(This is a sneak peek at one of the posts in my newly updated 90 day, on-line program, Wellness. Balanced. Enjoy!)
A relationship is defined as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”
Clearly there are an infinite number of ways to have, or be in, a relationship. Whether it’s with your significant other, yourself, your kids, family members, your boss, your coworkers or the man behind the counter at your local grocery story, the way you treat others really teaches them how to treat you.
Think of the last time you were really irritated and let it be known to stay out of your way. Did they? (Stay out of your way, I mean.) What about the unfortunate person who didn’t get the memo? Was he sorry he crossed your path? Think of the ripple effect that might have had as that scenario played out again and again throughout the day. Of course, you’re not responsible for everyone’s mood. Only your own. You can’t control what others do, you can only control how you react to it.
Now that you’re more aware, you have the power of diffusing it (by refusing to get sucked in and passing it along). The opposite is equally as powerful: smile at someone and they are likely to smile back. And if you can’t see it, chances are they are smiling on the inside. You’ve just made their day a little better. They, in turn, can do the same for the next person.
We covered relationships from many angles. Here are some highlights.
Be kind. Period. There really is no reason to be mean. If you think there is, and you’re tempted to be snarky, ask yourself what you want the outcome to be. I would imagine you would get there a lot faster being kind. A nasty remark will, most likely, derail you completely. Just be kind.
One of my favorite Totally Together posts was in Strength Week (week four): ways to evaluate the strength of your relationship. Gottman talked about it being between couples, but I believe it fits any serious relationship. Your relationship can be assessed by how you react to good news. I won’t detail the four categories again here (passive destructive, active destructive, passive constructive, and active constructive), instead, I’ll encourage you to aim for the most loving one – active constructive.
This one is the simplest in theory, but takes a little practice. When someone you really care about, tells you that they just did [this really great thing], your reaction is a simple, whole-hearted, sincere, celebration of the person sharing the good news: “Wooohoooo! Congratulations! That’s amazing! You’re amazing!”
That’s it. (No need to say another word.)
You need to love YOU. In order to be in a loving relationship with another person, you need to love you first. Get to know you. Take time for you. Be kind to you. Think of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12) Apply this rule to yourself, too.
I live by common courtesy and mutual respect and I do my best to treat all my relationships in this fashion. What “rules” do you live by that govern the way you treat others? I’d love to know below!
P.S. The above post is from the final week of Wellness. Balanced. I wrap everything up using the same GOOD, BETTER, BEST format that I use in my book A Good Plan: Intentionally Simple. Until the end of June, my book is free – you just pay the cost of shipping. Click here to pick up a copy (or two!) – I’m happy to sign and personalize it for you, too!