Stop to think for a minute about the feelings involved in your closest and longest relationships. Finding both the bitter and the sweet? Probably. Reality calling.
Babies, children, parents, friends and lovers all eventually make you wrinkle your nose in disgust and shatter your heart with betrayal.
Stopping to think honestly about the feelings involved in your closest and longest relationships (thinking is the game plan for improving your emotional intelligence) and you cannot avoid the mixing of the bitter and the sweet.
What to do? Practice kindness, gratitude, forgiveness and remember what matters .
This does not mean living with or allowing abuse. By abuse I do not mean the normal slings and arrow words thrown in a fit of temper. I mean hard on, bruising physical contact and or a constant barrage of nastiness, name-calling, and verbal put downs. Those are calls for ending a relationship or minimally putting physical distance between you and the ones who cannot get it together.
Hardest to do when the relationship is long term and you love the other. Still abuse should not be allowed.
The longer the relationship, the more important it is to practice forgiveness and the remember what matters. Not easy, but easier when you make a decision to practice deliberate kindness in line with the five to one rule.
What’s the five to one rule? It refers to the research of John Gottman. He studied marriages and found he could predict which would last and which would not. The ones that lasted were those in which good feelings happened five times more often than bad feelings.
How do you practice deliberate kindness after a bad moment? First you must wait until the heat of the bad feelings has dampened a bit. Strong self soothing skills help with that.
Timing also matters. When the atmosphere has eased a bit, do something small, but caring.
Easiest with small children. The gurus all say end time outs with a restorative hug. My grandchildren rush to me when released from time out. Often, I say, “Even when I’m angry, I love you” or “I don’t love bad behavior, but I do love you.” I do that to try and help them get to a better understanding of unconditional love which forgives all but does not tolerate all.
With the older crowd, very often, just a friendly touch at the right moment works.
Humor sometimes help. When my husband and I fight, and the heat of the moment is past, I can joke a bit. Humming the song, “I don’t know why I love you like I do, I just do” signals truce and is often accepted.
Sharing a sweet or suggesting taking a time out for something small both enjoy can be the icing on the ice cap smothering the heat.
Finally, as do many in a war zone, just doing the every day normal things you do when not angry works.
If you like this post share it with another. That is practicing deliberate kindness. A second important aspect of practicing kindness, whether deliberate, randomed, planned or not, is being aware you are being kind. That strengthens you.
An important Emotional Fitness Exercises asks you to make a “Done List” instead of a “To Do List,.” When you act kindly, add that act to the Done List and enjoy being a kind person.
As always, thank you for your support.
This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s DAILY PROMPT – Unlikely Pairing: Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.
In terms of food I have two mixtures others do not get: coffee, cayenne pepper, a sprinkle of salt and vanilla creamer. Yum. Then there is vanilla ice cream, whipped cream topped with maple syrup and salt and sometimes even a sprinkle of the cayenne.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- The five to one rule (bobsutton.typepad.com)
- Scholarly look at the five to one rule: (carlsonschool.umn.edu)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The EFTI Store (eftistore.com)
- WordPress Daily Prompt (wordpress.com)
Three steps to forgiveness. This poster coach begins the process of learning to forgive yourself and others.