I guarantee that there is someone in your life who is important to you. In fact, there are probably multiple someones who fit that description.
And today I’m going to give you the key to making those relationships happier, more successful, more satisfying, and more honoring to God.
Tell them five positive things for every one negative thing.
It sounds simple. The math is very basic. Yet somehow, the most important people in our lives often wind up getting the worst parts of us. We come home after a stressful day at work and complain. We wake up grumpy and blame our attitude on the lack of coffee. We worry and stress about a quiz in school and roll our eyes at our best friend.
Because we let our guard down with the people who are most important to us, who are most present in our lives and with whom we have the highest levels of trust and security, we do not always give them our best.
Let’s change that today.
How to do it?
- Give five compliments for every one criticism. Social science shows this is hugely important in healthy, happy marriages.
- Highlight five positive things about a recent interaction or situation (even if it was frustrating!) despite any venting or concerns that need to be shared. Pursue a balanced perspective.
- Help people by asking questions that highlight the positive in a situation, or point out a positive aspect yourself.
- Remind your kids of five wonderful things about themselves and your love for them every time there is necessity for discipline or punishment.
Your words are powerful. Words are a big part of how we love people well and how we build up and encourage our community. If your emotions are too powerful to say five positives for every one negative, then pause first. Take some deep breaths. Do some praying, some journaling. Read Scripture. Prepare for the conversation first. Go out of your way to notice the positive, and to comment on it out loud.