I first read this blog post a while back, and find myself returning to it again and again. It’s about parenting, something I don’t do, yet the author’s points are valid for any relationship.
- Don’t react right away. Inhibition may be the best-kept secret of good relationships. We lose nothing by waiting to respond to a feeling, statement or situation. Inhibition – the gentle art of not responding immediately and stereotypically – costs nothing. When we do respond, we’ll be wiser and more loving for having waited.
- Stop rambling on and on. See point #1. Waiting and listening are important and cost nothing.
- Stop problem-solving. Our friends, loved ones and students are not broken, and it is not our job to fix them. If they want advice, they’ll ask.
It seems counter-intuitive, but doing nothing (for the moment, at least) is often the best thing to (not) do in relationships.