A few weeks ago during a work retreat, my coworkers and I watched a fantastic TedTalk that I can’t stop thinking about.
It’s called “Improv to Being a Better Human” by Galen Emanuele and you should take some time to watch it all the way through before reading on. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back!
According to the video, the rules of improv are simple:
- Say “Yes”
- Be positive
- Make the other person look good
Easier said than done, right? But how much could our marriages benefit from doing these three things?
How often have you found yourself in a situation where your spouse suggests something – let’s say for example, your husband suggests you both wake up early on a Saturday morning to go for a run – and you give a big huff and tear down the idea. Or your wife suggests trying a new restaurant for dinner instead of going to the same place you always go and you say no because hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?
Saying “no” can make the other person feel unheard, unimportant or like their idea isn’t any good. Just like Galen Emanuele says in the video, saying “no” sucks the enthusiasm out of someone else’s idea and plants seeds of doubt.
I can think of many times in my own marriage when I’ve said “no” and it does nothing but make the other person feel small.
What’s an idea your spouse has had in the past that you’ve rejected? How can you turn that around and say “yes” to them today? What ways can you make them look good instead of making yourself look good? What positive language can you use to make them feel validated?
I love this quote from the video:
“When you say no, you halt progress and you destroy an idea. But when you say yes, you create forward progress and open the door to discovery, possibility and creation.”
I’m right there with you, friends. I need to practice saying “yes” more in my own marriage, which probably means Daniel and I are going for that run on Saturday morning 😉
I’d love to hear about how you’ve said “yes” in your marriages or other relationships and share any successes or thoughts you have on this topic.
“Don’t be the person that opens your mouth and says something negative. Instead, be the person who thinks of something positive to say, who says “yes” and accepts ideas. Think of a reason why something can work instead of immediately why it won’t work. Lift people up around you and do it every single time you open your mouth.”
Photo by Derek Couts Photography