I recently spent a few lovely days at the home of an old college buddy and his wife. They are happily married, have two successful children, several grandchildren and are enjoying retirement in Florida.
We had a great time together reminiscing and joking around, and it was a pleasure just being with them. They are so kind to one another. They speak to each other politely. They use please and thank you, and call each other sweetheart and honey. I do not believe they were putting on a show. At one point I overheard my friend talking to his daughter on the phone, and it was obvious she loves her dad very much and he loves her dearly.
So, this made me wonder. Thinking about your circle of friends, family, co-workers and colleagues, what do you observe about the way they act with their families? Do you know any couples who treat each other with the kind of respect and consideration they showed at their first date, for example?
Have you had the opposite experience in a relationship, whether it’s personal, work-related or even casual? Have you ever noticed that, after time has passed, you no longer think about being courteous and considerate? In other words, have you taken other people for granted; even the people you care about the most?
If you see this in yourself, the intent of this article is not to guilt trip or criticize. Let us just suppose that for man of us humans, the habit of taking people for granted is not malicious; rather, it is learned as we grow up. In fact you may know someone who grew up in a family of unkind, critical people, who did not nurture or encourage others.
When our role models act this way, we are likely to mimic their actions and to adopt their beliefs. If, on the other hand, our role models are thoughtful, kind and quick to show gratitude and appreciation, that is what we will import into our behavior and attitude, as long as we are bonded with the role models.
Fortunately, anyone who can think straight and is motivated for self-improvement can discard that nasty old habit and learn to express gratitude and appreciation. One of the surest ways to get started is to actively seek out the company of good-hearted, authentic people. Remember, if you take people for granted, you learned that from someone else. So, it stands to reason that you can also learn a healthy new habit from another person or group.
When you start giving appreciation, gratitude and consideration for others, you will notice that it helps you, as it nurtures and encourages others. It’s a lovely feeling of connection and belonging. We all need that.
If this article speaks to you, and you’d like help with this problem, please reach out. The phone number is (219) 309-3928. It would be an honor to be of service.
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