As I stepped into my son’s empty room this morning, I was transported back to my own childhood, recalling a moment that transformed my life. I heard my mother’s voice, and, as I thought about her words, I realized she had found the key to better relationships.
It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Messy Room, Scattered Brain
When I was a kid I excelled at mental tasks. It was easy for me to break down problems into simple solutions, solve complex problems, and remember great details. Too bad that last one didn’t stick around forever.
When it came to most everything else I was befuddled. I struggled with relationships. I was okay with sports, but never picked first. And when it came to organizing my room I could have won an award. That is if the award was “Messiest Room”.
I just wasn’t that concerned about putting everything away. Or being able to find anything. Or overpowering smells.
But that changed one day with two simple acts. The first was mine, and the second was my mom’s. It was that second action that solidified a huge change in my life; my mother had discovered the key to better relationships which made all the difference.
A Transformed Life
Yesterday I did 5 loads of laundry, picked up all the puppy’s toys and random stuffing she had strewn about, vacuumed, and kept the sink clean even with the aftermath of 3 boys at home. The house isn’t going on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, but keeping things clean and tidy is just part of who I am.
It changed one day when I just decided to clean my room. I can’t recall what caused me to do it. I just know that I was driven to make it happen. I wanted to put everything where it belonged.
And so I set off cleaning, in my crazy way of doing things. I picked up everything that wasn’t where it should be and piled it in the middle of the room. Next I organized everything into stacks of where it belonged. Finally, I put everything away.
It was kind of fun sitting on the floor and organizing. It wasn’t bad. That fact made it easier to do, but it was something else that locked in this life change. It was the key to better relationships that my mother enacted.
A Confirmed Identity
As my room was clean and my parents where entertaining other people (as pastor’s my parents often had people over) my mom took the opportunity to reinforce my new identity. When she and I were in conversation with someone else, she found an opportunity to share what a clean person I was and how my room was spotless.
Over time, between my mom reinforcing my identity and me finding pride in having my room organized, I changed. I went from a messy slob to someone who enjoyed being organized. Later in life, this also helped me discover how to get through the day at work.
My mom, always a people person, had discovered the key to better relationships. The crazy thing is: it was simple.
The Key to Better Relationships
The key to better relationships is this: see the person they want to be and reinforce it.
If you want to have better relationships in your life, simply follow these simple steps:
- Understanding: Understand who the person is and who they truly want to be.
- Believe: Believe in their ability to become that person.
- Reinforce Identity: Find opportunities to reinforce the identity of who they wish to be.
We can all change and become who we want to be. We simply need to help each other achieve it by giving them a healthy perspective of who they truly are.
Enjoy more insight on building better relationships in my book 7 Steps to Better Relationships. It’s available for Kindle, or you can enjoy a free copy as my gift to you when you sign up for exciting Wowful Living updates and discover how to celebrate life everyday.