I was having a conversation with a friend about relationships (a very common occurrence as I’m sure most of you can imagine) and the question was posed, “How come we don’t share with our families the good to great things our significant others do for us?”
It is fascinating that when we are with someone, the main things that get brought to the family about our relationships are the bad things, irritating things, frustrating things about that person. We are so quick to complain to them about the other person that it makes it extremely difficult for the family to ever have any positive thoughts about the individual.
A few questions come to mind: Is it that the person doesn’t do anything praiseworthy AND/OR is it the fact that we as people are actively choosing to focus on the negative because it’s easy to complain? I have a few thoughts about this that I would like to share.
First, I think complaining is low hanging fruit. I remember when I was married, that I would routinely go over to my parents house and have complain sessions. I’m….talking….hours….of complaining. This was during the demise of our relationship, but I remember complaining, ALOT.
Secondly, it is quite possible that neither party is performing noteworthy acts for the other person. I think or rather I KNOW, that when we get settled into the day to day of a relationship, that we forget to do special things for the other person. We reserve the “special” things for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Why do we wait to celebrate the one we love until those times? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we brought home our loved one some flowers, “just because it’s Wednesday”? Or if you surprised her with a spa day for no other reason other than the fact that she could use it and you love her. I digress.
And lastly, and this is pure speculation, but I wonder if we are afraid to put the people that we love on a pedestal in front of our family. Maybe we don’t want them seem “that” special to them even if they are that special to us. Maybe we want to be able to complain without any accountability for OUR actions and words which may have contributed to the current disagreement or conflict. I don’t know, but it is definitely possible.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that I like to suggest fairly practical and relatively easy to implement solutions to the issues that I address.
One practice for disarming negative thoughts is to make concerted attempts to follow up the negative thought with positive one about the individual. I’m not going to lie, when you are in a mood, in a funk about what someone has said or done, this can be EXTREMELY difficult but worth the effort, for sure.
I shared some of this above, but I think that we need to put in effort to make the other person feel special at random times throughout the year. Plan a picnic, plan something to get dressed up for, send her or him away for the weekend. The list is endless. Just takes a little creativity and not everything is going to cost a ton of money. Need some good, inexpensive ideas, check the link below.
And lastly, if you truly value that person as much as you profess their value to them, then step out on that ledge and profess their value to your family as well. And why do I say this? Because the truth of the matter is that most of us don’t want to have ANY check or balances on our irrational thoughts and emotions, but I think that it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary.
In ancient Rome an Auriga was a slave who was given gladiator status. It was his job to drive the chariot, but it was also his job to whisper to the Chief during Roman triumphs Memento Homo, “Remember, you are only a man”.
Who is going to be your Auriga?