A time for truth, and a time for just a sincere smile

April 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

It’s very easy to get home, realise the spouse has done the washing but the colours have run, and hastily let them know of their unwitting mistake. Or maybe you notice that they’ve tidied up, albeit by putting away those papers you meant to look through tonight, and they’ve disappeared. Stop! Don’t chastise them! Get accustomed to noticing the effort and thoughtfulness behind these acts of service first, before commenting on their execution.

Winning Friends expert Dale Carnegie says if you learn one thing, learn to think from the other person’s point of view. When they have made wonderful efforts to be romantic, to buy a gift or organise a surprise dinner and movie, they’re probably feeling quite chuffed with themselves and looking forward with bated breath to your joyful reaction. Sometimes I know I forget to look at it from a bird’s eye perspective. It might be on the wrong night, or the wrong colour, and that’s sometimes what you notice first. But before that initial reaction is spoken, check first that you haven’t missed anything. “Hang on, they haven’t bought me flowers in a few months! I like that and I want to encourage it so it happens again!”

It’s better to give an enthusiastic and happy, loving thank you response now, and then choose a quiet time in a few days (or months) later to mention that although you loved it, if they ever did want to do it again, it would be really great if just this tincy tiny detail was different… And if in those few days or months later that little error is not relevant any more anyway, well good thing you kept mum and just smiled then!


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§ One Response to A time for truth, and a time for just a sincere smile

  • kim says:

    i think you’re spot on with this amy. i know my DH became quite disillusioned after my less-than-thrilled reaction to his major efforts to romance and surprise me during our first year. we’ve learned a lot about communicating expectations and though i love surprises, we held off on those for a time. now that he knows me better, he’s much more apt to pull off a surprise that i’m truly excited about! hooray!

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