May 24, 2010
Learn how to practice the same manners of appreciation and interest in others that you use in your work when you come home at night and meet your mate and children.
Recently I met Michele Vasquez at a gathering of a group called Amazing Woman and we shared business cards. I wondered what she did as a “relationship coach” and checked into her blog, True Love Relationship Coaching, subtitled “Create Passion That Lasts a Lifetime.”
I found that she offers practical advice for people who want to improve their relationships and she has given me permission to use some of her material on this blog.
Incidentally, when I tried to find the website of the Amazing Woman group, the first result in Google was a YouTube video of a truly amazing woman who has no arms. She does almost everything we “normal” people do and is raising a son by using her feet as hands and arms. Watching her change her baby with her feet puts to shame people who complain about petty annoyances and inconveniences.
Here is a recent blog by Michele Vasquez called “Say the Magic Words.” I have retitled it because in my comment to her I wrote, “I am always amazed how, when people open their front door and return home from a day at the office, they forget to continue the good manners they had been using all day at work.”
Try this out. The next time you put your hand on the door knob and step over the threshold to your home, consciously remind yourself that you will continue being as mannerly and kind as you were at work. You may even want to place a note on the door as a reminder. It could say, “Are you forgetting something?”
Here now is Michele’s blog.
How important are good manners in a relationship? I submit to you that manners are extremely important and can make or break a relationship. You do not have to act like the characters from Pride and Prejudice to have good manners, though that could be fun! No, simple things, like saying the “magic words” can make a world of difference in the quality of your connection.
Whether you have been married for a few months or a few decades, you can appreciate how good manners impact your relationship. Take a look at these two examples of good manners and judge for yourself whether they enhance your relationship:
Remembering to say the magic words
If you heard the question, “What is the magic word?” when you growing up, as I did, you learned quickly to say “Please” and “Thank you” when you made a request or were given something. If you experienced this, you probably say these words automatically now. You may be thinking, “But they are just words!” Yes, they are. They are called magic words because they are powerful.
People crave appreciation and acknowledgment for their deeds. These powerful words give them what they need. The end result? A better connection in a relationship. Just from these two magic words! Another side effect of employing these two phrases is that you create goodwill in your relationship. If you have not done so already, decide to make these phrases a lifelong part of your vocabulary.
Treating your partner as if you just met.
You know the expression, “Familiarity breeds contempt”? As you become more comfortable with your partner, you tend to allow your own frustrations to filter through. You take your bad moods out on your partner, whether it is deserved or not. You take each other for granted. These are examples of how familiarity can lead to contempt, or at the very least to bad manners.
Do not fall into this trap. Yes, it takes a bit of effort to be polite to your partner, but why would you want to treat your partner badly? Admit it. Even when you are nursing a bad mood, you still manage to treat strangers kindly. So why not do the same thing with the one you love the most?
What are the benefits of good manners in your relationship? Harmony, better connection, less conflict, more smiles and laughter, and so on. While it is not possible to always be on your best behavior, you can do this with a small amount of effort. Is it worth it? Ask any couple who has been successfully married for a decade or more. They will tell you that good manners are essential to keeping them happily together. [*]
Michele offers you a free report on the Seven Deadly Habits and how they can destroy your relationship. Learn what you can do differently so you can create a more loving marriage.
* Now that I’ve been married fifty years, I can vouch for the truth of that statement.