Sad and true fact of the day: We are sometimes more polite, considerate and patient with strangers and co-workers than we are with our loved ones. We tend to “lose it” more easily and our words, thoughts, feelings and opinions may come out in a more hurtful way than if we were talking to a stranger. At the end of the day, we end up hurting those people who love and support us simply by taking them for granted, being impatient with them and taking our anger/frustrations out on them.
For those of us who have been in long term relationships—think of how you treated each other in the beginning, you were both kind to each other, went out of your way to make the other person laugh, to make them comfortable and happy. Now, I am not so disillusioned to think that after 5, 10 or 15+ years things will remain that way, you grow closer together and with that, you become more comfortable, and let’s be honest, part of loving someone is loving them at their best and at their worst. I just think it is important to remember that being at their worst doesn’t define who they are or your relationship.
So, I ask you to take a second and reflect. How often do we find ourselves getting short, impatient or upset with someone we love but we somehow find it so easy to be overly kind and polite with a stranger or a co-worker? How is this fair?
I was at the dentist the other day and he said “You are always happy.” I responded with, “Yea, (chuckle) I try to be.”—I walked out thinking about how my friends and co-workers (past and present) call me “Positive Patty” and how hard it is for me to “put my foot down” for fear of being rude to someone because I do try to always be happy, to always smile and to always treat others with kindness and fairness…….. Then Iembarrassingly remembered how I often become upset, impatient and frustrated with my loved ones.
I’m not perfect and I strive every day to be better than I was the day before, but starting today, I am going to make more of an effort to treat my loved ones with more patience and kindness. My friends and family mean the world to me; I cherish my relationships with them and would never intentionally do something to hurt them. However, as we all too often find out, it is usually the “unintentional” that causes the most harm.
So, once again, I ask you to reflect upon yourself and your relationships and start treating your loved ones as you would the elderly lady at the grocery store, the young store clerk, the bank teller… treat them with the utmost patience, gratitude, kindness, love and support that you have in you. Relationships are hard and they require a lot of work, but showing someone that you love them by being thoughtful, compassionate, patient and supportive—that should be the easy part.
And I leave you with a quote from The Notebook 😉
“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” –Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook