Pampering yourself: a small gesture with big returns

It's amazing how, all too often, we underestimate the impact of a little thoughtfulness. Yet it has an incredible impact on the happiness of people.

The last RHI survey revealed that only 15% of people stated that their spouses surprised them often with little, unexpected gestures. These little attentions appear to have a huge effect because the RHI of these people hits a record-breaking 83.90.

At the other extreme, the 6% of respondents who admitted that their spouses never surprise them with such attentions turned in an RHI of 56.90, which is the lowest ever recorded. The 27-point difference between the two groups is enormous.

Indeed, the RHI of people is directly proportional to the frequency with which they receive these little unexpected gestures from their spouses. It deserves a little thought. These attentions require so little effort that it would be crazy not to make them a priority. While the good intentions may be there, they don't always get turned into reality is often as you might like because of the pressures and preoccupations of everyday life.

And if you think that the wealthiest people are the most attentive, you need to go back for a reality check. Only 9% of people with incomes of $80,000 or more make a practice of surprising their spouses with these little gestures.

Merging the "often" and "occasionally" categories together (61%) and the "rarely" and "never" categories together (26%) yields the following tables:

OFTEN (21%) AND SOMETIMES (46%) = (61%)
- Graduate degrees  70%
- Women 69%
- Couples 69%
- $25,000 to $40,000 68%

RARELY (20%)  AND NEVER (6%) = (26%)
- Men 31%
- Only children 34%
- Rural 35%
- High school 35%
- $80,000 and + 36%
- 25–34 years 37%

The table below clearly illustrates the direct relationship between happiness and receiving thoughtful attentions from your spouse