I’m still on my blogging vacation, so once again I’m sharing one of my old posts. Enjoy!
Let me tell you a story of a guy named Chuck. Chuck was in his mid-twenties and was at the local auto dealership buying his eighth car. You read that right, his 8th one! He was tired of going through so many cars, but it wasn’t as if he could live without them. He needed one!
He had gotten his first car when he was seventeen, his parents had bought him a slightly used one for his birthday. He was so excited that he couldn’t wait to get out and drive his friends around town. They had a blast driving around town that night and for the next two weeks. Two weeks after Chuck got his car, he ran a red light and crashed into another car and totaled out his car.
A month later Chuck had a new car from the insurance money. He lied about some injuries and that is how he got the money for the new car. He was a little smarter with this one and drove it around for nine whole months before he got into a race with some guys in another car and he crashed into a pole, which caused the car to catch on fire and it, too, was totaled out. He bought the third car with his own money and drove it around for three months until he was speeding in the fog and ran into a police car. That car was impounded and sold at an auction.
Chuck’s parents bought him his fourth car, feeling that they had somehow let him down since he had gone through three in less than a year. Chuck was determined to keep this car in good shape, and he did for a year and a half! But one night after attending a party and drinking too much his reaction time was poor and when he tried to stop at a red light, he ended up stopping in the middle of the intersection and an SUV ran into the side of his car. His car was sent into the next lane where another vehicle hit it from the other side. Another totaled car!
His parents refused to buy him another car and his license was taken away because of his drunk driving. While he was without his license, he got a job that he rode his bike to. By the time that he got his license back, he had earned enough money to buy a little beat up car to get him from point A to point B. He was careful and drove that car for a year and half, also. He crashed it just as he did all the others. Then he got his sixth car and drove it for a while and crashed that one, too. After crashing that, he car number seven and managed to crash that one as well.
That is how we find Chuck at the local auto dealership talking to Bruce, the auto dealer. Chuck says to Bruce, “I really need a good reliable car! I am so sick and tired of buying these junk cars that just don’t last! I am obviously not so good at picking them out. I want you to pick out one that will be good to me, just like I deserve!”
Does Chuck’s comment make you chuckle? How can he possibly be so blind as to not see that all the cars were ruined at his hands? In his eyes, Chuck had done nothing wrong at all. The cars had done him wrong and he was looking for one that would finally do him right! What he doesn’t realize is that no car will do that for him. What he needs is to go back to drive’s education and learn how to drive safely and responsibly. He needs to learn what it takes to take care of a car by driving it safely.
Chuck’s story is really not all that different from many people today in relationships. People go through a bad marriage or two (or three or four!) and come out believing that the whole problem was with their ex-spouse or ex-spouses. The same thing can happen with friendships. They don’t understand that they played a part in the breakdown of these relationships. They think that if they “just find the right person” then they will have the perfect relationship!
This is a common myth of our society thanks to the happily ever after fairy tales. We are just waiting for the right person to come along to right all the wrongs of our life. Then when we find out that our partner is a flawed human being (just like us!) we are devastated and want out so that we can find the REAL right person. What we don’t understand, like our friend Chuck with his cars, is that we need to learn how to treat relationships and people. No matter how great our partner is, he or she will not be good enough if we don’t have the right tools for building healthy relationships, just like Chuck will keep crashing his cars without learning how to change his driving habits.
Relationships, no matter with whom, takes certain elements if it is to be successful. They take consideration, you must always consider the needs and desires of the other and not only focus on your own needs and wants. Some practicals of consideration are summed up in the B-E-S-T Relationship Method.
B- Believe. You must always believe in the other person, you chose them as a partner or friend so they obviously have some merit! You need to believe in them, believe in your marriage, believe in your goals. When they are having a bad day and taking it out on you, believe that they are not trying to hurt you but that they are just having a bad day. Believe the best about your friend or partner. If you are going to assume anything–assume good motives!
E- Encourage. Do things to encourage and build up your friend or partner. Surprise him or her with a gift or card. Tell them that you love or appreciate them – and tell them often! Smile and give encouraging words. Offer to do something that you know they hate. Tell their friends, spouse, parents or kids good things that they have done those words will get back to them!
S- Spend time. It is very important to spend time together! Time alone as a couple is very, very important and can’t be under-emphasized. Especially if you have kids or others in the house it should be top priority to set a date night at least once a week! Get a baby sitter or join a baby sitting co-op. Spend time together in little increments even when kids are around. Sit close during a movie, hold hands while walking, talk about your days for a few minutes when you get home, rub his or her shoulders after a tough day. Be creative, but spend time together every single day that you can! Don’t forget the friendships can be neglected as well: send an e-mail, give a call, meet up for lunch, etc. on a regular basis!
T- Tenderness. Criticism, sarcasm, arguing, complaining, nagging, whining, throwing fits, threats, and the like are all relationship killers. Words, facial expressions, and touch can all make or break a marriage depending on how they are used. If they are used with tenderness, stand back and watch your marriage and your partner blossom and change! Tender caring words, expressions and touch can melt a heart. After all, neither of you fell in love with each other because of the skills in criticizing, arguing and the like. No! You fell in love with the tender, caring aspects of your partner and he or she did as well with you. Sure, you may have admired his or her independence and strong will, but they were tender with you and that is what won your heart. This is also what will KEEP your partner’s love and help him or her to fall back in love with you! Watch your words and actions with your close friends as well and you will find how enriching friendships can be to your life!
In order to have a successful and happy marriage or friendship all of the parts of the B-E-S-T relationship method need to be practiced regularly. It won’t work if you decide to work on one aspect today and another tomorrow. You won’t be perfect at it over night, but if you really give it a try, starting small you will begin to see a drastic improvement in your marriage and your spouse! If you choose to BEGIN with one aspect of the B-E-S-T love method and build onto it with another and another until you are putting into practice all four components it will work nicely. Just donâ€™t skip around; think of it as a staircase, you start with one and build onto it with the others.
Don’t expect immediate results, especially if your relationship has been really rocky. Be consistent and love unconditionally. When they see that your love is genuine and not fake they will respond to your love and you will likely be surprised at how they respond with the same kinds of love that you are showing them!
The B-E-S-T Relationship Method can also be used with children, you can:
BELIEVE that the relationship can be restored. Believe that you have the resources to rebuild the relationship. Believe that the child wants and/or needs a relationship with you. Believe that you have something valuable to offer the child. Believe that the child is special, unique and worthy of love.
ENCOURAGE the child. Tell him or her things that he or she is good at. Share things that you like about the child. Tell your spouse good things about the child. Give the child a note or a small toy that they want. Cook their favorite food and tell them you made it because you know he or she loves it.
SPEND TIME with the child. Spend time alone with the child doing something that he or she enjoys (going to the park, have a picnic, watch ballet lessons, etc.) Find ways to build the relationship that is special to the two of you. Spend time with the child when you are with the entire family, single him or her out and show them that you think they are special!
TENDERNESS. Be kind when speaking to the child, use nice words and get to his or her level, remember that children are not tiny adults. Make sure that you are not shooting dirty looks at him or her, but giving approving looks instead. Pat him or her on the head, give a hug, hold his or her hand (if still young enough!), use your imagination!
Now, go out and love your loved ones the BEST that you can!!
To Your Success,