one down a little bit about him talking about the meals being there and how he didn’t have to think about so let’s I’ll let you break that down a little bit.
Speaker 3 14:08
Okay. Yeah. So let’s take the feelings. That one was pretty straightforward, right? The word was right in there. He said, I was so happy. Right. So we have an idea. i It helps me to know how he felt in that moment. The specific behavior was that I had packed the food and easy take with you on the go containers. Right. That was the specific act that I did. And then the impact was that it had made his week easier. Right, it was one less thing he had to think about. And so that ties all of the pieces together for me, because if Jonathan had just said thanks for the food, I don’t really understand how significant that had been for him.
Adam Salgat 14:46
Right. And while it’s nice to hear that thanks for the food or I love you thanks for making the food or and while it is important to at least say that by taking a little bit extra time to explain why and And the impact of it, then, you know, I think it hits home a little deeper to you, right? I mean, it was your situation, I don’t want to, I don’t want to speak for you. But I can imagine, probably made your heart roll a little bit more than just hearing the I love you. Thanks for the food.
Speaker 3 15:15
Yeah, and not only did it mean more, but it also made me aware so that the next time that I was making food, right, I enjoyed that part. It’s not that hard for me to put extras in little containers. And it’s something that’s now on my radar. That wasn’t before.
Adam Salgat 15:30
I do want to ask what was in the containers because I’m hungry, I haven’t eaten breakfast. So I’m not gonna do that, because that doesn’t really fit our podcast. But the idea here about moving beyond gifts. Let’s talk a little bit about that. Because while physical items, I think of gifts, I always think of physical items. First, I don’t think that’s uncommon. I think a lot of people have a tendency to you hear the word gift and you think, wrapped something, or wrap something or something in a bag of physical item. But moving beyond those types of gifts, maybe you have some research or anything that you could contribute in the idea of like how these are long lasting effects and how they create a bond of marriage that would last for years.
Speaker 3 16:13
Yeah, when we look through Dr. John Gottman ‘s information, he really talks about how this building a culture of appreciation goes a really long way in establishing trust. And that friendship and friendship is a really important component in committed relationships. I mean, for multiple reasons, one who doesn’t want to have a really close friend that they get along with. And again, it continues to allow this dialogue to happen even when difficult conversations come up. Because the more that we are expressing appreciation back and forth, that trust builds up, we feel seen and known. We’re more intentional with our behaviors, and it all just kind of snowballs from there.
Adam Salgat 16:52
It makes a lot of sense. And it’s good that we more that we do this kind of thing that the longer and long lasting impact is going to have in our committed relationships, whether that is with our partner, or potentially friendships, or work relationships. So those are those are spaces that we definitely find important.
Speaker 3 17:11
Absolutely. The FBI process of recognition messages can be used with anyone and I know we’re talking about committed relationships today. But seeing the impact that it’s had on our two daughters has been huge, I actually found one that I’d written that my oldest daughter had kept in her bathroom mirror for about three years.
Adam Salgat 17:29
That’s really awesome. Yeah, that’s something that I’m gonna keep in mind more as my kids get older here. I tried to do it every once in a while with the girls, as they maybe clean the floor or take care of their plates, that kind of thing and explain to them, as you know why that’s important and why it’s helpful. There are times when we could tailor our message, or FBI statement to the person, right. So depending on what we know, is going to impact them or connect with them a little bit more. And one of the things that comes to mind is knowing their love language. There’s typically five love languages that are considered words of affirmation acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch, thinking about what’s going to make a biggest impact on who you’re sending that FBI statement to can make a big difference. And can you talk about that a
Speaker 3 18:18
little bit? Yeah, and Adam, I love that you tied it to the love languages, that’s one component that you can start to get to know better about your partner. For some of us, we’ve been through like disc, behavioral tendencies to understand Are people really more focused on the people side first, or the test side first, and all of these things you can take into account when you think of the impact statement. So if you think about FB, and I, the feeling is my feeling it is what it is, right? It’s how I feel the specific behaviors, what I noticed about the person, but really tailoring the impact is kind of for the other person, in my opinion. So for Jonathan, for example, if I were to get done saying, hey, when you took care of the girls homework assignments tonight, I felt so relieved. My natural inclination, impact wise would be say something like, it makes me feel even closer to you. Right, something like that. That’s about how I feel again, and that emotional connection. For Jonathan, I think it would mean more to him, If I could tailor the impact to say, it allowed me to get through all of my work projects. And now I can have more time together with you. Right? It’s that quality time that would appeal or the efficiency that I was able to have as a result.
Adam Salgat 19:30
That’s cool. That’s cool that you can kind of think about that, or, you know, take the moment to figure out what what’s gonna mean or connect with that person a little bit more. I just goes the next step further, right?
Speaker 3 19:40
Yeah. And it’s all about knowing your partner and it’s okay to have more than one impact. If you want to throw two of them in there. That would be fine too.
Adam Salgat 19:48
So our goal then is five messages to butter them up. Really bad news?
Speaker 3 19:56
No, the goal of all of this is to continue to look for things that you value and appreciate about your partner, and then share that with them in a way that is going to have a big impact. And everything that happens from there is just, what would you say? frosting on top? Is that the
Adam Salgat 20:15
frosting on the cake? Yeah, there we go. Any of those kinds of cliches that makes sense. And it’s one of those elements that as we move closer towards Valentine’s Day, as we in Michigan, drying it through, what I like to consider are dark season, season of winter, where it’s really easy to kind of get down in the dumps without as much sunshine and general warmth. It’s good to think about the things that we can do to have an impact around us to make us feel better to make us happier, to help people that we care about the most. That is one of the things I love about the our community lessons, class and communication skill set, is while I know it initially kind of looks at yourself, and you think about how it works in a work environment. I love how much it comes back home, the focus areas that we have now with parenting and committed relationships, being just as big as the other spaces. I look forward to continuing to grow in those spaces as organization.
Speaker 3 21:17
Adam, thank you so much for having this conversation. I think at first sometimes picking a small goal can be really helpful, right? So if it’s I want to try to appreciate verbally one thing a day for a while. And I know sometimes people talk about how it can feel a little bit scripted or my partner is going to know what I’m trying to do. And I often when couples share that say absolutely. And that’s okay, because what you’re trying to do is to continue to grow and your appreciation for your partner. So give each other a little grace and space if it feels a little bit clunky at first. And I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it starts to roll off your tongue as you get going. As
Adam Salgat 21:54
always a key takeaway, I think you’ve kind of already mentioned it, but maybe just one really quick thing. reiterate a key takeaway for our listeners.
Speaker 3 22:03
You have the choice on where you want to focus your attention as it comes to your partner’s behaviors. Pick a positive one.
Adam Salgat 22:13
That’s such a good way. But yes, I agree with that. And it also helps with the mindset. We keep picking a positive one and a little things aren’t as big of a deal. Thank you so much, Katie, I appreciate your time.
Unknown Speaker 22:23
Thanks for having me, Adam.