When it comes to dating, you may think that the only way to make the other person feel good is to be the jerk.
But you’d be wrong.
Here’s how to make them feel better by treating them with respect.
C.P. Grant, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, tells Business Insider that it takes two kinds of actions to make someone feel better.
The first is a subtle change in the way they look.
When someone has a smile on their face, Grant says, “the brain feels better.”
This is because, when a person smiles, their brain feels like it’s telling you something.
“When they have a frown, their mind starts to think about their emotional state,” Grant says.
That feeling of anxiety, stress, and sadness is a way to feel better about yourself.
“This is what gives you your happiness.”
But when the person looks upset or sad, Grant explains, that emotion makes them feel like they’re being ignored.
“If you have a smile and you don’t smile, the brain is going to have a hard time accepting it,” he says.
Grant says you can also change the way you’re treating your spouse.
“There’s nothing wrong with being nice,” he explains.
“Just be nicer.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little bit.”
Grant says there’s also a psychological reason why people react differently when they’re happy.
“A lot of times, the happy person just goes on, and it’s not a pleasant feeling.
They’ll go out of their way to be nice.”
Grant adds that the “nice guy” doesn’t always want to be polite, either.
“The more pleasant your interaction with someone, the more likely that person is to want to reciprocate.
That’s the opposite of being nice.”
When people don’t want to feel appreciated, they might become angry or clingy.
“You might think, ‘I’m going to get mad at them, or I’m going for the jugular, and I’m just going to go after their feelings,'” Grant says of this sort of behavior.
Grant believes that if you give your spouse the same respect you give yourself, that will help them feel less guilty about their behavior.
“It’s just like if you gave a kid a toy for Christmas and the child says, ‘It’s nice to have something nice for Christmas.’
You could say, ‘Thank you for letting me have it.’
And that’s not just a nice gesture, but it’s a kind of gratitude.
It’s the same kind of kindness that makes you feel good.”
To help make your spouse feel better, Grant recommends making the other party feel welcome and giving them some time to talk to you.
“Don’t be a jerk.
Give them time to think before you make a big comment,” he advises.
“Or if you’re just going out to a restaurant, talk to the waiter.
If they want to make a reservation, say hello.”
But it’s all about how you do it.
It can be hard to change someone’s mind if you don, for example, spend time together and ask them to spend time with you.
Grant suggests you find out how to talk directly to someone, and if that doesn’t work, you can try listening to what they’re saying.
“Try to think of it as a dialogue,” he tells Business Insider.
“Do you want to talk about what you have in common, or what you can’t agree on?
Then you might want to listen to them.”
“If your spouse isn’t willing to talk, try to figure out what you could do to get them to open up and talk.
It might be that they don’t have any friends, or they don, in the end, just want to spend their time with someone.”
You can also tell your spouse that you’re there to help them, and that you’ll make a positive difference for them.
“One of the ways you can do this is to start off by making a gesture.
Say, ‘Hi,'” Grant explains.
This can be a nice hug, or maybe you can even say something like, “Thank you.”
This kind of gesture, says Grant, is a good way to get your spouse to open their eyes and think about what they can accomplish together.
“Your job is to make your partner feel welcome, and then you can move on.”
And that will likely happen when you get to know them better.