Cherish your relationships.
When we think of the word “relationship” we often think of our closest, intimate connections with others such as spouse, partner, parent, child, family members and even pets. Yes, I believe we need to deeply adore and cherish those relationships.
When is the last time that you told them that you loved and appreciated them? Do you know their language of love, and how they personally prefer to be adored? Some people like physical touch, gifts, quality time, acts of service or words of appreciation. Take the time to learn your loved ones’ preferred way to be loved.
Make the effort to demonstrate that you care for them on a daily basis. Do not take each other for granted. Appreciate and cherish them while you still can. We never know what our future or destiny holds, so treat each relationship with love, kindness, respect and appreciation.
Also, cast your net far and wide. Who else do you have a relationship with? When you think of your “relationships”, are you thinking about all of the other important people in your life? Friends, neighbors, bosses, employees, colleagues, clients, teachers, mentors, students, babysitters, doctors, hair stylists, Facebook and Twitter friends and followers, and so many more. What about the bus driver, waitress, cashier, bank teller, salesclerk, librarian, garbage collector, and even the parking meter maid?
Yes… we have relationships with all of these people too. Sometimes we forget that our interactions with others can make long-lasting impressions, and affect their feelings and well-being. Do you personally make the effort to be kind, caring and respectful in ALL of those relationships?
By nature, I am a friendly person. Also, I moved a lot as a child, and needed to be extroverted and social to make friends along the way. As a psychologist, wife, mom and friend, I believe the most important mission in my life is to connect with others in a kind, caring way.
I suggest that you consider how you act with people in all of your relationships. I am not suggesting that you tolerate mean or abusive relationships, but can you set boundaries, take care of yourself and still have compassion for others?
Recently I encountered a parking meter maid outside my office in San Francisco. He was doing his job, and my parking meter had expired for an entire minute! I was frustrated, but tried to remember to be kind and respectful.
What about when someone “steals” your parking space? When someone is cranky and rude at a store or on a phone call? Don’t forget, times are tough for a lot of people. I recommend “We try to treat others as we would like to be treated”. We do not have to be perfect, but let’s all strive together to make this world a kinder, more compassionate place to live.
When my sons were young, we used to greet Leo, our garbage man at the sidewalk every Friday morning. We visited the fire station to say “Thanks!” to the firefighters. We take the time to say hello, and we wait for genuine responses to the habitual question, “How are you?”.
So please cherish your relationships… you may be surprised how much they can enhance your life.