Hint: It's all about living up to expectations.
A girlfriend and I were having lunch and I asked about her son who was getting professional help for some behavioral problems he was having. Our conversation went like this:
"There's a good change in his attitude. He's staying out of trouble, but I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop," she said. "It's hard to trust him yet. He is doing things that he's never done before, which is great. But I still need to stay on top of him just in case."
I asked a couple of questions: "Have you told him how proud you are with how far he's come? Have you thanked him for the things he's now doing that he didn't do in the past?"
She said no. And because she's a very bright woman she followed it up with: "I really need to say those things becasue I am proud of him and I am grateful for what he's doing now. And yet, all I keep doing is looking at what he's still doing wrong and get on him about that. How's he ever going to feel good about himself and continue to improve if I don't acknowledge him for all his improvements and growth?
"If I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, it will!"
I just smiled and told her I loved her and that she's a great mom. The conversation moved on to a new topic.
- Do I spend too much time letting them know what they're doing wrong?
- Do I ignore the efforts toward positive change?
- Do I still find ways to be unsatisfied with their behavior?
If you answered yes to any of those questions you're now the one who needs to do some changing. Never forget that people love to be acknowledged — not just for the big things but the little things, too. Appreciation and love are the driving force that keeps them wanting to do well and do something nice for others.
Linda Salazar, founder of Your Heart Is In Your Hands, is a Relationship Coach, author, speaker and media personality working with smart, proactive, spiritually open women who are ready for remarkable relationships. Contact Linda here.