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The next time he gets a promotion, invents a new marinade for the grill or wins first prize at the adults-only spelling bee, do more than say, "Hooray, Honey!
" As this handy graphic from the self-improvement website explains, couples who celebrated each other's successes in four steps—showing enthusiasm ("A spelling bee! "); asking questions ("So, 'babushka' counted even though it's Russian? "); and, reliving the moment with them ("So, what exactly went through your mind when you heard psychoneuroendocrinological? Further research proved that "people who did this three times a day for one week improved their happiness." And happiness, as we know—scientific studies or not—usually leads to a lot of more happily ever afters.
Some of the spouses simply guessed (e.g.,"Ernie would never use a credit card! Others had to write about a typical day in their partner's life, and then "put themselves in his or her shoes" before predicting (e.g., "Ernie works so hard all day at the bank, and he resents even paying five dollars for lunch; he would never use a credit card.") The result: Those who tried to imagine the other's perspective were less accurate than those who winged it—confirming Epley's real-life experience of giving his dolphin-loving wife a day of caring for the animals at the aquarium, not realizing that, since she'd just had a baby, she would not enjoy the binding, full-body wetsuit.
While understanding that your partner may have a different take than you is helpful, he writes in Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want, you don't always imagine your partner's actual "different take." The best way to get your partner's point of view, he says, is to simply—oh yes, you saw this coming—ask for it.... Because sure, you want to pounce on him when you catch him in a jerky act—smoking a cigarette out the window?
Trying to see a situation from your spouse's perspective is supposed to be a good thing, right?
You get a snapshot of his or her feelings and thus can be more understanding and empathetic.
Communicating your knowledge in an authoritative way — where you strictly relay information — isn’t necessarily attractive or memorable.
In his study of 104 couples, he asked one partner to predict how the other would respond to questions on everything from the use of cash to biggest life regret.
You and your spouse can plot the same things, revealing where you earn or spend your money (versus: how you think you earn or spend it).