Sunday, April 02, 2006

When you smile, the whole world comes alive
I love you

That is an example of the next three step pattern. It is a way to say "I love you" to your spouse or children. The steps are
  1. A positive address (something that says "I love you" or "I value you" or "I adore you" or words that mean those messages).
  2. Comment (positive feedback on something)
  3. The "I love you" statement.

When you are kind like that, it makes me so happy
I hope you realize that your mother and I cherish you fiercely

There are many reasons why you should use this pattern, but using a three step "I love you" pattern makes your words more real, more nourishing, more connected. Especially in times of tragedy and despair, the words you use need to be real enough to nourish and connect.

Your new hair cut frames your face perfectly
I'm so happy to be married to you

The statements don't need to be connected or caused by each other and they don't need a point. They just need to be said, and they need to be said several times a day, without cross messages. (A cross message would be giving a loved one a nickname like "disaster" or "nimwitt" or anything else that doesn't carry love and admiration, or that focuses on a change you want made).

I love to lie next to you and just hear you breathe
You make me so happy

I love you.

Say it often.

BTW, next I'll post on the classic three step message. I was amazed to see in in action as a person in the grasp of narcissism was able to talk about how he had really made progress and communicated without his disorder submerging him. I was amazed, and it is a powerful tool.


annegb said...

You are just the sweetest guy, Stephen.

Stephen said...

Thanks for the comment, though I guess not too many people feel the need for any comment on how they say they love someone.

Anonymous said...


just wow.

So true.

Emotions can seem so elusive, especially in their expression, and to break it down into such concrete steps is just profound...

I'm sending Rob this link. :)