Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Three Words

There are many things that we can do to perk up and strengthen our
interpersonal relationships. Yet the most effective involves the saying of
just three words. When spoken or conveyed, these statements have the power
to forge new friendships, deepen old ones and rest old relationships that
have cooled.

The following three-word phrases can enrich every relationship.

I'll be there.

If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take
a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from
home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase "I'll be there."
Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are
truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us. We
are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and
spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

I miss you.

Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply
and sincerely said to each other "I miss you." This powerful affirmation
tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how
ecstatic you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your
spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say "I miss you."

I respect you.

Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that
another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were
adults you will strengthen the bonds and become close friends. This applies
to all interpersonal relationships.

Maybe you're right.

This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring
frayed emotions. The flip side to "maybe your right" is the humility of
admitting, "maybe I'm wrong. Let's face it." When you have a heated argument
with someone, all you do is cement the other person's point of view. They,
or you, will not change their stance and you run the risk of seriously
damaging the relationship between you. Saying "maybe you're right" can open
the door to further explore the subject, in which you may then have the
opportunity to get your view across in a more rational manner.

Please forgive me.

Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would
admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to
faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that
he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser
today than he was yesterday.

I thank you.

Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the
companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take daily
courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many
expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends
is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

Count on me.

A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential
ingredient for true friendship; it is the emotional glue that bonds people.
Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true
friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating "you can
count on me."

Let me help.

The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot a hurt
they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they pitch in and

I understand you.

People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel the other
person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know in so many
little ways that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for
healing your relationship. This applies to any relationship.

Go for it.

We are all unique individuals. Don't try to get your friends to conform to
your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how weird
they seem to you. Everyone has dreams, dreams that are unique to that person
only. Support and encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them
to "go for it."

I love you.

Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone
that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest emotional needs. The
need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your
children, your friends and your family, all need to hear those three little
words. "I love you."

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