Tips for How to Bring Out the Best in Your Partner

May 23, 2019 Kayode Oseh

You partner should mean a lot you. Both of you are in a relationship not because you are tired of being single but because you feel that both of you can bond easily or you both share things in common or you feel that you both complement each other. Whichever reason you have for engaging in a relationship with your partner, make sure they mean a lot to you. Try to build your partner, complement them and encourage them.

Use these strategies to build your partner up, and enhance your connection.

Give your partner compliments about ways they're different from you.

People often think of differences as causing friction in relationships, and of course, they can be a source of relationship stress. However, differences can also help partners balance each other out. For instance, my partner is a bit less diligent than me in some respects. While this can drive me a little crazy, it also helps me realize when I'm going completely overboard and worrying about details most people wouldn't worry about.

Try a compliment like this, "I love how we balance each other out when....." 

Pick an area in which you think your partner tends to be the more reasonable person most of the time so that it doesn't sound like a backhanded compliment. The more you're prepared to acknowledge when your partner's approach is the more right one, the more likely it is they'll do the same.

Notice when your partner handles a situation differently from how you would but there are pros to their approach.

Give your partner compliments for strengths they don't recognize in themselves.

Sometimes we know our romantic partners better than that person knows themselves. What are the micro-strengths you see your partner displaying that they might completely overlook or take for granted?

This tip can be useful for strengths your partner has but where they don't use that strength as often as they could, and you'd like them to do it more. For instance, perhaps your partner is pretty great at DIY but tends to focus on the fact its hard work, rather than that they're great at persisting through the hard patches and getting the job done. They might see themselves as not good at it because there are elements they struggle with, whereas you see them as a star for working through roadblocks, or you see the parts they're very skilled at.

Empower your partner to make decisions—don't let your partner be a "decision leech."

You can bring out the best in your partner by empowering them to make decisions they lack confidence with and helping them recognize when they know the choice they want to make and they're just looking for validation. You can try phrases like "I think you've got a better sense of..... than I do. You'll make a good decision."

Sometimes people defer choices to others because they lack confidence in their decision-making skills. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy when the person is always asking for help with run-of-the-mill choices.

See the nuances in your partner's nature.

People often get put in personality boxes. This can happen during childhood or when someone's identity becomes very associated with their work role, or in a relationship when partners fall into certain roles within the relationship. You can help your partner be their best self if you recognize the nuances in their partner.  Perhaps they're a bit of a procrastinator but, in some domains, they've got more get up and go or are more decisive than you are. 

Help them recognize the ways they're different from whatever personality box they've been shoved into (which likely has become part of their self-perception).  Another example might be if your partner is impatient with some things but very patient with others. Help them see their strengths and nuances.

Wrapping Up

Which of the above skills are you already good at?  Where do you have the most potential for improvement?  In what ways is your romantic partner good at building you up?  In what ways do you wish they did that more? Could you lead by example in that domain, or ask them directly? Let your partner mean something to you.

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