The smallest changes in your relationship can produce huge positive results, not just in the short term, but in the long term. We all want long, solid, happy relationships. They are built upon the foundation of small tweaks and adjustments during the journey.
It sounds like it’s too good to be true! Will modifying one small detail, one tiny thing that is hidden and amiss with your partner, provide you big changes and most importantly, results? Will it help to build a solid, long term relationship?
It is good and it is true. And, it works. It’s all about continuous, gentle improvement. It’s all about simple steps of gentle change that build upon each other for maximum results. And, it works very well in human dynamics and relationships. In fact, it works well in business, too. It stems from an elegant Japanese creation out of the ashes of WWII through “change for the better” and is both a philosophy and practice.
When applied correctly, it becomes a daily practice and can add much beyond its simple initial concept to deepen your relationship. Results come quickly and are sustained in many areas because the changes are small, almost imperceptible. The idea behind small change is to nurture the two individuals. And, it is not about whining, it is about being confident enough to address the smallest issue together, deal with it and be done with it completely.
This idea is not just a fairy tale. It has been applied in business. The massive growth of Toyota in the 1980s was due to using this concept: nurture the human resources within a company. Although the concept was originally created to be used in factories and production lines, it really shines when used as a personal development tool.
Its core idea is so simple that it barely needs any adaptation: continuous small changes create minimally intrusive permanent change. Results can be felt (and measured) within very short periods of time.
The opposite approach to relationships—move along until there are problems—results in drastic measures to change things: separations, break-ups and divorces. These types of changes are traumatic and dramatic and often take a long time to put in place. Often the trauma is deep, and they do not work. Time is spent untying the complex issues created between two people that built up from one small thing to another. Layers of pain, anger and frustration fold around each other and get locked into place.
However, if you learn to spot the teeniest, tiniest thing amiss (and yes, you can learn to do this), you can fix it together before it gets big, ugly and out of hand.
Here are a few techniques for you to begin your own training:
1. Ask small questions.
2. What’s the smallest step I can take to improve?
3. Look in the mirror when you brush your teeth and tell you how much you love yourself.
4. Think Small thoughts.
5. What’s the smallest thing I can do to remember to show how much I care each day?
6. Touch a shoulder; kiss an ear.
7. Take small actions.
8. What’s the smallest amount of time I can spend each day on reinforcing my feelings?
9. Touch a hand in the morning; touch a hand in the evening.
10. Bestow small rewards.
11. Reinforce results in small, consistent ways (hint: even for yourself!)
12. Give a card; say thank you; offer a compliment.
While simple, this method is incredibly effective!