Any relationship worth keeping is worth working on. A technique I use to maintain, or cultivate healthy relationships is to use the same strategy many adults use when playing games with young kids.
I’m sure you’ve witnessed a time when adults let kids win a game. If you’re an adult, you’ve probably done this yourself.
It’s easy to let kids win because we want to make them feel good. We don’t need to feel superior to them.
In my adult relationships, I do the same thing. Sometimes it’s really annoying when I know I’m right. That’s when I say to myself, “Laurie, who cares? It’s not that important.”
I may cringe on the inside before I let it go – but then I force myself to let it go.
Here are some examples:
Person A: – “I can’t believe you want to go back to that restaurant, it sucks.”
Laurie: “What? I like that place. It’s one of my favorites.”
Person A: “OMG, you have such poor taste in restaurants, you’ll eat anything.”
Laurie: While fuming on the inside I take a deep breath and force myself to say,
“I’m ok as long as you’re good. Dessert is more important to me, anyway. You pick the restaurant tonight. I’ll choose next time.”
Laurie: “It’s so hot out today.“
Person A: “No it’s not. It’s totally freezing.“
Laurie: “Oh, well. I’m burning up.”
Person A: “You’re such a freak; there must be something wrong with you. You’re not normal, what’s up with that?“
Laurie: “Oh, I could see how you might be cold. Do you need a jacket; do you have on enough to keep you warm?”
Laurie: “It’s going to be dark outside in about an hour.”
Person A: “No it’s not. We’ve got at least two more hours of daylight.”
Laurie: “Oh, ok. Cool.”
Laurie: “Laurie Johnson is the best tap dancer in the world.”
Person A: “No way. She does the same stuff every time she performs and she’s got zero stage presence.”
Laurie: “Um… Well you do have a point. She does tend to do the same thing when performing.”
It’s that simple.
In these examples I’m not giving my power away – I’m preserving my sanity.
I give no meaning to these simple, inconsequential discussions. To debate them further is a waste of time. I’d rather be happy than be right.
Additionally, I want to maintain a healthy state of mind.
Maintaining and cultivating healthy relationships requires effort.
Next time you’re tempted to “win” an argument or prove you’re right – take a deep a breath, allow your BFF, spouse or partner to be heard and then exercise lovin’ restraint. That is your opportunity to make a conscious choice to let go of your need to feel superior and instead, make someone else feel good.
Argue with no one and everyone wins.
Honor your relationships with the adults in your life just like you would with that of a child. It’s a simple and effective way to express love and respect.