Self Expression Magazine

Small Things Matter: Encouragement

Posted on the 10 October 2013 by Raina

When we were kids, our parents encourage us to achieve our goals. As we grow up and move away from our parents, we need someone to tell us that we still have it in us. That role is usually taken up by our better half. There is a slight difference between parents and better half. Parents could criticize and punish us if we did not do our job well. That is not the case with our (potential) spouse. We are equal partners and we are on the same team so, we need to understand that punishing or criticizing would be a disaster to our relationship. Subtle criticism wrapped in lovable words can work its magic, but we need to be very careful not to sound like we are disappointed with them. That is a very faint line and never cross it.

As a couple, we (D and I) rely on each other for encouragement. When the whole world is standing against me, I look up to “D” to find the warmth. Sometimes the real picture may be dark, but I want “D” to tell me that it is bright and shiny. I usually try to make “D” aware of anything that is bothering me because I would rather communicate and get it out of the way than bottle up. “D” has always been a great listener. Even on the days when I feel I hate myself with the last ounce of blood I got he gives me strength to look forward to a better tomorrow. Therefore, I consider that God put him in my life for a very good reason. I also make a point to ask “D” how his day went at school/work so he can tell me if something is bothering him.

As I said before I finished my medical school in India, and so I need to take medical boards in USA to start my medical residency. This process is as tiring as it can be frustrating at times. There are four exams I need to pass, and so I have been preparing for these tests for a while now. Some days I slack off because of my “PJ syndrome” which is nothing but staying in the PJs all day long makes you lazy and procrastinate. If I dress up to avoid the PJ syndrome, then I feel like really going out so, either way is not fruitful. I act like a slacker all day long and start getting anxious about not studying around 9PM. I try to study then, but my brain does not think clearly because of anxiety. Therefore, by the time “D” is back from work I would be really upset with myself. When I tell “D” how disappointed I am in myself, he calms me down and tells me that it is okay, I will do better tomorrow. He might be enabling me but what would it mean to our relationship if he expresses his disappointment and goes on a rant.

I really appreciate him being so patient with me, and it taught me to be patient with him. Recently tables were turned when one day he woke up late in the morning. He had a weekly quiz that day, and he did not wake up when his alarm went off. He reached the school five minutes before the exam was going to end. He called me later to tell me what happened. I said, “that’s okay. Don’t worry. It is just a quiz, and you did not mean to do it. Mistakes do happen sometimes, and I do not want you to beat yourself up.” He was surprised by my reaction, and said that he expected me to go berserk on him. I did not go crazy on him because of two reasons. One he is disappointed in himself so what is the point in me giving him an earful and two I know he did not mean to miss the test. “D” is a very responsible person so some negligence here and there is acceptable to me.

Whenever “D” gets a low score on quizzes he gets really frustrated. At that time, my role is to tell him it is okay and try to encourage him to work harder for the next time. I try to cheer him up because if he is disheartened too much he might stop trying after a certain point. At the same time, I try to give him some constructive criticism disguised as a suggestion. I feel like the tone is really important here because as I said before I do not want to sound like I am disappointed in him.

In conclusion, what I want to say is yes, our goals are important but the highest priority is our relationship. Happiness at home transforms to success at work this is the formula I believe in. Enabling is bad but destructive criticism is worst we need to find a balance to encourage each other without costing our relationship. In addition, when he is down I find telling him how awesome he is, really boosts him, and “D” does the same for me too. I actually tell “D” he is the best several times during a day because let’s face it; he is the best. :D

Therefore, today’s small things matter- Encouragement. Always encourage your other half and tell them how awesome they are. It will work magic for you because everyone loves to hear that they are awesome.

Comment down below to tell me about the small things you do for you sweetie.

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