Ingredients for a healthy relationship.

1.  Important things that must be relayed to one another, do it in person.  Notes don’t cut it.  Email does not suffice.  Text messages are too impersonal.  And please don’t sink to communication solely via internet (Facebook, emailing, etc.).  Sometimes I think we should go back to the days of the Pony Express… Miscommunications happen when we forget to be personal.  Less than 10% of communication is verbal, the rest is nonverbal.  Think how much is missed when we place a brick wall between myself and the person I’m trying to communicate with.

2.  Complement one another daily.  We need to hear what we’re doing right, not just what we’re doing wrong.  While shopping the other day, I heard a mother hiss to her toddler son “why do you have to act like such a brat.”  Not exactly a complement.  Pretty much straight verbal abuse.  The toddler doesn’t get it, he’s acting like a…well, a toddler!  He hates shopping, hates sitting still, is curious about this, and that, and that over there…yet he’s being told to quit being a brat…what’s that?  It must be me?  I’M a brat…hmmm…can’t change that one…   ARGH.  If I tell my kids, my partner, my employees, what they’re doing right, they’ll do it more often.  If I hiss at them, put them down, only speak negatively, well…that’s just not healthy.  And I won’t have a healthy relationship.  And I’ll be miserable.  Complement.  Complement others.  And try complementing yourself.

3.  Don’t assume anything.  If you do, you’re probably wrong.  So get ready to apologize (another good thing to do) for jumping to conclusions.

4.  If there’s tension, ADDRESS IT.  It won’t go away if you ignore it.
In fact, it gets worse.  Try it sometime, and watch the tension spiral into everything else in life.

5.  Know that the world does not revolve around you, other people have other opinions, and that is okay.  It does not lessen the importance of yours, or you.  My four year old thinks the world revolves around her.  But that’s okay.  She’s four.  I’m not.

6.  Connect.  People who aren’t connected aren’t…well, connected.  Be purposeful…MAKE your paths cross.  If the relationship is important to you, invest in it.

7.  Find a healthy church, and attend together.

8.  And most important of all, be compassionate.  You have the power to choose this.  The power lies within you.  If you choose this path, you will NOT be able to act like a child and hurt those you love.  If you are compassionate (not only to others, but to yourself as well), you are acting like the person you were created to be.  I guarantee, you’ll feel the difference.  [I see the hurt in…and I want to do something to help…] or [I see the hurt in me … and this is how I can strengthen myself…]

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