Want to improve relationships? Be stingy with criticisms and generous with compliments.
Many relationships would improve if people invested as much time in them as they do to social media.
I read something the other night that compared visiting someone too much to overindulging with chocolate candy. That particular comparison never dawned on me; but as I mulled over the metaphor, I realized that the author made a valid point. In essence, he was suggesting that too much of a good thing can make you sick.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have friends and family with whom you can mingle and socialize. At times, it may be acceptable to pop in unannounced (depending on the person you’re visiting), but when you habitually visit without an invitation, you are treading on thin ice. Even if the person doesn’t confront you directly, his body language may indicate that you are crowding him. He may become distant, even throwing sarcastic remarks that seem unrelated to what’s really bothering him. On the other hand, he may smile and say the right things, but his true feelings may reveal themselves in subtle ways.
You may be oblivious his subtle cues, and that only makes the situation worse. If he’s afraid of hurting your feelings, he will simmer in anger, or unexpectedly blow up at you for a seemingly insignificant reason.
Therefore, if there’s someone you love to visit, use wisdom. Don’t visit too often, and don’t stay too long. You always want your host’s doorbell to signal a welcomed guest and not an invading intruder.
Children are a blessing. Some people believe this while others don’t, but regardless of one’s opinion, not everybody has the privilege to serve as a parent (biological or otherwise). The awesome thing about being a parent is that a person is making an impression on young minds. He is painting a picture of what the world is like. That person is doing so by his words and actions. Even when a parent isn’t aware that he is painting a picture for his children, that person is adding a stroke to the page of life each and every day.
As you examine the life you live before your children, what story are you telling? Are you teaching your children that honesty and integrity are important characteristics? Are you telling them that it is all right to violate valuable principles as long as they get what they want? Are you showing them that stepping on others is the way to success? Are you teaching them to be afraid to spread their wings and try new things? Are you ridiculing them and planting words within them that make them feel useless? Are you provoking them to anger by the way you live? Are you nurturing them and showing them they are valuable just as they are? Are you living a life that you want mimicked by your little ones?
As it’s been said numerous times, your actions speak louder than your words. When young, your children have the tendency to mimic what you do more than listening to what you say. The lifestyle you live may have an impact on them as long as they live.
Knowing this, be cautious of the picture you’re painting for your children. Yes, you have to live your life, but know that small ones are watching, and they will be affected by the story you paint. So paint a picture that you won’t be ashamed to pass on to the next generation, because you are passing a story on, whether you are aware of it or not.
It is easy for a person to take those he says he loves for granted. Most of the time, he spends a lot of time with his loved ones, and they are familiar to him. He expects them to be available to him, and he expects them to fulfill their roles. Instead of being appreciative of what they do, in his mind, he assumes things will get done, and if they aren’t, he is quick to complain. He may feel that they know how he likes things and because a pattern has been established, he wants things completed just as they always have been.
If a person is living with this mentality, he is living on a slippery slope. It is never wise to take loved ones for granted. Yes, they may have various roles that they fulfill, but it is always good to stop and acknowledge what they do. Just because someone is a loved one, that doesn’t give a person a right to disrespect him or her. In fact, that person should be honored or esteemed.
In many instances, this is not the case. A person may honor and esteem those they want to impress, but fail to honor those who are with him day in and day out. He may go out of his way to do for others but neglect his loved ones who are with him on a regular basis. He may go the extra mile for acquaintances or strangers, but he fails to recognize and appreciate those in his household.
If you find yourself guilty of this infraction, change it today. Honor those who you say you love. Show them appreciation and respect. Give them words of encouragement. Do your best to impress them as much as you attempt to impress others. Just remember, a little respect goes a long way.
It takes great tenacity to be a stay-at-home parent. It isn’t a glamorous job, and many times the person in this role doesn’t get many accolades. This person doesn’t check in at a specific time, take a lunch break then check out at a designated time. This person may not receive raises for a job well done. This person will not climb the corporate ladder and will not be sent to different trainings to perfect his or her skills. Many times, this person doesn’t have the comradery of co-workers, people to encourage him or her when times get hard. Sometimes the very people a stay-at-home parent serves takes his or her services for granted. In spite of these things, the stay-at-home parent gets up relentlessly and performs his or her tasks.
When you examine the skills of a stay-at-home parent, you will discover that they are multifarious. In some cases, the parent will serve as a decision maker. Oftentimes, decisions have to be made on the spot, and consultation is not available. This person will also serve as a manager who multitasks. He or she may not have the luxury of doing one thing at a time; the demands of his or her day require that two or more things be done at once. If this parent is fortunate, he or she can delegate some of his or her duties. This person also holds the role of a counselor. Even if he or she doesn’t possess a psychology degree, he or she is expected to know how to consult the subjects in the household on various life issues. He or she may also perform duties of a chef. This person may not be able to attach executive in front of this title, but he or she is responsible for preparing nutritious meals for the family. He or she is also expected to dabble in the role of a nursing assistant, finding cures or remedies for minor ailments. The list is endless when it comes to this role; however, the stay-at-home parent performs his or her duties tirelessly, oftentimes sprinkled with love.
If you know someone in this position, encourage him or her. Tell that person what a great job he or she is doing. Buy a small gift to show him or her appreciation. Celebrate that person for all that he or she has done. And remember, even if this person doesn’t receive accolades from the world, he or she is doing something awesome. This person has the responsibility of shaping young minds for the future. And who knows? One of those young minds may grow up to do something or be someone great.
We all have made mistakes in life. Some of our mistakes were larger and more devastating, while others more subtle, having lesser impact on those around us. Regardless the magnitude or the intention of the blunder, there are times when an apology is appropriate.
Isn’t it interesting that people respond differently in regards to their mistakes? Some never acknowledge they’ve made mistakes. They move from one mistake to another, never admitting they’ve done anything wrong. It may be because they don’t realize their actions have hurt or offended others, or they don’t feel the need to apologize, even if they realized their actions were hurtful or offensive. Others say they are sorry only when they get caught in their actions. They aren’t truly repentant, they are only sorry that someone found out what they have done. Then there are those who apologize for everything. They do it to keep the peace, not because they genuinely feel remorse about their actions. Lastly, there are those who realize their mistakes, feel remorse about them and apologize to those they’ve hurt or offended.
It’s not easy for many people to apologize genuinely for their mistakes. Many relationships have been ruined because one or both parties refuse to offer a genuine apology. A simple “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” can tear down a wall before it becomes a stronghold. A genuine apology can reunite people who have been distanced by an offense. Offering an apology can open the gates of communication, thereby helping to melt anger and bitterness that have been stored up for years.
Why is it so difficult to offer a genuine apology? Many times pride is the culprit. A haughty attitude blocks one from admitting that he is wrong, or if he realizes he is wrong, he’s too prideful to humble himself and apologize for his mistake. Another reason is the person may not realize that he’s committed a wrong. In that case, the offended person must tell the offender that he was hurt or offended, giving the offender an opportunity to respond appropriately.
In either case, a genuine apology can serve as a healing balm to an aching soul. It doesn’t cost money, and the only price you may pay is your pride. Now think about it for a moment. Is that relationship more valuable than a chunk of your pride? If it is, offer a genuine apology. Once you do, what happens next is out of your hands. But you never know, a genuine apology may repair a relationship that’s been on the brink. And even if it doesn’t repair the relationship, it will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you took the high road in making things right.