Gratitude is one of the most accessible positive emotions, and its effects can strengthen friendships and intimate relationships. One 2010 study found that expressing gratitude toward a partner can strengthen the relationship, and this positive boost is felt by both parties—the one who expresses gratitude and the one who receives it. Remembering to say “thank you” when a friend listens or your spouse brings you a cup of coffee can set off an upward spiral of trust, closeness, and affection.
Relationships are not static—they are living, dynamic aspects of our lives and require attention and care. In order to benefit from strong connections with others, you should take charge of your relationships and put in the time and energy you would any other aspect of your wellbeing.