#64: Praise in relationships, thanking your partner, what if your partner doesn’t thank you, how we include this in our marriage, & praise as a valid need
We all need words of affirmation, even if (and sometimes especially when) we don’t think we do. Jordan & I talk about how we praise each other in our marriage.
For me, gratitude and sharing it out loud was not innate, and I share how I learned it from Jordan and how I relate to it, and Jordan shares how it feels for him. We talk about what to do when your partner is resistant or says “you shouldn’t need that.”
Praise, thanks, and gratitude are some of the best ways to make your relationship stronger and more resilient in the long run.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Full episode transcript:
Hello. Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Demetra Gray Show. This is the first episode of the New Year.
Oh, that’s fun
And we have, clearly, we have <laugh> a special guest. I wonder if you could guess who it is. You all already have seen it in the title
But I wonder people probably recognize your voice.
It’s me, I’m her husband <laugh>.
So it’s Demetra and Jordan Gray today.
Hello. Thanks for having me so much. I appreciate the opportunity. <laugh>. <laugh>.
And actually, I do wanna say that I had polled people to, to, uh, to ask them what they wanted to hear more about
In your stories.
Yes. In my stories. And people really like listening to you being on, and they like the episode with my dad, like people being on sometimes besides just me. And I think they’ll be really pleased because Jordan and I have a plan this year, um, to, especially over the next couple months to do some more stuff together than we have been. So mm-hmm.
You can expect to hear some more of Jordan
<laugh>. What a treat.
<laugh> a bit more frequency than you have maybe been used to. Nice. Um, but I wanted Jordan to join me today because I wrote a post the other day about praise and the importance of praise and relationship. And it’s just been such a big thing for us. And I think it’s such a key thing that is missing and a lot of relationships that people just don’t intentionally cultivate. And I wanted to talk about it together today, just more in depth, um, because actually, like, I feel like I really learned this from Jordan. Hmm.
<laugh>. That’s nice.
From our relationship.
Well, yeah. But like, I think that the extent, like sure, maybe I’ve thanked partners or like, been appreciative ever, but I, in a large way until I met you, I had a strong undercurrent that got softer as I got older. But like, I just had a big, um, I, I mean, ultimately I think it was like resentment of men where I didn’t want to praise my partner.
Yeah. That would get in the way.
<laugh>. Well, I didn’t wanna praise my partner because I felt like, like he did so little. I think a lot of women feel this way that like he does so little compared to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, uh, like why, like, if he does something, I shouldn’t have to thank him for doing it because, and I saw that in my parents for sure. Yeah. Um, it was just like he did, um, yeah, I just saw like my dad do, like my mom’s frame especially was like my dad did so little compared to her mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which wasn’t necessarily true, you know, he was working and all that. But, um, I think that’s, it’s missing in relationships, I think, because people don’t wanna be the first one to like really shower their partner and praise.
Yeah. I mean, to any relationship that’s primarily based in ego, it feels like a loss of power. Like, oh, if I acknowledge or like bolster them in any way, then like I’m losing something by doing that. And that’s not just the women to men thing. Like Yeah. Like every person on the planet can formulate one or multiple stories about why they’re totally, you know, correct and valid in not doing the thing because, well, I carry the all the way to this specific pillar of our relationship, of our, of our lives and like, yeah. It’s such a easy cop out of a thing to hide behind that. Again, anyone has access to that. Like, I’ve heard men say the exact same thing for opposite reasons. Like when you say like, oh, like, you know, it’s a common thing for women. It’s like, it’s a common thing for people. Yeah. It’s, it’s just, it’s easy to go. Like, why should I have to, you know, they’re not blah, blah, blah. It’s like, okay, enjoy. Yeah. You know, have fun. Is this dynamic serving you? Do you love feeling bogged down in heavy resentment for life? Because you can choose that, but it sounds like a nightmare.
Well, I think too, the, the thing I learned from you wasn’t just the praise, it was the, like, something that we do a lot in our relationship that I’ve never experienced before is how much we thank each other for things, even like long after the fact. Hmm. Like after it’s happened. And that’s definitely something that you did. And I just learned by like, you were never like, detr, I want you to praise me in these exact ways. Yeah. It was more like I just learned by,
I just did it,
What’s it called? O omission? No. Um, where Osmosis. Osmosis. Yeah. Yeah. I just learned by like being around,
Learned by my
Modeling. You doing it. Yeah.
Me being that way.
And so you’ve often praised me, like, thanked me for things many days or months later. Hmm. It’s like I’ve done something that you’re still thanking me for
And like a trend or a pattern or even like an isolated thing. Like
What do you not know that you do this?
Not, no, not like, I’m trying to think of what an example would be and I don’t.
Okay. Well, how many You’re wearing these gray sweatpants? Yeah. How many times have you thanked me for them since I got them for you? Which was two months ago
At least. Like 20 <laugh>. Yeah. Okay. Right.
You know, like,
I, I love them. They bring me joy every time I use them. Yeah. So it’s, it’s never far from my mind. I’m like, I still love these so much. Yeah. Okay. True.
Yeah. And so how many times have you thanked me for moving to Canada?
That’s nice. Yeah, I do do that. Okay.
Yeah, I think like every few months or so, I feel like you thanked me for moving to Canada even though I moved like, I don’t know, years ago. Yeah. Over three years ago.
Coming up on four years ago. Yeah. Yeah. I wonder, I’m like, I am thinking like, wonder what, like the origin of that is if it’s, you know, the like nature versus nurture thing. I, I think it’s always both. Like it could be my nature and I’ve always been like this since I was a, I don’t know what toddler, but you know, like younger kid. Um, and there’s probably reasons that I could piece, uh, you know, take out of like how this would’ve been cultivated for different reasons, but who knows. Yeah.
Do you feel like your family was praise oriented? Like were your parents?
Um, there definitely was praise. I, I don’t know if I would say to the same extent as me. Um, cause I do have memories of, I forget if it was one or both my parents, but I remember at least one of my parents acknow. Like, I overheard them acknowledging to one of their, you know, adult friends that like, I had to thank like, yeah. I had to thank them for certain aspects of their parenting repeatedly or years after the fact. Like, I remember them saying like, oh, like Jordan’s like really aware of these types of things and yeah. That they reflected, I don’t know if they reflected it to me at any point, but I at least overheard them acknowledging the same piece in me to other people. Yeah. And I was like, oh, okay. I guess that’s a thing.
Well, it seems to me, you know what I think, I think that you have a innate way of like, I think you just see a lot of good and you name it when you see it.
So I think it’s just, it’s natural to you to like, each time you put on your gray sweatpants, like someone else might think to themselves like, oh yeah, I really like these, but like, you’re just like, these make me so happy. Like, thank you. This was so thoughtful.
Yeah. And I think that like, for me, the relationship is tied into the thing. Cause it’s not just, these are my pants, you know, my parents have been my pants forever. It’s like, these pants are a result of my wife doing a thoughtful thing for me. Like they feel intrinsically tied to you and that never goes away. Yeah. So maybe it’s just my awareness of, you know, not just relationships with people, but like Yeah. My relationship to things, to nature, to whatever. Like, yeah. I just always, I think I just so see the world through the lens of everything is relationships, whether it’s with a human or not. So maybe that’s it. It just feels like this will forever be imbued with your like, thoughtfulness and care and that just never leaves mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, yeah.
Yeah. And I mean, for me, that was not <laugh> innate <laugh>. Right. So we’re share like, to, you can learn to do this for sure. Um, it just seems to be a quality that you naturally really have. Yeah. Um, but for me, the way that I think about it like now is that I intentionally, or Yeah, like all intentionally, if I have a thought, I say it out loud. Like that’s kind of a, a, um, a thing that I do consciously myself in our relationship.
You think maybe you would’ve, like, you feel like you’ve had a similar number of thoughts about it in the past, but you would just withhold, like, you would just be like, that’s not worth you of being verbalized. Whereas now the thoughts are still there, you just externalize them.
You know? I think part of it is like a, I think before I would’ve had some of the thoughts Yeah. But I also think that there was a way that I, I think there’s an element of also letting yourself feel gratitude.
And I don’t think like that can be quite a vulnerable thing. Yep. Like if I really sit here and I’m like, wow, like thank you so much. Like, if I let myself feel in my body, even if I didn’t say it out loud to you, just the act of letting myself feel grateful in my body for something that you did, you know, or things in general. But like, it’s a vulnerable feeling. It feels like it opens me up to having it taken away. Yeah.
Fear of loss.
Yeah. And so I think that it wasn’t so much that I was trying to, um, like that I was thinking them all the time and wasn’t saying them. It was like, and I wonder if it, it’s this way for a lot of people that it’s, it’s not really a Oh, I am, I just don’t wanna tell my partner these things. But it’s like the root of it is inside themselves of I don’t even want to let myself feel grateful. Yeah. And a large part of that too is or can be any resentment toward their partner of, um, like if I, if I sit here and let myself feel really grateful for the relationship, does that mean that I’m not acknowledging all these ways that it’s lacking? Right. You know, like it has to be one or the other. I can’t simultaneously have both. Do both. Yeah. So I think that what has really shifted when I really feel into it in my body is that I let myself have the thoughts, oh, somebody is at our door
That, and they’re at the door that no one ever comes to
And it has a sign on it that says, don’t come to the door.
Good morning. Hello. How are you? Good, how are you? Good. Mark’s my name. And this is Vernon. Where? From the kingdom hall. Okay. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it as you drove by No. Into town, but it’s a little yellow beside the community center. No, sure. That’s where we were here. Oh, are you? Oh, okay. This is an invitation to our meetings. We opened up the Kingdom hall after a couple of years. You closed cut cause of the covid thing and people to know we’re back, encouraging people to come, and there’s some good news for a change. Gotcha. Do you use a bible? No, we don’t. <laugh> an interesting thought in the Bible that as no one doesn’t have the intentions that we see hardships make things better for us. Leave that bible. Cool. Okay. Thank you so much Jordan. Mark. Okay. Have a good one.
Lock it if you want.
Oh, I wish you could hear that on the podcast, but I don’t know if it carried quite that far. Yeah. I knew it was Jehovah’s Witness as soon as they said Kingdom Hall. I didn’t know you didn’t. I was gonna show as that Jehovah’s Witness, but then I didn’t wanna be rude. This
Is, and speaking of differences in people, this is, you know, or I, I have a longer, longer leash, longer tolerance for politeness. You might be like, oh, thanks. I’m not interested. You just, you’d shut it down quick, pastor.
I don’t know. We might have to cut that whole part out. Yeah. But I do, I would’ve been, I would’ve answered it as soon as they said Kingdom Hall, I would’ve said, oh, are you Jehovah’s Witnesses? And they would’ve said yes, and I would’ve said, I’m not interested. Yeah. <laugh>, goodbye. I love them. Shut
The door. Do a minute of spiel. Where were we?
Letting themselves, letting ourselves feel it. Gratitude.
Yeah. I think I was just saying that letting ourselves, um, that it can be a big thing to let ourselves feel it in our bodies and to mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, that you can’t have both. Like, sometimes people feel like they can’t both have the resentment and the right, um, gratitude.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which yeah, I think the, like, you know, the shred of validity of that is like Yeah. Either the whole thing of like, go into a relationship or go into a relationship, go into a marriage with your eyes wide open, but then like, get married with like rose colored glasses on kind of thing. Um, yeah. It’s like you should be launching yourself over the threshold of like, this is a relationship that does holistically really meet my needs. And so I can open up to the, you know, the vulnerability of the gratitude and appreciation and the joy and the magic of it. Um, and not needing to like track the things that you could build resentment over. It’s like, is the thing actually it for you? And then Okay. Steep yourself in the good stuff.
Right. So are you saying like, question the rela like make sure the relationship is one you wanna be in first or? Yeah.
Just for people that, like if they’d ha if they genuinely feel like there’s only these, like slivers you were talking about, like the gratitude versus the like, oh, if it means this then I, I’m not tracking the things that could be improved. It’s like, well if the relationship isn’t for you, then fine. That’s a different conversation.
Right. Yeah. We’re not saying like, if you’re in a shitty relationship, just like Yeah. Shower and praise and then it will be better. Yeah. Necessarily <laugh>.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It’s not a panacea of like falseness that you just get to
No, I think this is more for people who know that they’re in a solid relationship Yeah. That they want to be in. Yeah. And they know that they do feel grateful for their partners mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it’s, it’s just not a part of their natural relating with one another mm-hmm. <affirmative> to name the, the praise and the thing. Totally. And I think it, it’s such a, it brings so much more into the relationship. Yep. Like to, to constantly be ha like I, the way it feels to me is that we have a constant dialogue of praise going
I don’t know if it registers as much to you, but it, it feels to me like, like they’re, we probably tell each other like 30 times a day how things
That we’re grateful for and appreciating each other.
Oh no, I was gonna say <laugh> 30 times a day just about our appearance.
Aw, that’s, yeah, you’re
Right. So this is amazing cuz I feel like you don’t No, it’s such a, but you have this so naturally Yeah. That you like, you kind of praise everyone. <laugh>. And you said that your friend said that about you once, that like, you just are not like, he’s never met someone as pre as oriented as you. Yep. You, um, are like, how many times have we been out at a grocery store or something and you like tell the cashier you like her eyebrows or her makeup or her. Right. Like, you just, it, it’s just you feel things and you name them.
Yeah, I do.
And I think, um, but for me, because I did not, I actually kind of had the opposite <laugh>, you know, like I was made fun of a lot and like there it was more criticism mm-hmm. <affirmative> than praise. Like, I got praised if I excelled at something when I was young.
Yeah. Not go on.
This, it, it sounds like you were saying like a delineation is like you received more criticism whereas I received a lot of praise. No, you counted. Okay. Yeah.
No. Right. That’s not the case at all cuz Jordan was heavily bullied,
Stomped on. Yeah.
But, um, I guess I’m just saying that for me personally, separate from you mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that it just really, I didn’t do it and people around me didn’t do it.
And it was not a natural thing for me.
And so for me being in our relationship, I think about it daily.
Do you <laugh>?
Yes. Nice. I think about like, because like we literally must say at least 30 times a day, I’m just like, you are so handsome. Yeah. And you’ll be like, you have such a cute face.
You’re so cute. I love your little walk. Yeah,
True. Like you are constantly Yeah. We’re constantly at, and and I will also say that some people that may sound sickening, like to me
And fine. Like
That’s Yeah. And you don’t have to have it to that extent
And it can be sickening because there’s envy in it. Well, yeah. But of like, oh, I’m so not allowed that Wow.
Well, that’s what I was gonna say is that for me, 10 years ago I would’ve looked at us and been like, that is disgusting. Yeah. I do not want anything like that ever. Totally. Um, just the amount of like loving and like praise, like mm-hmm.
<affirmative>. Yeah. Cause it’s not, and maybe this is like just still an edge for me, but like, it’s not in like baby voice, like we’re, you know. No. And like that part, like that can still be a, a thing for me that when I see adults doing it a lot, I’m like, okay, that’s, you know, <laugh> a little off. But because that doesn’t register as like, you know, loving or tenderness to me. Yeah. We just like, you know, say things, you know, just like factually and with love and of Yeah. It’s like, I love this about you, like, think this, it just, it just, yeah. It just feels like this like overflowing, genuine thing that just like, of course deserves to be expressed. Like, even if it’s like redundant or like, oh, they know. It’s like, and you know, like there’s just, there’s always value to it.
But Yeah. It doesn’t feel, yeah. For me it definitely doesn’t feel like a conscious choice. It’s just like, I’m feeling this, she should know. Here it is. Yeah. You know, just like, it just goes
Well, it has become more that way for me as like I just say it out loud Yeah. When I’m feeling it mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but yeah, you’re right. It’s not like a Oh, you’re so handsome, you’re
Good. Oh, my <laugh>, that’s, we definitely don’t do that.
No. It’s more just like, like we’re in the middle of a conversation. I’ll just be like, you are so handsome.
And I think, um, the other thing that, that has the, like, I think people in general are so praise motivated. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think and,
And praise starved
And praise starved
Just like the world, not just in relationships, just people.
And I think that people think, like, what I’ve heard a lot from women is that when they ask their partner for more praise, he’s like, you shouldn’t need that. Hmm. Like, I’ve heard that a bunch and I’ve had that in relationship is when I have named my partner, like, I would like to be acknowledged more for things. Right. The response is like, you shouldn’t need, like, why do you need that from me? Like, you shouldn’t need that.
Yeah. Which again, is just the expression of someone who’s as starved for it. It like, to me that’s, that’s the exact same thing as someone being like, you know, someone who’s like really emotionally repressed and really has a lot of buried pain in their bodies and hearing someone close to them is like going to therapy. It’s like, why, why? You know, like, I don’t let myself have that. You shouldn’t either. And like them asking for a thing subconsciously highlights, oh, I also desperately have this need and I’ve never allowed it for myself. So why do you need, that is the exact same thing as well, you know, saying, why do I need that? I don’t need that. None, none of us need it. It’s like, what if we all really do
<laugh>? Yeah. Well I also, it makes me think of like, to put it in a completely different context, like people who don’t eat breakfast, it’s like, I
Thought you were gonna say meat, but, but
Totally. But I, same thing. That’d be a whole other thing. Yeah. But, um, yeah, like if every mor if I’m like, I really need breakfast, like right when I wake up and then the other people are like, like I don’t eat breakfast when I, when I wake
Up. I don’t eat until I until 11 o’clock and I’m great. It’s like, okay. Like <laugh>. Sure. And,
And have you tried eating right when you wake up? Like there’s just, yeah. You know?
Yeah. I think there’s a lot of things and, and this is like, again, back to like this cultural culture of deprivation. Like yes, there are many things we can live for many decades with, or live many decades without. Yeah. Like, yeah, I, I don’t doubt that you can live a super long time without going to concerts, with skipping breakfast, without eating meat, without doing X, y, Z. It’s like, like, yes you can. And like, are we really here? You know, the chance of you being born is one in 400 trillion. Literally the fact that you exist as a person in this lifetime. And so like, are we here to just like barely exist and like, oh, I can get away with no praise and I don’t need that <laugh>. It’s like, it just, it’s this, it’s that same like white knuckled gripping that’s like, sure, hey, you don’t need nourishment.
You don’t need, you know, deep love tenderness. And what could life be with these things? Like what if you had these things that currently feel like superfluous more than enough, you know, overflow, non necessities. Like yes, it’s not oxygen. And what if it is oxygen to different cells in your body that really crave it? And what if you were just steeped in that thing for years? Could life be 1% better? Probably. And like, why not stack all those things in our favor? Like John Gottman, the head of the Gottman Institute, who’s like, you know, just like the great grandfather of the relationship industry, you know, did all this research, I don’t remember if it was sixth one or 10 to one, but he said there was this, like this golden ratio of, you know, praise or, you know, loving tender positive moments in a relationship.
Two moments of, you know, tension, conflict, whatever a, a gentler word is for those things. Dissonance. Um, and that all successful marriages had at least a ratio of either six, one or 10 to one. It was a, it was an even number. But yeah, to me it just like, you’re so stacking the deck in your favor when if we’re both steeped in full awareness of the things that we love about each other on a daily basis, then when the inevitable hard times come just because life is lifey and there will be challenges, you know, death of family members or points of conflict, values, tension, et cetera. Like yeah. You’re just, you’re both already, like the bank account has been so filled up with these positive things that you’re just so much more resilient to life and to those hard times.
And I think it makes everything better because when you’re praised for something, then you wanna keep doing it typically mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, or at least whether you, maybe you’re gonna do it like whether or not you get praised for it, but I guarantee that if you’re praised for it, you’ll be happier when you’re doing it.
Yeah. And because you just know like this is landing for them. Yeah.
Yeah. And this means a lot when I do
This, this I know that they feel loved because they’ve explicitly told me so from this behavior in the past. So Yeah. It’s like it’s, the doing of it is more enjoyable whether or not they acknowledge that round or instance of it because you’re like, I know that I’m loving them in a way that’s received. Yeah. And like that just, that’s a gift as you’re doing it.
Yeah. Well that’s what I think of that with you doing the dishes. Yeah. Because Jordan does the dishes every day pretty much mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, I might not thank you a hundred percent of the time, but I think I thank you most of the time, even if it’s with just like a comment of like, thanks for doing the dishes, but every once in a while on a night where I’m really tired or just like, I’d get a rush of like,
Well, there’s a lot of dishes.
Yeah. Or I’m just like, thank God I didn’t have to do that. Like, then I say it out loud to you and I like say more like, I’ll, I won’t just be like, thanks for doing the dishes. Like, oh, I have to like sit, like, you know, it’s just a expression of the actual gratitude I’m feeling, which is like, thank you so much for doing these. I’m so glad that I didn’t have to do them. I’m feeling really tired tonight and it just, it means so much mm-hmm. <affirmative> that I didn’t have to do them just now.
Yeah. And this is, you know, similar to the, the sweatpants thing of like, you could acknowledge the dishes being done less often and me, like each time I’m doing them, it just, the act now feels imbued with this is me loving her mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it just, it is, when I put on my sweatpants, I feel like I’m just like wrapping your heart and care and thoughtfulness around my legs and I feel loved every minute that I’m wearing them. And when I’m doing dishes I’m like, I know this matters to her. And it just, yeah, it just like quadruples my enjoyment of doing it. Like I, you know, I don’t know if I’d say like, I enjoy doing dishes a lot more than you, but like my threshold for it being bothersome is just way lower. But knowing that it makes you feel loved makes it enjoyable probably to some extent of like, or similar extent of you making food mm-hmm. <affirmative> that you know, I’m gonna love. Cause you’re like, this isn’t just like fun and meditative and creative and I’m making a thing. It’s like, he will love this soon. And that I do <laugh>. Yeah. And it just, yeah. Everything is better as a result.
Well I feel like pretty much every meal I’ve ever made you are like, thank you so much. This is so tasty.
Well it’s because you’re such a phenomenal cook <laugh>,
But that makes me want to cook more. Yeah. And it makes it enjoyable and it, it, yeah. I think another part that I was gonna touch on is that not only does do I think that it makes the person enjoy doing it more, but for me, I feel like it’s transformed me like as a person in the sense of after three and whatever, three and a half years mm-hmm. <affirmative> of you telling me how much you love the shape of my face mm-hmm. <affirmative> and like my eyebrows and these thi like hearing it over and over and over and over again. You’re my closest person in my life. And so now it’s so natural for me to, like, I see myself in the mirror and I’m like, look at this shape of my face. Like look at my cute eyebrows <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s just like, it, you’re, you being the closest person to me and saying these things all the time has overridden my own internal dialogue mm-hmm. <affirmative> my internal narrative a lot of the time.
Previous messages you’d received.
Yeah. Yeah. And so I think that like, there are a lot of different things about me that you’ve praised that now I think of with love because of that. And so then when you think about that, like when, if you extend that into the relationship as a whole, and it’s like if you praising each other constantly in a relationship, it’s just building you both up Yeah. And making you more whole less people because you’re sitting around being like, like someone really loves this about me and like, I can love this about me. And like, all of these things make me inherently valuable just for being me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, you’re gonna have a better relationship automatically because you are both feeling better about yourselves Yeah. In general.
Totally. Yeah. I mean the, the people that have the greatest impact on our internal dialogue are, are family of origin and our significant others. So, and generally, you know, the former is earlier in life and the latter is later in life. So Yeah. I mean, all the social psychologists, social scientists who talk about like, the greatest decision you can make for your long-term health and happiness is the partner that you, you know, our partnered with for many decades. Yeah. Like why not have someone who is a deep, you know, co-conspirator ally in bolstering your internal dialogue and having you feel awesome about yourself. Like just yeah. Everything good comes from that place.
Yeah. It really reminds me of food where it’s like the difference between being well fed and like, like sure I can get buy on 1500 calories a day and I’ll probably survive for a long time and I’ll be kind of miserable and tired and grumpy,
But I do have any glucose and my brain is functioning.
Yeah. Like technically I don’t need more like I’m living Yeah. Versus eating, you know, 2200, 2300 and being like happy mm-hmm. <affirmative> and just like feeling great day to day and having energy when I wake up.
Like it’s, there’s a difference. And I definitely was very, someone in the past I remember sitting in therapy and just being like, what are people’s like needs though? Like, I think I remember therapist giving me a list, like a physical of like needs. Yeah. Beauty was one of them. Yeah. And I remember that just in, I was like, beauty is a need. I was like, beauty is a need, like it is a need of mine. But I never knew that I was allowed, was allowed to have beauty be a need. Totally. Because to me it was like, the way that I thought about myself was just like, I kind of felt, I felt annoyed at myself for needing anything other than the very basic things that would allow me to survive. Yeah. Like you have shelter, you have whatever food, like you’re fine. Yeah. Just like, get
Over it. You have clothes, move on. Yeah.
<laugh>. And yeah, I think seeing beauty on that list, it like started to open me up to more things. And so when people are, people say their partners are like, well why do you need that? It’s like, of course you need like, you are a human and why would you withhold something from your partner and that you, you know, is gonna make them feel good. Mm-hmm.
And I think also in doing in, uh, intentionally praising, I think you discover we end up discovering things that we didn’t necessarily know meant that much to our partners. And, um, part of this I think too came from the loveless, we can talk about this in a moment, but like, when I think about that, I think about like holding your head in public. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like sometimes Jordan will be sitting and I’ll walk over to him and just like hug him and like put his head on my chest and just give him a hug like that. And he, that’s certainly a thing. Remember when we were at, what’s that cafe in Vancouver? The coffee shop where I first did it?
I don’t know.
Yes. Uh, it was really close to, uh, your kit’s apartment. It’s in kit. We went there and we sat out. Yeah,
No, I can picture it. I just dunno the name of the place.
It’s been too many years.
Well, we were there, we were at this coffee shop and uh, I just happened to what, for whatever reason that day I just was like waiting for something and I walked over to Jordan and I hugged his head. And like, you, not only did you tell me how much it meant to you then, and like in the coming days, you were like, I felt so loved when you held my head in public. And like, thank you so much for doing that. But then like many months later out of nowhere you would suddenly just be like, thanks so much for holding my head in this coffee shop. <laugh>.
Cute. And it makes me feel great. Like, I think, I think like praise in general is one thing, but I think something that people, I urge people to really add into their lives mm-hmm. <affirmative> that I feel like has transformed my life. Not only because of the gratitude that I feel, but because of just like how good it feels in our relationship is the bringing back of things from many months ago and like naming it again,
Delayed repetitive acknowledgement.
<laugh>, it does so much for me because it’s like, when you think it, it feels like, so we’ve had three and a half years together, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so when you think of all the things that I’ve done over three and a half years mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like it just stacks Yeah. On top of each other. So every year that keeps going. I feel very passionate about this because it is a very big, uh, i, it made, it’s made a very big impact on in my life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that you, they stack forever. So each new thing I do for you doesn’t just have an impact over this day or this next week, but I could get praised for it years from now mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so because of that, like each new day just adds on to the stack of things. And so it feels just like we’re only just growing that like the, the amount of things to praise each other for just like grows and grows and grows forever. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that feels exciting to me. Like it just feels like,
I think there’s something that gets affirm and it’s not like I think about that necessarily every day, but it’s like, uh, it means so much more to me when you thank me for something that happened like four months ago. Hmm. Because I just feel like, oh, like, it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like a future kindness that we talk about when like, like if last night I prepped all the breakfast foods for the week and then like I’m giving like a future kindness so that throughout the week we get to like experience the benefits of that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like that on our grander scale mm-hmm. <affirmative> where it’s just like,
If you praise me today, if you thank me for something today that I did six months ago, and you know, it’s not gonna be like, thanks for doing the dishes that time six months ago. <laugh>. Yeah. It’s gonna be like something specific that meant a lot to you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t know if I could think of an example right now, but like, if you’re like, thanks for doing that, like back then I feel just extra, like I feel happy that you still think of it and I feel like grateful to my past self. I’m like, thanks for doing that thing past self because it impacted him like then and now. And like, it means that I get praised for it now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Like, it’s just like I feel, I, I just feel like I’m doing a great job, like through and through <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it’s, yeah.
I really think that people should start either, and you might, it, it’s, it feels harder to me to scan for like what’s something Jordan did four months ago that I still think of. But you think of them, if you start to pay attention to your thoughts, like day to day something will pop into your mind that’s like, oh, that was really nice that that happened. Or like that thing. And then it’s like to feel, actually let yourself feel it and then say it out loud. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then the more you do it, the more you’ll become kind of conditioned to, to notice those things and to name them. Like you’ll feel them more, more and more. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> what?
<laugh>? Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s a compounding vehicle. Like the same as like, you know, I think of like a business bro. I’d be like, oh yeah, like a passive income stream. Like I did a nice thing and it pays me dividends for months or years to come. Yeah. It’s the exact same thing of like, yeah, it does just continue to throw off value as long as you’re plugged into that awareness.
So it serves us well
Highly recommend. And I would also say that, you know, compounding vehicles work in, in both ways in the positive or negative spiral direction. So if you find yourself in a relationship where you, you know, where this isn’t in your relationship culture, uh, and you know, either there’s an absence of it or the opposite has been more true of no, we are quite actually critical of each other. And we’re, now that I think of it, we like really focus on the negative. It’s like it’s, you know, think it’s a Turkish proverb, no matter how far down the wrong path you’ve gone turned back. It’s like, okay, so this is the behavior we’ve been deploying for a while. If you, you know, still love and respect each other and you want things to turn around, you can, like, it just, it’s totally a, you know, orientation can be trained.
You can have this awareness be cultivated, um, if there’s a desire for this kind of vibe cuz Yeah. I just think it’s so much better than the alternative. And like, why not put your energy into beauty and awe and appreciation and gratitude versus, you know, being an accountant of resentment and, you know, tit for tad and, well, I did the dishes four times this week, and so they should all, it’s like, it’s like, is that fun? Do you enjoy that? It’s like, yeah. What if this was just like a devotional practice where you gift each other with love with your behaviors and with your words every day forever.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think, like, I remember that one of my exes used to say like, well, don’t you want me to be honest?
Oh, <laugh> yikes.
It’s like, don’t be honest through that frame. It’s like, yeah, if the lens is, well all I’m doing is tracking how you’re failing, then like, no. Yeah. I don’t want that honest lens.
Yeah. Yeah. And I, I just think there’s, uh, and I guess this, this might vary couple to couple I guess, but for me in relationship, like when I, when I feel our relationship, like the container of it kind of as a whole, like, I want it to be filled with just praise <laugh> and like Yeah. I like when I think about like cooking for example, like I don’t really want you to tell me like each night like, oh, well this could be more this way or something like that would so quickly take the fun out of it for me. Yeah. But like, even if it was honest
You know, it’s like, I, I don’t know. I guess I’m trying to figure out, cause like I value honesty.
But like, I guess I just feel like in our relationship, I, I think that, I think we both, um, I think I’m very conscious of when I’m, if I’m going to name something that is even slightly critical mm-hmm.
Most of the time I don’t wanna do this perfectly. Yeah. But like, if I’m gonna name something that’s slightly critical, I’m typically very conscious about it and like intentional about when and how I name it
For sure that’s appropriate and <laugh> healthy
Because I think otherwise it’s just like, yeah. I don’t want, like even if Jordan was saying something about my behavior during the day that like was true, it would feel awful to like be criticized.
Yeah. I mean, when you’re in an intimate relationship, you’re in relationship with every part of people. And so we are in relationship with each other’s adults and also each other’s inner child. And someone’s saying, you know, do you wanna be, don’t you want me to be honest? To me registers as the exact same thing as like, you know, your three year old presenting a drawing They did. Yeah. And are you gonna be like, I could do way better than that <laugh>. It’s like, like, okay, that’s honest. And do you say that to a child? Not because I’m infantilizing and we see each other as exclusively children. Cause we’re clearly not, but like, like yes. Be honest and also be kind. And so sometimes that means is it necessary? You know, is it, what are the three things? Yeah. Is it, is it true necessary and kind?
Yeah. Um, and so yeah, there are times where, I mean, it literally hasn’t happened because I just do think you, like, you’re the best cook. And so there, there’s, there hasn’t been a single meal where I’ve been like, don’t make this again. You know, like, because I just, I, that has always been honest. And I think you also trust, again, this hasn’t had to happen, but if you ever made a thing that was like so off, first of all, I think you would say it way before me, <laugh>, you know, and something was just like 10 x too salty or whatever. Yeah. Like, yeah, you’ve never made a meal that I had to be like, like this one wasn’t my favorite or don’t Yeah. Like, no to this one that hasn’t happened. And if there was something that was just so not for me, I, I, you know, I could and would name it kindly. Yeah. Um, again, I haven’t had to, but like, yeah. So just that frame of like, do I wanna be honest? It’s like, well not if you’re, like, if your internal lens is primarily being a jerk, then no, I think we should just break up <laugh>
Because I guess the difference to me is like, it then you’d be, it’s not so much about the criticism itself, it’s the, like, you sat down for this meal that I made for you and your primary lens was what’s off here. Like, that’s how it would feel. Right. If you would, if you criticize it’s, and that’s how it felt in my past relationships. Right.
Which is just so not our
Just like anything near our town, we just like that.
Like here is a great, but I think that’s how it is for a lot of people. Yeah. And so it’s just like,
But that’s just an easy way to stay stuck in your head. Like anyone who’s primarily living their lives through like, what’s wrong here? It’s just like, yeah. Oh, you don’t feel your body or heart much at all. Totally. And so it’s safe, it’s so safe to, you know, anything to watch a live symphony orchestra or sit through a movie and go, Hmm, this could have been better. This, it’s like you’re not letting any of it through your body. So how about we start there? How about you? You know? Yeah. It’s, you’ve given an example before in our, you know, one-on-one conversations of like, it’s like sitting in front of a sunset and being like, oh, I’ve seen a sunset. You know, I’ve seen more pink. Or like, you know, this corner could be a little bit different of a color. It’s like no, no, no. If it’s a sunset, you let it be a sunset. Yeah. And you like feel that if you can feel things you don’t criticize or go Well, do you wanna be honest? I have seen a more beautiful sunset <laugh>, you know, once I was, I was in this other country and I was at the top of Volcan that we hiked up to and it was more beautiful. You don’t wanna be honest about that. It’s like, no, I want you to enjoy life <laugh>. I want you to be fun to be around <laugh>. I’d have life be pleasurable.
Yeah. And I think that’s the biggest thing praise does too. Is that it, when you do it, like it starts to shift your own lens of like, you’re looking for everything the good. Yeah. And you’re just like letting yourself actually feel the good. Yeah.
What to say what you appreciate appreciates if you get, I mean Yeah. Or even, um, energy flows where attention goes. Like you can put your lens on anything. Your your view, your frame, how you interpret the world. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like what will serve you the most in the short and long term? Probably more that.
So yeah, we both like, you know, we’ve, you know, consciously, unconsciously we have like shaped each other. You know, it’s like this bespoke person who like, we both know how to love each other very well through the iterative process of being clear about what lands, what we feel loved through what we appreciate. And so there’s just, there’s no guessing and like, there’s so much safety and freedom in knowing like, I know how to love this person. Well yeah. Because they’ve been clear with me and what a gift that we’re not just like, you know, whatever, like the James Bond cliche of like a room full of red lasers. You have to avoid like, you’re not like tiptoeing and trying to not step on each other’s toes. You’re like, I know how to lavish love on this person and like just what a spot to have that be the foundation of your life. Like, you’re just through so much more yourself and nourished and powerful. Like it’s this springboard that everything, you know, shoots off from when that’s the baseline spot that you just both inhabit every day.
I recommend it
It’s nice. <laugh> good vibes. 10 outta 10.
Oh yeah. I, um, I wanted to give people Oh. And so two more things I just wanted to say is that, um, I think like talk about things that help conflict also, like, I think something that I rest in, if we do have a fight or like we’re in, you know, tension mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that I feel very rested in like, you know how much I love you and like I know how to love you well Yeah. And we have such a strong foundation of that, that like, even if I’m annoyed at you and I’m like, I need a, some space for a moment. Like I know you’re not sitting there being like, does she love me? Or like, like there’s just a such a big foundation of I really love and care about you. Yeah. And um, the other thing I wanted to just give to people is they can also do this intentionally with like a practice of, you know, like sitting with their partner Yeah. And
10 minutes a week, like
Just Yeah. 10 minutes a week of like take a, take turns. Like one person, one of you talk for five minutes the next, the other one talk for five minutes and just like love bomb each other. Like, just like
Something I appreciate,
Something I appreciate about you is something that I love about you. Something
I appreciate that you did this week was when you blah blah blah. Yeah.
Just like, yeah. Naming a range of things that the person did and like things you love just about them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, can be really, really powerful. And I think that when we made the love list, so earlier I mentioned the love list. Yeah. Like early on in our relationship, Jordan and I both made lists of like how we feel loved
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> I feel most loved when do.dot. Yeah. Yeah. When this happens. When you do this. Yeah.
And I think the biggest piece of that, and a big part of praise that matters to me is, uh, including the why.
Like to me it’s so much more impactful, um, to hear like how something affects you.
Yeah. The deeper why
Because otherwise I wouldn’t know. Right. Like, I wouldn’t know that me hugging your head like meant so much to you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I would just be like, oh, it’s just like, you know, I’m just hugging your head. Like, it just doesn’t land for me as like a big deep thing. Yeah. But when I know that te like when you explain to me that when I do that you feel just like so deeply loved and cared for and cared about. Yeah. Then I’m like, oh.
And then you get to improvise more similar. Yeah. Like when, you know, the deeper wi like, oh, she asks for this kind of a drink and it’s not just the thing, it’s like me doing it means Yeah.
She’s the underlying, well this is a good thing we can just kind of finish up with is, um, that I wanted to say that like, my primary love language is acts of service. Yeah, for sure. When you talk about the five love languages, like Jordan’s is touch, mine is acts of service. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so I, I actually didn’t even realize this until I shared it with you, whatever it was a few months ago when I was, it like really landed for me because I was like, why? Like sometimes I’ll just sit there and like I could get up and do something. Like I could get my own glass of water, like get my own whatever mm-hmm. <affirmative> anything. Yeah. And sometimes like if Jordan is around, I’ll just be like, can you get that? Or can you do this? Or can you put this over here?
Or like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, can you bring this thing to me? And I had always just like, I had never really thought too much about it. And then a few months ago I was thinking about it and I was like, why do I ask him to do this? Because it is kind of ridiculous cuz like, like if he wasn’t here I would just do it. Like it’s just not <laugh>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, and then I was like, oh, I’m not asking you because I’m lazy or I’m what, like I’m asking you. Cuz really what I’m asking in that moment is like, can I feel your love?
Yeah. It’s a bid.
It’s just like, yeah, I wanna feel loved here. And so I’ll just be like me saying to Jordan, like when I’m sitting an equal distance away from him from the cabinet, like, can you just, can you get me a glass of orange juice? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, I feel so loved when he says yes. And it doesn’t mean that he always has to say yes mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but that’s why I do it. Like that’s how it feels to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when I explained that to him, he was like, oh, got it. Like this makes a lot more sense. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then he’s like happier to do that now because
I get it more.
Yeah. So I think knowing the why behind your partner, like it just makes a huge difference.
And I think some men might not be able to articulate the why do you think
Hmm. I’d say people, but Yeah, some people might not be able to. Yeah. Men or women. Um, yeah. And maybe that’ll shift over time from having the need met consistently. Like it might take 30 iterations before they go, oh, you know what, this is why this is a thing. Like, I think those things can’t emerge over time from having it. Yeah. Because, you know, I’d responded to bids of doing things for you that you could have done for yourself hundreds of times, you know, maybe thousands of times over the last several years before Yeah. You were like, oh, like here’s this like clarifying layer of it. So yeah. I mean just do the thing anyways and if you get a sense of a deeper why in time, then communicate it and Yeah. Like you’re just, you’re both, it’s a practice like you’re both forever getting better at loving each other. So,
And it’s the same kind of thing where it’s like, do I need Jordan to get all these things for me? No. But like, does it make me happy? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Yes. Happier. Happier. And so like, it’s allowed, like, we’re allowed to have our needs even if they’re not just like our basic survival needs. Mm-hmm.
<affirmative>, I don’t need daily touch and I benefit from daily touch. Yeah.
Okay. Um, Jordan has a new program out.
Oh yes I do.
<laugh> You wanna mention it? Sure. He has a new, he’s launched a membership for his first time ever where basically, I’ll just tell you, you can get on weekly calls with Jordan about relationships forever. Like, you can get coaching, you can hear other people get coached, like he’s doing a weekly call. Yeah. Which is a big deal.
Yeah. It’s really fun. Yeah. The, the new program is called Evolution of Love. Uh, it’s basically the manifestation of, uh, one of my friends was like, if you could condense everything you knew about how to have like the healthiest, most nourishing relationship possible in under an hour, could you do it? And I was like, yes I can. And so I did it. I recorded those videos and yeah, they were really fun. And then I thought I wanted a, like a community like group around that. And then I thought I’ll do weekly calls as well. So yeah, it’s really a sweet package deal. We’ve already got over a hundred people in the community signed up as of now. Um, number has been growing every day since I announced it just like five days ago <laugh>. So Yeah. And our first call is this coming Friday, January 6th, 2023. And yeah, I’ll be doing regular calls every Friday forever onwards. And probably some other fun little bonuses thrown into the mix. But yeah, I’m really excited for it. It’s, it’s, it’s fun.
So yeah, that’s a thing.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we’ll put the link in the show notes, but it’s just Jordan Gray consulting.com/evolution of love. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, to sign up, but Okay. That’s all for now. Thanks Jordan. <laugh>,
Thanks for having
On. Thanks for hanging out with us.
You’ll be hearing more of Jordan soon. And Nice. I almost said I love you.
I felt it
<laugh> because I forgot. I was like, I was like, oh, it felt like we were saying bye <laugh>. Yeah. And I was like, I love you. Talk to you soon. I like, no, cause I’m talking to the podcast, so it said, I’m just gonna say, um, okay. That’s all. And <laugh>
Ed, we love you.
We’ll talk to you soon.