I was reminded of something this week in my online marriage course. We are our worst selves to those we are closest to or those we love the most. At least for me, my manners seem to have completely vanished. An example is given in John Gottman’s book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, but even one of my own is practically the same. Whilst in an argument with my husband, I was telling him how frustrating it is that he never does the dishes. Honestly, I was tearing into it pretty hard. Then, my phone rings. I see that it is my sister. I answer with an upbeat, “What up my sista?!” Us girls go on to have a pleasant conversation. Getting off the phone I see that my husband is doing some dishes. I go to interrogate further by saying, “Wow, isn’t it easy to do dishes?” I changed my mood quickly when someone else was asking for my attention, so I obviously was choosing to be upset and rude.
In the book it examples having guests over and if they break something, we would tell them it is alright and clean it up. When someone in our family or our spouse does likewise, I think most of us have a different reaction. Yes, mine is quite volatile and impatient. This is crazy! If my husband is ever the same way to me, which also sets me off. I seem to have no tolerance for his impatience or if he does not give me respect. Wo, wo, wo. Hold on. Simple thing we all learn when we are young; if we want someone to be kind to us, we need to first be kind to them. I think it would do me some good to review the primary song, “Kindness Begins With Me”.
So, for those on going annoyances or arguments, simply put forth kindness. Manners may need to be dusted off. Over the past few days I have tried to notice how often I am genuinely kind to my husband, using my manners by saying please and thank you. It is embarrassing that I rarely use these simple, but powerful phrases. If there is any sort of tension in your marriage or other relationships, just try to treat that person as an acquaintance. We are kind to most acquaintances, I hope. Bring out the manners and I really think this is a good, simple thing to focus on. It can ease the tension in all the problems we have in relationships. Thank you for reading my post. Please, come again! ;)