Are You Putting Energy into the Relationships that Matter Most?

 In Relationships

Think of a time when you wanted another person to like you. Maybe it was when you were dating. Maybe it was a new boss. Think back to how you tried to be your best self. Maybe you listened more. Maybe you offered more compliments and appreciation. Maybe you were more understanding of their imperfections. Maybe you tried to understand their bad moods.

Notice I didn’t say anything about trying to impress them, although that may have been on your mind, too. No, I’m just talking about how you likely made an extra effort to be nice.

Now think of what version of yourself you currently bring to your interactions with your coworkers, your kids, your partner, etc. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being your worst self and 10 being your best, what would you rate it? If you’re like some people, you probably tend to put more effort in at work and have little energy left when you get home.

Do you get more snippy with your family? Do you judge, get defensive, or just let all your stress out with those people you’re most comfortable with in your life?

What if you saved a little effort and energy for your relationships at home? What if you could increase your rating by even one or two points? What if you were almost as friendly, patient, and understanding with your kids, partner, parents, etc. as you were with someone who you wanted to like you?

This realization has been a huge eye-opener for me. Why would I put the least effort into the relationships that matter the most to me? I think this thought started creeping in a few years ago when I realized that my daughter would be leaving home after high school in only three years. Now she only has a couple of months of school left!! It also reminds me of the studies showing that our relationships with our partner and kids are best when we have a positivity ratio of at least 5 – 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.

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