A Daily Emotional Checklist for Lawyers

By Shimshon Meir Frankel

Have you considered what it would be like to exist in two places at once? While you spend your time crunching cases and wooing clients, you’re achieving just that. Your efforts are not going unnoticed. With every quick email, positive phone conversation and scheduled office consultation, you’re reaching out to your clients and coworkers, and as a result, they feel needed and appreciated. What do you think compels them to refer your services to their colleagues, friends and family? It’s the message that continues to ring in their ears: you care about them.

We may succeed at entrenching this message in our clients’ minds and hearts, but lest we forget, there is someone at home who also wants to feel needed and appreciated. The following daily emotional checklist for couples promotes togetherness by collecting thoughtful, unique and meaningful moments. Showing that we care means getting involved, making the space and setting aside the time to make our relationships momentous. In order to ensure that your spouse’s emotional needs are being met on a daily basis, these five areas need consideration.

Daily Touch
Physical touch meets an emotional need. It is a way of communicating emotional love and a powerful vehicle to communicate marital love. Physical touch must be mutually enjoyable. A spouse who is not getting enough physical touch in appropriate ways will make sure they get it in less acceptable ways and will often become emotionally withdrawn. If your spouse finds hugs too obtrusive, find other ways to touch him or her: a pat on the back, sitting close on the couch, touching when you pass something, etc. Daily soft touches will be fondly remembered and will greatly enhance intimacy between you and your spouse.

Undivided Moments
Top-priority is individual time. By giving someone undivided and focused attention you are telling him or her that they are important as an individual. They are more important than the ringing phone, the laundry, the messy floor or the crying baby. This attention builds connection and trust. This time does not necessarily need to be hours – even 10 minutes is effective. In times of trouble, your spouse will turn to a person who made him or her feel important. Everyone needs to feel important to someone. Denying a spouse individual time forces them to seek it elsewhere.

What should you do with your spouse? You can play a game together, go for a walk or just sit and talk. If it’s mutually enjoyable, you can even do your finances together. Even talking together while you wash the dishes counts. The key here is focus. Let the phone ring. Let the children whine. Be your spouse’s pillar of strength, providing him or her with emotional security.

Unconditional Giving
Give without expectations and without any strings attached. Once every 10 days to two weeks you should give your spouse something just because you love him or her. If you are expecting even a thank you, then it’s not unconditional. The giving does not have to be a tangible object. It can be a favor – picking up her dirty socks one day because you see she’s tired, ironing a dress shirt that your husband forgot to prepare, going against your nature to do something you really think your spouse would appreciate. This should only be done every two weeks or so because too much unconditional giving can backfire. For example, if you make the bed one morning (normally your spouse’s “job”) because you see he or she is running late – that is an unconditional act of kindness. However, if you continue to do this for the next two weeks, they will come to expect it. Involve your spouse. Let him or her in on the plan. The goal is to make your spouse feel loved, appreciated, accepted and understood.

Appreciation
Spend five minutes a day appreciating your spouse (doesn’t have to be one chunk of time). This is for ourselves. This helps combat all the anger, frustration, worry, negativity and overwhelming feelings of daily life. Bringing to mind unique qualities helps us focus on what a gift our spouse truly is. It can even be done while they’re asleep; you’ll wake up in a better mood in the morning. Don’t get to the point at which you have to lose something to appreciate it. Find joy in what you have now.

Positive Energy
Time together should start and end with positive energy. Give encouragement, respect, love, independence and touch. Praise sincerely based on the amount of effort expended and not the outcome. Avoid giving attention in a negative way such as nagging, criticizing, judging…. You can judge your level of positivity by setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes, then reflecting on how much positivity there was in those 15 minutes. Happy people want to make others happy. A happy home motivates spouses to want to make each other happy.


 

Shimshon Meir Frankel is a good friend, a respectful son, a supportive husband, a playful father, an orthodox rabbi, a team leader, a clinical supervisor and a seasoned practitioner in the field of psychology. Personal, relationship and professional development are his forté. Visit www.AuthenticPsychology.com, email shimshonmeir@gmail.com or call (516) 823-7258 for more information.