Everything’s going to be different, I thought.
We’d spent nearly four months apart. We’d both grown and improved. We were ready to live together again, and to do it on a whole new level. We knew ourselves better, and what we wanted.
So what I meant was Everything’s going to be better.
And it wasn’t. Of course.
He still forgets his shirts in the bathroom. He still leaves the room as soon as a conversation gets tense. He still smokes.
All I could see were the failures, the flaws, the fuck-ups. I was miserable, and angry about being miserable, and guilty about being angry.
And then my coach Leela made me do one thing differently. She suggested I say, “Thank you” every time he did something right. Anything right.
“Thank you for doing the dishes. Thank you for noticing I was tired and telling me to have a nap already, you wouldn’t have done that before. (And I wouldn’t have listened.) Thank you for smoking that electronic cigarette instead of the other kind. Thank you for asking for my help, that was awesome. Thank you for cooking dinner. Thank you for telling me that you need a couple of days to think about how we’re going to handle the chores from now on. Thank you for watering the plants. Thank you for remembering to put my headset on the hook, even if you didn’t remember to wind the cord. Thank you for kissing my shoulder.”
Suddenly we were happy. Pleasing each other. Laughing and loving each other as we completed boring just-moved-house chores.
And ironically, everything was better.
This doesn’t just work for arguments about toenails.
It’s so easy to see only the negative in our biz: the overdue invoice, the nit-picky review, the overflowing inbox.
Do it too much and everything becomes negative. You can actually get to the point where you’re pissed that someone paid you money, because they didn’t pay enough to cover this week’s projections. (“Wow. Thanks. A hundred dollars. That’s a big help.”)
I say “Thank you”, out loud, every time someone pays me money. And I realise that it would, maybe, be a really neat idea if I said it to them, too.
It’s not just good for your soul and alla dat, it’s also really good marketing.
How could you improve your biz with gratitude? Try it out, then tell us about it in the comments!