It’s easy to take things for granted, especially when you see them as a duty. Just the same, it is easy to take people for granted, especially when you’re with them all the time. This is particularly true in a relationship; specifically a romantic one.
When you share a home with someone it is quite easy to see chores or other duties as necessary without need for reinforcement. The trash has to be taken out, the dishes have to be washed, the laundry won’t do itself, right? Right. However, does anyone really enjoy doing these things? Not particularly. So, just how it is easy to take things and people for granted, it’s easy to get burnt out or to feel unappreciated.
This is where empathy comes into play (stick around this site for a while and you’ll see that empathy is a big part of what I preach). Take a moment and think about the last time you did a chore around the house. It doesn’t matter what it was; it could be cleaning a room or washing the car. Whatever it is, did your partner thank you for doing it? Probably not. Now think about the last time your partner did a chore around the house. Did you thank them? Probably not, right?
Now think about how you would feel if after you washed the car or cleaned a room your partner said thank you. You both know that whatever the chore was needed to be done by someone, but imagine getting appreciation for being the one who did it. That would feel kind of nice, right?
One thing that my husband and I always try to do is show appreciation for each other. Although I tend to be more verbal in showing love and my husband is more actionable, this is something both of us can do that doesn’t take any time, yet makes a big difference.
I know I don’t have to thank him for mowing the lawn and he knows that he doesn’t have to thank me for cleaning the kitchen, but we also know that it makes the other person feel nice to be appreciated so we do it anyway. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. When my husband thanks me for doing something that I would have done regardless, it makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference.
The next time your partner does a chore around the house, thank them. I guarantee they’ll appreciate the appreciation.