Consistently, couples hurt one another with 1,000 small cuts. The missed moments of connection, forgotten promises, or innocent yet hurtful words each create a small hurt. We generally do not mean to do these ‘cuts’, yet they happen, and our relationships suffer.
“1,000 Soft Touches” involves doing the ‘little things‘ for your partner so he/she feels SEEN and HEARD. These small acts seem insignificant on their own, but add up to a significant message to your partner.
As much as people understand the idea, it’s often difficult for people to imagine what would be a ‘soft touch’.
This activity should help.
1. With your partner, agree to do this activity and when you will discuss your answers (it might take some time to do this effectively, so make sure you both feel comfortable with when you will share).
Soft Touches You Felt
2. With your own paper (or on your phone or other device), write a list of 10 things your partner does that feel like a ‘soft touch’.
These are the things that make you smile or give you a sigh of relief. Maybe there are gestures that you appreciate but you no longer give ‘thanks’ for, as they are just ‘understood’ or are part of an expected routine. It’s helpful for your partner to know you do feel these.
Touches That COULD Feel Soft
3. Then, write a list with 10 things that would feel nice if your partner did.
This list is not meant to be a laundry list of ‘to do’s’. Rather, when you imagine your partner doing these, you smile or give a sigh of pleasure. You could include things you have seen on tv or with others that made you think, “I wish my partner did that.”
4. Discuss your responses and give your lists to one another. As your partner shares, listen…really take it in. When he/she gives the list of possible future touches, don’t defend why they haven’t happened or how you could not do them. Remember, just listening is a ‘soft touch’.
If you are surprised by some of the things you hear, ask questions. Explore what about that action or gesture ‘touched’ your partner. Use this as an opportunity to learn what helps your partner feel SEEN and HEARD by you.
5. Now you know some ‘touches’ that have landed on your partner. If it worked, do it more! Also, you have concrete ideas of what would impact your partner in a positive, loving way. Do some of those and let them inspire you to try others.
Soft ‘Touches’ I Feel
- pre-measuring my coffee beans into the grinder for me for a perfect cup
- ALWAYS giving a hug when I ask for one
- asking how my day was
- being quiet in the morning so I can sleep longer
- remembering to feed the cat at night
- validating my feelings
- Asking questions to understand my work
‘Touches’ That Could Feel Soft
- Initiating walks or going to the park more often
- doing the dishes voluntarily
- giving me eye contact when we have conversations
- kissing me good night
- making suggestions about dinner
- inviting me to play a board game
Although a few ‘big’ things are wonderful (like a big trip or an amazingly thoughtful birthday), we strengthen our relationships by consistently giving kind gestures to our partner.
It’s the everyday, small yet consistent kind acts that truly strengthen and sustain our relationships and connections.
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Improve Communication and Connection With a Private Couples Therapy Intensive or ONLINE Couples Workshop
You can communicate but you don’t always connect in your relationship. Understandably, you long for the emotional depth and meaningful connection. As challenging as relationships can be, there’s tools you can learn to experience that deep communication and connection.
Private Couple Retreats (couples therapy intensives) and “Hold Me Tight®” Couples Workshops help you learn communication tools so you can connect more deeply. New England Hold Me Tight has skilled therapists and relationship coaches who specialize in helping couples like you who want to save a marriage or fix a relationship.
To start your path towards a healthier and more connected relationship, follow these simple steps:
1. Contact Bri McCarroll at New England Hold Me Tight.
2. Meet for a free 20-minute consultation (video).
4. Start to reconnect again.
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