12 Ways to Encourage Your Spouse (and not be annoying)
Ask your spouse, what’s the thing they want the most from you. The #1 answer most husbands give is support and encouragement. There’s nothing better than having your spouse cheer you on when it matters most. It turns out that you are more likely to pursue rewarding challenges if you have a supportive partner.
That’s the lesson from a recent study by Carnegie University. In this study, researchers divided couples into two roles: a decision maker and a support provider. Then, they gave them a choice between completing a simple puzzle or competing for a cash prize in a public speaking competition.
Spouses with an encouraging partner were much more likely to take on the greater challenge. Plus, when they were surveyed 6 months later, they reported increased personal growth and happiness, along with stronger relationships.
The study also identified what behaviors you need to be helpful and encouraging rather than too pushy or passive.
Sometimes though, the encouragement stops being inspiring and can turn into nagging. This is where the annoying part comes in. Remember, it’s their goal not yours so give them the positive reinforcement they need without being annoying.
Overly enthusiastic cheerleading can also be a turn-off so keep it simple.
Let’s review the 3 essential elements of effective support, and how to use them.
Showing your enthusiasm, providing reassurance and focusing on the positive benefits are 3 powerful methods for encouraging your spouse.
First, let’s discuss the benefits of Showing Your Enthusiasm:
Try these 5 activities to show enthusiasm:
Below are some ways to show your enthusiasm without being an annoying screechy teenager.
- Participate with your spouse. By participating in your spouses passion, it shows encouragement and once you truly get into it, the enthusiasm is 100% authentic.
- Ask questions. Do you find it hard to take an interest in your spouse’s job or hobbies? Becoming more knowledgeable about them could stimulate your curiosity and show support and encouragement in a meaningful way. Ask them to share what they like most about their passion or ask them to teach you how it works.
- Give specific praise. Compliments mean more when they come from authentic admiration. Tell your spouse precisely what it is you admire about their new skill or how well they are doing in their new endeavor.
- Focus on your own wellness. How can you sound perky when you’re tired and hungry? Practice self-care by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. This way, when you share positive feedback, your energy and mindset is also positive which then feeds their enthusiasm for their new project.
- Manage stress. Having a rough day? Do your best to deal with it before you get home. Not bringing home stress will help you and your family stay in a positive mindset which will help everyone involved keep their spirits up. Remember, learning something new can be challenging so as much positive energy that can be had by all will be super beneficial.
Everyone needs a bit of reassurance. Especially when our insecurities flare up and try to get the best of us. Reassurance is a powerful way to give encouragement because we all need reminding that support and caring is just right around the corner if we need it. Try these ways to reassure your partner:
- Remind them of their WHY. When obstacles arise, encourage your spouse to focus on WHY they want to achieve this goal to begin with. Getting clear on your WHY keeps you both focused on achieving the goal, especially when things get challenging. And they will!
- Understand Limiting Beliefs will happen. Providing a sounding board so your spouse can recognize and overcome self-limiting beliefs that may be holding them back will give them the reassurance they need while staying clear on their ultimate goal. Be a role model by encouraging your spouse to going beyond their comfort zone. On the other side of this challenge will be a breakthrough.
- Remember the goals that have been previously achieved. Go over the things that you and your spouse have accomplished as individuals and also together. Sometimes we need a reminder of how many obstacles have been previously overcome. You will both feel more confident and empowered after this reminder.
- Get your home and office organized. Believe it or not, physical and mental clutter can trigger anxiety and keep you both focused on the negative. Cleanliness and order breed positive energy and productivity will have room to grow and support the goals to be achieved.
Focus on the positive benefits
It’s easier to take risks when you think about the benefits. Cultivate a cheerful outlook. Your hopefulness is contagious so your spouse will pick up on it too.
Turn these actions into daily habits:
- Look on the bright side. Find the advantages present in any situation. Keep a list of the things you and your spouse have to be grateful for, including each other.
- Reframe challenges. Look at setbacks as opportunities to learn. Give your partner a chance to express their feelings, and then move on. Direct your energy to coming up with solutions.
- Make adjustments to your environment. What types of influences surround you and your spouse? Be selective about the media you consume and search for inspiring stories. Draw inspiration from other successful individuals who have achieved the level of which your spouse is striving for.
Supporting your spouse can make you happier and more successful as a couple and as individuals. Nourish your relationship with enthusiasm, reassurance, and optimism.