A practice to strengthen your relationships

I worked in retail for years. If you have worked customer service, you have likely experienced the holidays as an intense time of year. I remember the week before Christmas as a stressful time with last minute shopping, lost packages in the mail, and not enough stock in the right colour or size. 

You could think it was a hell job, but, for me, it was my favourite time of the year. Why? Because I got to spend all day making people’s day.

Don’t get me wrong. There were stressful moments. At the call centre the phone would ring all day long without pause. I remember my phone would flash green, then orange, then red to indicate the number of people waiting in the queue to be served.

You see, I value kindness. I made it my mission turn frowns upside down. When a customer called in angry that their order wasn’t going to make it in time, I care-bear stared them back into the holiday spirits.

What did you discover about what you value?

thoughts don't have meaning until you give them meaning.-2.png

What you value is the reason you care about what you care about. When we know what we value, we understand what matters to us and why. When we disagree with people, it’s because our values are not aligned AND we somehow feel like one of us doesn’t belong. We can see negative emotions as personal attacks. Instead of using the tension to foster learning and understanding, we move further apart.

Here's a practice to move closer together.

A practice to choose what you value

“It’s the people not like us who make us grow. It’s the people like us who just make us more fixed in our beliefs.”
~Jonathan Sacks

When you know what you value, you access your inner compass. These are the points that guide your choices and actions. When you act from what you value, you are living in choice. 

Your practice this month is to use what you value to strengthen your relationships with people you disagree with.

Is there a person in your life who is stressing you out? Someone you are avoiding, angry with, or are hesitant to trust? Take a breath. Visual them in your mind. Now ask yourself - 

Why is this relationship important to me?

What do I value? 

How can I use what I value to bring us closer together?