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Who Will You Be in 2012?

Every year brings a new opportunity to decide who we will become next. Want to become a much happier person? Here is a technique that might help.

  1. List any one thing you wish your husband or wife would do to make you happier. For example, compliment your appearance more often or take over supporting your son's interest in the violin.

  2. Write down why you think this will make you happier. For example, what will be different if you get compliments? Will it increase your self-confidence when you are outside your home? Will it make you feel more valuable to your spouse? Will it help you refine your wardrobe choices?

  3. Tell your spouse what it is you are looking for (from step 2, not step 1) and that you think it will make you a happier person. For example, you might say, "I want to feel more self-confident when I'm out in public. I think this would make me a happier person."

  4. Ask for ideas on how to get what you are looking for. You can mention the one you came up with in step 1, but only as one possible suggestion. For example, "It would definitely increase my self-confidence to hear more compliments from you on my appearance, but tonight I am looking for other ways to feel more confident about how I come across to other people. Can you help me come up with a few?"

Now, instead of making your problem sound like your spouse's failing, you are taking charge of your own happiness. And you are doing it in a way that increases the intimacy in your relationship instead of pulling away.

Those two things make all the difference. Try it.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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