The Seven Positive Attitudes
There are seven basic emotional needs or attitudes that are essential to
creating a truly loving and emotionally supportive relationship: love,
caring, understanding, respect, appreciation, acceptance, and trust.
All of these are present to various degrees when a person feels emotionally
supported. Positive sentiments like fulfillment, peace, happiness,
gratitude. satisfaction, excitement, and confidence are automatically
generated when we are able to fulfill our primary emotional needs.
The Seven Positive Attitudes
Love is a connecting, uniting, sharing, or joining attitude. Without
judgment or evaluation it says, "We may be different but we are also alike.
I see myself in you and I see you in myself." On a mental level, love is
expressed through understanding. Acknowledging a sense of relatedness, it
says, "I relate to you in this similar way." On an emotional level, love is
expressed through empathy. It acknowledges a relatedness of feeling. It
says, "I relate to your feelings; I have had similar feelings." On a
physical level, love is expressed through touch.
A caring attitude acknowledges one's felt responsibility to respond to the
needs of another. To care is to show deep interest or heartfelt concern for
another's well-being. When we care about someone, it is a sign that we are
affected by their well-being or lack of it. The more one cares, the more
one is naturally motivated to fulfill or support others. Caring is also an
acknowledgement of that which is important to a
person. Caring for a person validates that he or she is special.
An understanding attitude validates the meaning of a statement. feeling, or
situation. It does not presume to know all the answers already. An
understanding attitude starts from not knowing, gathers meaning from what
is heard, and moves toward validating what is being communicated. Through
understanding we are able to see the world through another person's eyes.
An understanding attitude says, "Before I
judge you, I will take off my shoes and walk in yours for a while."
A respectful attitude acknowledges another person's rights, wishes,and
needs. It yields to another's wishes and needs, not out of fear, but
through acknowledging their validity. Respect acknowledges the value and
importance of who a person is, as well as their needs. Respect is the
attitude that motivates one to truly serve another because he or she
An appreciative attitude acknowledges the value of another's efforts or
behavior. It recognizes that the expression of another person's being or
behavior has enriched the well-being of the appreciator. Appreciation is
the natural reaction to being supported. Appreciation inspires us to give
back to others with a feeling of fullness and joy. Appreciation
acknowledges that we have benefited from the gift offered to us.
An accepting attitude acknowledges that another's being or behavior is
received willingly. It does not reject, but rather affirms that the other
person is being favorably received. Indeed, acceptance is accompanied by a
sense of gratitude for what we have received. It is not a passive,
overlooking, or slightly disapproving attitude. To accept a person means to
validate that they are enough for you. It does not mean that you think they
could not improve; it indicates that you are not trying to improve them.
Acceptance is the attitude that forgives another's mistakes.
A trusting attitude acknowledges the positive qualities of another's
character, such as honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, and sincerity.
When trust is absent, people commonly jump to negative and wrong
conclusions regarding a person's intent. Trust gives every offence the
benefit of the doubt, positing that there must be some good explanation for
why it happened. Trust grows in a relationship when each partner recognizes
that the other never intends to hurt. To approach one's partner with trust
is to believe that they are able and willing to support.
[ John Gray, Ph.D. (Men, Women and Relationships) -- from 'Love Quotes' ]
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