Oooh…where are your margins when it comes to lovin’ butter, or are you already an expert at spreading love generously?
The desire to be loved is part of human nature. It can be felt in varying degrees by the people we interact with in our lives. To love is what we all have the capability to do, although some may struggle to express it more than others. Some come from damaged loving experiences and can hardly be pleasant, let alone love others, while others are exploding with so much love, that no one can escape their exuberant spirit of acceptance and radiant energy of love. Loving better is something we all can do.
Being kind and considerate toward another may become less of an importance. Over time, a relationship can deteriorate without even realizing it. Suddenly the relationship may have more arguments and less care between the people involved. If a relationship of any kind between two people is worth salvaging, a person will try to identify what is causing the problem and take steps to try to find a compromise. Realizing that there is a communication issue can open the door to finding out what the underlying problem is. There may be a lapse in consideration for the other as the person is taken for granted or used overstepping boundaries. The first step to repairing a relationship is realizing there is a problem and identifying it with a sincere desire to amend the difference. Step back and reevaluate the situation and your own response. What is it that you are finding yourself doing? What does the other person really need from you? Maybe your approach is not the best one and you don’t even realize it. Don’t worry. Things are not toast. We know you are in a jam. Let’s roll up our sleeves and take a closer look.
Here are a few things to evaluate:
Do you find yourself judging the other person?
Do you tell them often what they should do?
Do you do all the talking?
Are you always negative?
Do you negate what they have to say frequently?
Are you invading their privacy or treading into sensitive areas?
How often do you follow-up on their problems they mention to you?
How often do you delve into areas you can offer to help?
Are there ways you can be more thoughtful?
Do you speak well about them to others?
Do you make time for them?
Are you dependable?
Do you treat them without expecting something in return?
Relationships naturally occur and it is not typical that we analyze the person we are spending time with—we just interact and love them naturally. If you can become aware of what it is that makes them feel loved, you can “love them better”. Men for example do not respond as much to verbally being told “I love you”. They need to know they are appreciated and are valued by what they do. A woman, on the other hand, prefers to be listened to and have time spent with them without distractions. Each person is unique and have their own recipe in what they respond to best.
Communication styles can contribute significantly to relationships. Respectfulness towards another person often is communicated in how we speak to them. What is your tone of voice? What words do you use? How can you adjust these? Affirmations can be beneficial to any relationship. By steering away from negative comments and criticism, and recognizing the blessings others bring with their presence, you can breathe positivity into a relationship which can only move it on a better road. Be thankful and express your gratitude frequently more than complaints. Finally, how sincere are you when you communicate? Loving relationships are based on truth and it is surprising how transparent words are which are not meant, often by the actions which support them.
Love is also expressed with nonverbal communication. It can be as simple as smiling more frequently, being more affectionate, or doing acts of kindness. Acts of generosity toward another person, whether big or small, show care by expressing kindness as an act of love. Perhaps you can find a way to help another person to make their life easier. Are you the type who is always busy or finds interruptions a bother? Try to be more approachable and make time. It only takes seconds for body language to be read, which can communicate receptiveness, openness, and warmth. It also can show offense which is an indication you need to try another approach or react differently. Being able to recognize these indicators and respond to them is a way to show you respect the other person. Facial and body expressions are best read in person and are invaluable at interpreting how a person feels. Use these body expressions and facial indicators to help understand how receptive a person is and to read boundaries they have. Realizing that “STOP” really means “STOP” and “NO” really means “NO” needs to be followed for relationships to be successful. This can be communicated in words or non-verbally. Thoughtfulness is always thinking of the other person first in an unselfish manner. It is loving another as well as you would like to be loved, if not better. Lovin’ butter means livin’ better.
Putting love into action and modifying your communication will help let the other person know they are valued and are special. It will also give them the dignity they deserve and show acceptance. Express love without reserves by going beyond the “margarines” and express it “butter”.
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Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond
by Jay Sullivan