Ever wish life came with an instruction manual? As it turns out, it kinda did.
You know by now your grandmother was right about a lot more than you once gave her credit for. Some of those old sayings were never more true than they are now, and can help us to live and love with much more kindness.
1. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You
Yes, the mighty Golden Rule. We all learned some version of this in preschool and yet, we seem to forget this most basic ideal. It might be the simplest and most effective formula for a happy planet. The world would be a much kinder and more peaceful place if this was something we all took to heart, without all the caveats and justifications we use to violate it on a daily basis. It’s no different in the world of romance. Whether you’ve been on 1 date, 100 dates or you’ve been married for 20 years, we all want to be treated with kindness, respect and compassion. When everything is rosy it’s easy to remember to treat others well. And it’s all too easy to forget when emotions and distractions come into play. But as Gandhi famously said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Same goes for your relationship.
2. You Catch More Flies with Honey than with Vinegar
There isn’t one of us who doesn’t know this to be true. We want to be wooed, whether it’s by our co-worker asking us for a favor, a salesman trying to sell us a car, or a love interest asking us on a date. But it’s easy to forget that there are a million small ways this plays out. Instead of going into combat mode when someone cuts you off in line, or your partner leaves a mess in the kitchen after you’ve just spent an hour cleaning it, you can lash out reflexively, or you can ask yourself “what am I trying to accomplish here?” If your reaction is doing nothing more than shaming the person who offended you, see #1 above. And if you’re single and looking to find love, just remember not to let any past hurt or bitterness you might feel color your journey. Not only will you be happier having released those negative feelings, but you will be much more attractive to others.
3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Sure, plenty of races are won by the sprinters. But in life, more often than not it’s the long game that pays off, not the short one. Maybe you opted for a job with low starting pay but huge potential for advancement, versus someone who took a higher paying one with no room for growth. In 5 years you wouldn’t be surprised to find that your job was more interesting, fulfilling and lucrative than that of the person stuck at the same entry level position. So it goes in matters of the heart. Rushing into relationships on a hope and a prayer without taking the time to get to know your partner and determining if you have compatible values, personalities and goals is a crapshoot, and like some crapshoots it might end OK, but more often than not ends up falling apart when the reality of who the other person is sinks in.
4. If You Have Nothing Nice to Say…
The opinionated ones among us (this most definitely includes me) would be wise to bear this in mind more often. Too often in our culture and in our relationships we criticize for no constructive purpose whatsoever. We would be wise to love more and criticize less. In the context of relationships, excessive criticism is especially unloving behavior. Many a relationship crumbles under the weight of criticism and judgment. And is it any wonder? If you’re wondering why angrily criticizing your partner isn’t resulting in a change of behavior on their part, see #s 1 and 2 above.
What do you think? Are there any sayings you live and love by? Let me know in the comments below!