So I got married last month. Surprise!
I’m not writing this month to share my experience of getting married (though I did learn a LOT) but rather I want to share my experience before getting married. And I don’t mean the pre-wedding jitters or the giddy excitement (though they were both present).
I want to share with you the two pieces of marriage advice I received that turned out to be two very poignant life lessons on how to relate best to the people closest to us. They will stick with you, I promise.
- My beautiful sister-in-law shared this knowledge with me long before I was thinking about marriage. Then again in a book that my fabulous sister gifted me at my bridal shower. Her advice was simply:
“Don’t ever assume that someone else in your life is doing something to intentionally annoy you.”
What? Of course I don’t assume that anyone is intentionally trying to annoy me …….. Or do I? Once I really started paying attention, I noticed that when I was annoyed it was often because I was taking something personally. Thinking things like:
– They did that knowing it would make things harder for me.
– They put that there but they KNEW it was in my way…argh.
– They must know that their decision inconveniences me.
– They must know that comment was hurtful.
– They must know I tried so hard to make this special and yet didn’t seem to even notice.
Why would anyone I allow close to me in my life intentionally do the things I have assumed? They wouldn’t. But yet I took it personally.
So – next time you find yourself annoyed with someone in your life, ask yourself if their motives were really malicious in any way. If not, cut them some slack and speak up and ask for what you need. If so, maybe it’s time to find someone new to fill their valuable space in your life.
- Next up was the security guard of the grounds where we got married. Driving in with my girlfriends he asked why we were there. I said I was the bride and he smiled and said, “ahhh, the bride eh? I’ve been married for 53 years.” I asked him what his best marriage advice was and I was not prepared for the wisdom he was about to impart on me. I think he missed his calling! He said:“When you look for the good in people, you will see the good in people. When you look for the bad in people, you will see the bad in people. There will be days when you can’t stand your husband. When he drives you crazy. When you can’t stand his face, his voice, his demeanor, his choices…anything.Those are the days that it’s time to start looking for the good in him.”
Well played Mr. Security Guard. Well. Played. Need I say more about this one?
I told you they were good! Some of the best advice I get in life isn’t from the self help books I read diligently or the seminars I attend. I learn so much from paying attention to what other people like or don’t like about the way people treat them. When they share their life lessons. You are all so brilliant and you don’t give yourself credit for it!
I hope you take these two pieces of advice to heart. I know I have. I also know it will be hard to remember them when I find myself in a moment where I am super annoyed or angry. I will be able to dig this memory back up though when I cool down and remember that the people in my life are there for a reason. That I chose them. That I love them. And that they love me. And no one is intentionally trying to hurt or frustrate anyone.
How about you? Do you like the landscape of the people around you?
To adventures and surprises!