Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do You Care?

By Julie Rahm


I’ve visited different parts of our county to witness firsthand how the hurricane recovery effort is progressing. I’m pleased to report we’re making great progress with still a great distance to cover. Help arrives from all over. But, the best assistance doesn’t come from Washington D.C. or Raleigh. The best assistance comes from within the county itself; from neighbors, friends, relatives, clubs and churches. County residents truly care about one another. So, it is “caring” that brings you my message this week. You see, caring is not just a way of feeling. Caring is also a way of behaving. Often, we treat “care” like an adjective. We say “I care”, when we describe ourselves. It is too often used a passive descriptor. In reality, the word “care” is a verb and implies action. In relationships, couples stop “caring” because behavior has changed. Feelings follow behavior. Without caring behavior, there will be no caring feelings. Here are some small behaviors that will rekindle the caring in your relationships:

Do it, don’t say it. Your actions speak louder than words and hollow words are a worthless commodity. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to say it. You still must communicate your feelings. Words still matter. But, what matters even more are the actions behind the words. Do what you say.

Refuse to argue and pick your battles. You can be right or you can be happy. The choice is yours. My husband John says, “Great countries don’t fight small wars”. Letting the “small ones” go is a good strategy for a successful relationship. Keep in mind the end state you’re trying to achieve. What will be the cost of winning a particular argument? To their detriment, couples often lack a long term perspective.

Apologize even if you’re not wrong. And, apologies must be genuine. “I’m sorry you were hurt by that”, is not an apology! I prefer the words “I apologize” rather than “I’m sorry”. The latter just describes how you’re feeling and offers nothing to your partner. Again, “sorry” is an adjective and “apologize” is a verb. Verbs are more effective.

Do something unexpected. Unexpected is one of the ingredients of romance. Unexpected doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Bring home her favorite food. Leave a note in his shoe. Do your partner’s chore. I get huge appreciation when I drag the trash can to the curb. You’ll get big points for unexpected. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive.

Sharing is caring. Everything must be, at the very least, offered for sharing. Sharing is the foundation for a relationship. Even the bad things must be shared. Successes and failures must be jointly experienced. No sharing equals no caring. Food, drinks, finances etc. without exception.

Fake it till you make it. Behaviors foster feelings. If you’ve lost the spark, do those caring things that earned you the relationship you remember. For more tidbits, visit my website at www.TheMindsetMechanic.com.

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