Rebuilding Relationships. We’re in the home stretch! To build better relationships we have talked about spending time with someone, listening/sharing with that someone, and now . . . Giving.
Everyone knows what it means to give. From objects (clothes, furniture) to time (listening, driving to a ballgame) to emotions (love, admiration); we all know instinctively how to give. Sometimes we don’t WANT to give, but we know how.
To build a better relationship your act of giving is really not important. Say what! Yep, that’s right. It’s WHAT you give, not the fact that you are willing to give, that matters most.
My youngest child recently had a bad cough. I gave her some crayons and a coloring book so she would feel better. Crazy! Well, of course I gave her some cough medicine and let her lie in my lap and watch Spongebob–just what she needed.
Get it? The third step in building a better relationship is to give that person what they need not necessarily what you want them to have or what you think they should have.
To find out what a person needs, just ask. Most people have no problem telling you what they need. Once you find out, give it. Below is a cheat sheet of what people need to make this just a little easier:
Women need validation. We want to know that we matter – that what we do and the person that we are makes a difference.
Women need conversation. The spoken word, “I love you.” “Thank you for picking up my clothes from the cleaners.” “You do a great job getting the kids to school.” is a great need for most women.
Women need appreciation. It can be her favorite candy bar and magazine or the diamond earrings she’s been longing after, but simple “gifts” of appreciation are high on the list. Remember it counts more if it is NOT a major “day of giving” like Valentine’s, Birthdays or Christmas.
Women need security. If the woman in question is your spouse, she needs to know without a doubt that she is provided for. The basic needs: shelter, food and clothing are a must.
Men need to feel important. A man needs to know that he is needed by his family/peer group. That is not a bad thing! A man wants to provide (security, love) to his family so give him every opportunity to “help you.”
Men need physical intimacy. I don’t mean just sex (although any man will tell you that it is very important). They need to be touched, hugged, and kissed. Most women are more touchy feely than men so this should be easy to give!
Men need to be left alone! Huh? Yes, men need that “down time,” “guy time,” “watching-the-game-and-drinking-a-beer-so-don’t-talk-to-me-right-now-time.” That’s perfectly okay and since he needs that time – let him have it without any guilt. There is plenty of time to build a good relationship together.
Men need to feel honored. It will give the man (husband, brother, father) no greater pleasure than to have you speak well of him to others – especially if he hears it.
Children need attention. One on one time is very important to kids. Undivided listening about whatever they are speaking about – usually something you have already heard a million times – but hear them out. Color, play ball, paint fingernails, read a book – whatever – just give them attention.
Children need consistency. Knowing what will happen makes kids feel safe. If you call to make sure they are home from school everyday, do it everyday. We’ve all heard about routines. Kids love ’em!
Children need physical affection. Don’t forget to hug and kiss your young adolescents. Once kids hit 10 or 11 years of age they would rather eat worms than kiss mom or dad. They do need it. So like shots, give it to them it they want them or not! Add in a few hot meals with kids and you are good to go.
Remember, the 3-Week Plan:
- Put in the time.
- Do some listening and sharing.
- Then, give someone what they need and now you’re on your way to a great relationship!