Healthy Conversations: Relationships! Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!!!
Updated: Apr 19
I read an article about a pickle company (I won't promote any names here), that suffered significant loss when their profits dove and to save money, the company decided to put one less pickle in each jar distributed. A move so small, consumers didn't even realize it. The CEO knew it was a small move and didn't sweat it! He knew this small act would be the step needed to save their company. To their amazement, the company made an extra million dollars.
So, what does this have to do with relationships? We will talk more about the pickle jars later...
They key to every good relationship is healthy communication. Don't play games. Don't expect your significant other to be able to read your mind and whatever you do, don't send mixed signals. Communicate thoroughly and honestly.
Which brings us to the topic of the day....Don't sweat the small stuff!!! I quote it all the time! In fact, after 36 years of being with my husband, I've learned what to dismiss as "small stuff" and what was worth defending. I've learned to choose my battles wisely. I've also learned to have healthy conversations about everything else in-between.
There are many people who live by "not sweating the small stuff". There's even a book about it! However, small stuff is a revolving door! Small stuff can also be good! It's the small stuff you do in a positive light that builds relationships that move mountains. You see, paying attention to the "small" in life pays off and I'll tell you why.
Small, loving actions are of the most importance because they add up. Random, loving gestures of kindness done on a consistent basis is essential to a loving relationship. It's constantly putting your thoughts on your spouse/significant other and removing them from yourself. It's about developing a habit of a "less of me and more of you" attitude.
It's taking the focus off of "me" and putting it on "us".
So! Are you in a relationship worth building? Read on!
Small stuff in a relationship can be both good and bad, depending on how you apply it. I'll give examples of both.
If ignored, the small "bad" things start to build up and eat away at your love. Though you most likely wont remember what specific thing happened and often can't put your finger on when the passion fizzled and didn't return, it most likely started with "small stuff". Small irritations can grow into looming problems that go unnoticed for months, sometimes even years. OR, doing the small stuff (in a good light) develops into an incredible habit of being loving and cooperative, so both of you can thrive in your relationship.
So what are the small things, both good and bad?
It's the little actions scattered throughout the week. Examples??? Sure!!!
*A sincere, hearty welcome home after a hard day at work! (OR NOT).
*Showing gratitude for cleaning the house or doing the dishes or making dinner! (OR NOT by taking their efforts for granted and worse yet, criticizing their efforts).
*Small gestures of affection with a hug, a kiss, holding an adoring look into their eyes just a couple seconds longer (OR NOT with a LACK THEROF).
*The endearing comments of appreciation for their unique qualities (OR ONLY littering them with tiny biting comments or complaints that jab at them and linger for days).
*Honoring them with attentive listening about their day (OR patronizing them with sapless, distracted listening).
Do you see the difference between the good and bad small stuff here?
Some questions you could ask yourselves:
Are my actions and words spoken to my love creating a connection, or are they creating distance and hurt? Do I strive to be more understanding of my significant others point of view? Do I make happiness, love, fun and closeness a priority over being right, arguing or finding fault? Do I always have to have the last word? Do I treat the love of my life the way I want to be treated? How quick am I to forgive and move on from an argument...or do I just keep pressing it and pressing it?
So lets circle back around to the pickle jar....
Taking one pickle from a jar is hardly noticeable. It's a small, tiny action. Well, the same applies to you. One sharp word can be overlooked but harshness every day damages a relationship. One canceled date is understandable, but being stood up regularly is discouraging. See a pattern?
If one less pickle multiplied by many jars can reap such enormous savings for a company, then one small act of kindness can also reap significant benefits multiplied every day for couples. One choice to make a difference in his/her day. One minute more of patience. One more kiss added to the greeting. One smile with sincere appreciation done once a day = 365 smiles of adoring appreciation! (ok, maybe not adoring...but you get the picture).
It's not about sweating the little bad things.... it's about consciously doing the little great things.
So stop sweating and start doing!
Thoughtfully and respectfully,