Be Aware of Your Capacity to Affect Your Partner’s Emotional and Physical Health?

Brain research shows us that we are much more relational then we thought we were and so much a part of “we” in the world then we previously thought. What that means in relationship is that we have the potential to effect our partner for good or for bad. I remember when I was in grad school, long before we had the great brain research we have today, we did a little experiment. In the greater class the professor asked for a volunteer. He tested this person’s energy / strength by pressing down on their arm, while the person pushed up. We then sent the person out of the room, closed the door and thought negative thoughts about them. At that point the volunteer returned to the room and the professor tested their energy / strength again using the same method. The volunteer’s muscles were too weak to hold their arm up at all. As she did not know what we were doing, she was greatly surprised (as were we!). We then sent the poor soul back out of the room again and thought positive thoughts about them. When tested again, their muscles were strong again. I remember being amazed at the impact we could have on others, just with our silent thoughts.

That seems pretty profound to me. Are you taking that responsibility on in your relationship? Is it your intention to watch out for your partner’s emotional health? Do you direct your energy towards positive interactions together? Do you think positive thoughts about your partner often? Do you give your partner the loving gift of your touch? One idea that I recently heard was to choose a couple of words that you want to be for your partner and whenever you are about to connect with your partner you bring to mind those 2 words that you intend to be for your partner. For instance, if I chose loving and supportive, when I walked into the house at the end of the day, I would be sure to give my partner a loving touch, say words of love such as I missed you today and then I would see what I might do to support him or her in our time together. These ideas are some ideas that Gottman found in his research to predict whether or not your relationship will sustain and be happy. Use this information to go forth and be wonderful today!