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SELF-HELP COLUMN

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at
(847) 498-5611.


Acceptance: How to Make Your Partner Feel Safe and Cared About

Acceptance is the brass ring you and your partner are seeking from your relationships. Acceptance is positive regard for someone else without conditions for caring. Acceptance softens and comforts. It opens doors and lower barriers that two people erect between each other.

The need for acceptance bubbles underneath the surface of any interaction you have with another human being. You may feign indifference. Or you may have made acceptance the lord of your existence. Or perhaps you have found some middle ground. But the need is there, getting stepped on, being titillated, spreading warmth throughout your being.

Caring and acceptance are something both you and your partner desperately want. When you talk about finding happiness, what you really mean is finding someone who will care for you and accept you. Acceptance communicates to your partner, “I am for you. I care about your needs and interests. I am committed to those things that you care about. You are worth my time and attention.”

When people really connect in a relationship, they express acceptance and affection. The act of caring provides the warmth between individuals that we all love and acceptance is the embodiment of affection between two people.

Acceptance is really very simple. No sophisticated psychology is needed. I’m talking about the tenderness of the human condition, the soft underbelly of the hard exteriors we create. When that underbelly is pierced, you hurt and you don’t forget—it’s just one more incident added to a long list. When your tenderness is honored, you don’t forget that either. A little more of who you are is able to come out, delivering kindness to your partner, more receptive to the offerings of your partner, thereby expanding the presence of love and respect between two of you.

Bridge Builder’s Checklist
1.) Commit to seeing your partner for who they are.
2.) Commit to empowering your partner to express their voice.
3.) Commit to supporting your partner.
4.) Commit to not trying to change your partner.
5.) Commit to not judging your partner.
6.) Commit to not trying to fix your partner.
7.) Commit to not shaming your partner.
8.) Commit to not blaming your partner.

For more information about how to create acceptance in your relationship, read chapter 7 (Acceptance) in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. free online book, Building Better Bridges: Creating Great Relationships With the People Who Matter Most and read the section on Acceptance in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. free online book, Making Molehills Out of Mountains.

G.B.U.

Steve



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