Playful Polar Bears Poster
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I want you to hink about something for a minute. No, not what you’ll have for supper. Not the economy. Not the weather. No, not even the upcoming Baseball Season (which I’m over the moon about, by the way – LOVE baseball!)
I want you to think about the six most important people in your life. Get a good, clear picture of each one in your mind. This next part is of the utmost importance. Typically, when we think of the people in our lives, we think of the things they do that make us smile, the things they do that make us frown, the things we wish they’d do…. Basically we think about how they make us feel.
I don’t want you to think about that right now, at all. I want you to swing your thoughts entirely in the opposite direction. I want you to take each person (each one who, by your own admission, is very important to you) and ask yourself, “How do I make them feel?”
Our initial response might be, “How should I know?!” – but that’s kind of a cop out. In our heart of hearts, we know exactly how we make them feel. The truth is there, it just may need to be dug out – after all, it’s (unfortunately) not a frequently used train of thought, so it may need to be uncovered and dusted off a bit.
Consider the following questions FOR EACH PERSON (don’t expect them to be easy or necessarily enjoyable – just important):
- Do you make this person feel like they’re a disappointment to you – as though you want more from them than they seem capable of delivering? Do you place so many expectations on them that they can’t possibly live up to them all? A sad fact is that, if this is the case, the day will come when they will just stop trying.
- Do you make this person feel like an idiot?! Do you, even in “jest” call them dumb, dummy, stupid, etc? Words don’t come out of our mouths with warning labels stuck to them (“This word may seem hurtful, but it’s a joke – so please laugh and disregard it.”). A word, once said, cannot be taken back and its effects can be felt for a lifetime. If you aren’t mature enough to weigh your words carefully before they come out, aren’t you truly the one with the problem? Don’t make others pay for your shortcoming. Instead, work on it!
- Do you make this person feel like they’re little more than your servant? When they see you coming toward them, are chances high that they automatically think, “Wonder what he/she wants now?” Trick them! Instead of handing him a “to do” list, hand him a couple of movie tickets to an action movie you know he’ll love (and you’ll somehow get through!). Or hand her a Starbucks card – locked and loaded!
- Do you make your children (or spouse!) feel like they’re in the way? If one of them walks into the room, talking a mile a minute, do you give short, snippy, get-on-with-it-I’m-busy answers or do you tell life, “You just hang on one minute, my baby needs me right now!“? I’m a lot of things and I make a lot of silly mistakes (er, I cut my back badly while in the tub last night because I used a razor to scratch an itch… top that!), but life has known one thing about me from the day I met my husband and the day each of our daughters were born – THEY COME FIRST and nothing will get in the way. Ever. If I’m swimming in online work or a big meal or laundry (or all three at once, I am woman watch me soar!), and one of my daughters wants to talk about anything from American Idol to Psychology, life knows to head to the back of the bus without me even sending it there. If I’ve got 10 windows open at the bottom of my screen and am in the middle of answering 5 e-mails at once and my hubby wants to talk about the St. Louis Cardinals (this is their year, you know), the windows practically close themselves. Yes, I slash my own back with razors but my family KNOWS they’re the most important thing in my world, because they ARE my world.
- Does this person feel like they could tell you anything or would they try desperately to keep things from you? If you tend to blow up over every little thing, your loved ones will not ever want to tell you anything. They’ll keep pesky little car noises, fender benders, vile bank invoices, etc. all on the low. You should always be the sort of person that your loved ones KNOW will be there for them. Someone they can always come to… without developing an ulcer first.
My oldest daughter, Emily, and her adorable boyfriend “Dill” have been going out for exactly one year. She and I were talking, yesterday, about the landmark and I told her that one of the reasons they seldom ever argue is because of the way each one makes the other feel. These kids laugh so much – and there’s great magic in laughter! My hubby and I have had this special magic for over 25 years.
If I were to think of the things I’m most grateful for, one of them is the fact that our home is filled with laughter – and not all of it is directed at me and my antics, believe it or not! Last night, when I told my daughters about my back, the youngest (Stephany) stared blankly at me (I thought, “Oh, a penny for your thoughts…“), the oldest (Emily) pulled up my pajama top, stopped the bleeding, and grabbed the triple antibiotic, while the middle daughter (Brittany) tried to make sense of my thinking. Funny girl!
My husband? He just went to bed muttering something or another.
Laughter is one of the most important things when it comes to relationships. The other is asking yourself how you make the other person feel. We need to worry about that MORE and how they make us feel LESS.
Have a great week with lots of laughs!