Try a little tenderness

image courtesy of Stockphoto

Recently I was asked for advice on repairing a relationship.  The person asking was sincere, expressing genuine pain and confusion.

I listened to a recap of the hurtful things they’d said to each other and considered the impasse they were at now.

** Disclaimer** here’s the deal with me: If you ask my opinion and I care for you, I will give it to you.  You might not like my answer, but you can count on me to be honest and constructive.  If I don’t know you well, or if I sense that you’re only looking for me to mirror back an answer you’ve rehearsed, well, that’s a different conversation altogether.

I could tell that being subtle was not going to work and I knew that any attempts to be Switzerland-neutral would fail.   I condensed my advice to these words:

  Try a little tenderness.

Try championing each other.

Try being thoughtful, of putting the other person ahead of yourself more often than not.

Try saying “thank you.”   Try meaning it.

Try avoiding the words “always” and “never”  (relationship killers, in my experience).

Try saving your best for each other.

Try tossing the scoreboard and celebrating that you’re on the same team.

Try a little tenderness. Just try it … and see what happens.

Everyone wants to be appreciated. Everyone wants to be heard.

Sometimes the change we want to see in others has to start with a change in US.

Try a little tenderness: take it away, Otis.

Categories: Attitude, Forgiveness, Friendship, Life, Love, Men, music, Opinion, Quotes, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Try a little tenderness

  1. I can’t tell you how much I love your blog posts. I love your advice– straighforward, applicable, sincere, and loving. Perfect 🙂

  2. aww… Thank you Jaclyn Rae. Sometimes I fear I am too preachy and that is not my intent. I only speak/write from my experience (which includes … mistakes). Your kindness is much appreciated. MJ

  3. So true – maybe easier said than done – but true!

    • I hear you, TerriTerri. I’ve used this in personal relationships and with others where there’s been a bit of conflict – the ole “kill ’em with kindness” approach. It doesn’t work with all, but it has softened the edges of a more than a few. And at the end of the day, I felt better for having just been nicer/more compassionate/more forgiving. 🙂 cheers! MJ

  4. I totally agree with your comments/advice. I have been here myself…needing to repair a relationship and realizing that I needed to change the way I viewed it and nurtured it. Thanks for the reminder! It seems like we have to re-learn the same lesson from time to time throughout life…why is that?!

    • Yep – I know I’ve had to reshift my thinking and try another approach. I’ve never gone wrong with “try a little tenderness!” Even if it doesn’t work on them, it never fails to work on ME. Thanks for visiting! MJ

  5. “The chicks love that stuff” – Donkey

  6. Great advice, MJ!
    Especially the avoidance of “always” and “never”- those words are guaranteed to get someone’s back up.

    • Thank you! I’ve used the always & never and have really checked myself to stop doing it … being conscious of it helps me avoid the absolutes! Thanks for stopping in – MJ

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