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No Guarantees

No Guarantees

In the city that I live a very popular chain restaurant just closed. Apparently, it was the lowest performing restaurant in the state and so they decided to shut it down. When I first heard about this I was really shocked. Five years ago if anyone would have told me that this chain would be closing stores, rather than expanding in 2018 I would have bet against you. But the fact remains that times change, tastes change and that nothing is guaranteed. Like the beginning of so many things, opening a new store, starting a new job, and entering into a new relationship the beginning is often filled with excitement, joy, and hope towards a bright future. But, all too often I think we all experience seeing things fail, diminish and not meet the future expectations that we had set in the beginning.

Today, I wanted to get you thinking about the relationships that you currently hold near-and-dear to your heart. Most likely, these relationships that you’re thinking about are family members, a spouse or partner, and your kids if you have them. It might also include people outside of your immediate family that you call your best friends. The people that you grew up with, that would do anything for you without question and who will also hold you accountable when you’re not being your best self.

Have you ever thought about the fact that none of these relationships are guaranteed? Sure, we might all take some of our relationships for granted, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed. None of these relationships are “guaranteed” from the standpoint of sharing and experiencing with our loved one’s happiness, joy, and intimacy. My question for you is what are you currently doing on a consistent basis to keep helping the relationships you value most growing and progressing? Growing so that even in times of struggle, challenge or opposing viewpoints that you know at the end of the day that you are still there for one another?

Two tips I’ve learned from Brendon Burchard to be able to help you grow in the relationships you value most are (1) To Demonstrate More Love. (1) Human beings are wired for love. It’s the way that God created us. If you don’t believe me, just ask Dr. David Hamilton. In order for an infant to grow and mature they need to receive warmth, and responsiveness from their caregivers in order for them to have healthy brain development. (2) In other words, they need to receive love on a consistent basis. Adults are no different. We are all wired to need love, receive love and give love. In his book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman, the 5 primary ways that adults receive and give love are the following:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Quality Time
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Receiving Gifts

These 5 languages are the ways that we express and experience love in our lives. (3) Each person typically has two top love languages that they experience love in the most meaningful and impactful ways. For example, physical touch and quality time are my top 2 love languages. In order for me to feel fulfilled in my relationship with my wife, I need to be touched and I also need time together to be prioritized. When it comes to Physical Touch it doesn’t just mean intimacy either. It can be holding hands, cuddling on the couch and watching Netflix, etc. With my kids, I love to wrestle around with them. It’s an instant way for us to connect in a playful and fun manner. When it comes to quality time, prioritizing time with my wife and kids is vital to me feeling loved and also making me feel like I’m doing a good job with them. It allows me to feel like I’m connecting with them on a deeper level. For your partner, their love languages might be completely different from yours or you might share one common love language. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you are going out of your way on a consistent basis to meet the needs of those you value most.

(2) Give Validation

The second tip that I learned from Brendon is that we all need to feel validated in our relationships. Validation is very similar to affirmation, but here’s the difference in my mind. Validation is when we need someone else to tell us that it’s ok to feel a certain way and that what we’re feeling is legitimate. Affirmation is when we feel that we’re being supported, heard and understood by those we’re attempting to connect with. (1)

Think about how important being validated is to you in your life. When we go to work, we want our boss and our team to validate our work. When we go out with our friends we want to feel a part of the group and that we’re important. When we come home, we want to know that we’re important and loved by our family members. Psychology Today describes validation as “a way of communicating that the relationship is important and solid even when you disagree on issues. Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable.” (4)

So, when you go home tonight to those you love most make sure to show a little more love to them and to validate who they are, and why they’re important to you. The more we can all do this on a consistent basis the more our relationships will grow and the better we’ll all feel.

By: Zachary J. Lee