It’s sometimes easier to carry ourselves well at work and let it slip at home or with our friends. If you work from home or are a stay at home mom, it can be even more difficult because those boundaries are not as defined.
No matter your situation, your friends and family are an important part of your life. Here are a couple of items to keep in mind as we stay connected to those close to us.
Sometimes we say things when we shouldn’t
This is the most apparent one. It’s the one that as soon as it leaves your lips, you think to yourself, “I shouldn’t have said that.” This one would get me into all kind of trouble because I would say things in jest or to be endearing and the other person wouldn’t take it that way.
It took realizing that the person’s lack of humor wasn’t the problem, it was lack of tact and empathy on my part that was. Now, I try to give a second to pause so my brain gets a chance to filter and approve something before it comes out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t catch everything, but it certainly helps. I’m writing this as my family is traveling back from vacation and I’ve already saved myself twice this morning. They were two prize worthy witty statements but would have only of been so at the expense of my family members.
Don’t be witty/sarcastic/funny at the expense of others.
Sometimes we don’t say things that we should
Other times, it’s just the opposite situation. We are thankful for our friends and family and we will mentally acknowledge it, but then fail to verbalize it.
I can guarantee you this, you are not thanking those close to you enough. Many leadership books show studies on how many times we think we affirm someone vs. actually doing it and how vastly different those numbers can be. I know I can do a better job in this area at both my home and work life. Here are a few things that can help.
- Schedule it. It sounds weird, I know. I’ve found this helpful for birthdays and special days. I’ll get a reminder sent to my phone at around noon that day to call or text them. I also use it to make sure that I pick up something nice or reminder myself to book a date to show my appreciation for someone.
- Make it a habit. An activity needs to be repeated 66 times before the neuron connections are made in the brain and the activity truly becomes a habit. Make it a habit to say something endearing, thank someone or show appreciation to someone before the sun sets each day. The work and effort will become habit before you know it.
- Be creative. It doesn’t always have to be something involving money. It can be device-free time together, a special little note, a coupon to do an activity together etc. Research online if you are stuck to find many free and easy ways to show your appreciation to others.
Say the things that you should and don’t say that things that you should not. Seems easy enough, but it’s much more difficult to live out. Keep improving and showing those that are close to how much they mean to you.
Make a better tomorrow.