We’ve always known that compassion is good for the soul. But more and more it’s proving beneficial for the body and longevity as well. One recent study has shown that a compassionate or loving statement said in a couple’s spat can help lower a woman’s risk of heart disease. But no matter how bad the fight is, if a woman doesn’t hear any positive words she is at an elevated risk for the disease no matter how subtle or explosive the fight actually was. This shows how important compassion is.
Being more compassionate toward your partner then is key not only for both of you in terms of health and well-being but for the relationship itself. Oftentimes when we get into an argument we are so caught up in being right that we tend to disregard how our words are hurting our significant other, and what the consequences of that will be in the future. Instead, when things get a little heated, take a step back, a deep breath, and a time out. Say something positive to your lover and agree to couch the issue until a later date. Find ways to calm yourself that are healthy. Don’t only think about yourself or dwell on your position. Instead, walk a mile in your partner’s shoes and see how it feels to be them, and how you would feel from their point of view. How would they view you?
If your partner fails to notice something you’ve worked very hard on, instead of blowing up, understand that they have that big meeting on Tuesday and are a little preoccupied. Give them a nudge in a joking or positive manner. If they’re worth your time they’ll come around, probably even apologize. Remember that we are all human. We are victims to fate, our own biology, we make mistakes, get in bad moods, are irritable and sometimes, just want everyone and everything to go away. That said, give your partner some space.
If they lash out at you but have been stressed lately, instead of reacting with vitriol, take a step back. Why might they be acting like this? Let the matter go and check with them sometime later. Are they okay? Is there anything they’d like to talk about? Giving them the option to talk about and work through a problem out in the open will do amazing things for your relationship. Sometimes we are angry, tired, stressed out and just need a break. But instead of letting the emotions build up and then lashing out at your partner, find another healthier way to relax and deal with your stress. Show great compassion toward your partner and you’ll be setting a tone, whereby you’ll be receiving great compassion in return. For more advice read, The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationships by George S. Pransky, Ph.D.