Don’t you just love it when someone gives you a bunch of long stem roses? But what if your partner came home with a bunch of thistles? Not the same response or loving connection I would think! The way we are, the way we treat people, respect people, and interact with people, can be Roses or Thistles.
Do people love to be with you because you bring joy and beauty into their life and leave them feeling beautiful? Or do people go away feeling they have been infected with prickles from your thistles? The words that you say, do they build or destroy? Do you listen or do you dominate the conversation, bragging about yourself? Are you empathetic or bored? Are you interested or distracted? Do you really care or are you impatient to move on? Do you feel their pain or do you trump their pain with your story of misadventure? Do people long to have you around, or do they dread your coming? Are you a ray of sunshine or a cloud of doom and gloom? It all depends on if you are a Rose or a Thistle.
There is so much stuff out there about relationships, so why another article? Because I believe those who want an exceptional relationship will be directly affected in every area of their life by how much they value that relationship. Do you invest in it, or do you neglect it? Are you a Rose or a Thistle?
There’s a story of a little girl who excitedly was telling her mum about her amazing day at school while her mum flat-out did nothing but continue preparing the vegetables for dinner. The youngster stomped her foot and said, “You aren’t listening to me!” “Yes I am,” her mum replied. The youngster responded, “Well, listen with your eyes”! Oops! -Thistle prickle.
Listening is the key to communicating and communication is the key to an enduring relationship. Rather than really listening, we can be preoccupied or quiet. We are evaluating and making mental notes about what we want to say to defend ourselves. Our intention isn’t to understand but to be understood. When we feel our partner doesn’t hear us, we can misinterpret it to mean he or she doesn’t care. Thistle prickle.
Our objective may be to spend regular time with the important people in our life. However, we can find ourselves obsessed by the demands of work that has us spread so thin there is little time for those significant relationships. Work, our hobbies, or even our health regime at the gym, can get in the way of our building lasting relationships. Thistle prickle.
People fill their lives with good things, noteworthy obligations and impressive accomplishments. Because our lives can be so full of our own activities, it is very easy to withdraw into our shell for peace and quiet. But “good” can be the enemy of “best.” We must take the time to evaluate what we have in our hands and be willing to move some things out to make room for the things we value most, before it is too late. Lack of this detachment can cost us dearly. The way we treat our partner, our kids and our friendships is like investing in the bank. If you don’t make deposits, there will be nothing there from which to make a withdrawal. In our busy-ness, it is important to schedule time to be together. Planting Thistle Prickles or Rose Blooms?
Our kids loved it when Dad took them on a “date,” to just be with them and hear how things were going in their lives. It gave him an opportunity to hear their heartbeats and build bridges of trust. Those “dates” were huge deposits. And your partner needs those investments, too. Where your heart is, your attention goes. We must put priority on the value of the relationship with our partner or spouse and its effect on our total life and future relationship. Rose Blooms
Appreciation is so important. We all want to feel valued. We all want to feel as if we are making a difference. To have someone say “Thank you” can fuel your tank for months. Just to be noticed and recognized for doing the small, little, repetitive things that make life easier may seem like no big deal. But when you do the task endlessly, and no one seems to notice or care, you begin wondering you should continue. It is such a small thing to say, “Thanks for being there for me.” You passed on a rose, and the smell remains on your hand. The joy of making a difference.
Smile. It costs nothing, but it is an investment that can produce huge dividends. For the recipient, it may be the only spark of goodness in their day. When people see a smile, they can mirror it back and you have been enriched. You then pass on the rose and make another person’s day. Then, in turn, they may be a relay runner, and pass it onto another. You have given a rose and the fragrance spreads and fills the room.
Forgive. This doesn’t mean you forget it happened, but rather that you choose to let go of the feelings that you have about the event. One of the most familiar challenges when coaching is people hold on to a misdemeanour against the other that they aren’t willing to release and forgive. The truth is that, at some time or another, we all will require forgiveness. When we accept that. It makes all the difference in the world. In a permanent, valued relationship we are committed to forgiving one another. Lasting and healthy relationships are those that are dedicated to forgiveness. Rose Blooms.
Before you know it, you will have a garden where roses blossom and weeds become obsolete.