Friday, October 8, 2010

Is the "Golden rule" obsolete? Really?

We've all heard of the "Golden Rule", which is "do unto others, as you would want them to do unto you." Well there is a better more effective one "The Platinum Rule" it's "Do unto others , as they wish you would do unto them." It's so much better because many times loving others requires us to adapt to them. To change our approach. Everyone has different needs and we as humans have a tendancy to think that others needs are exactly the same as ours. We think that what makes us feel loved and appreciated is the same for others when in fact that is not so. People get their emotional needs met in different ways. There is a book that has been out for quite some time called "The five love languages" by Gary Chapman. In the book it discusses the five love languages that people speak. The five love languages are 1.Physical touch or affection 2. Words of affirmation 3. Acts of service 4. Gifts 5. Quality time spent It's interesting that so many times we are busy doing the wrong things with the right intentions. We are busy loving others the best way we know how but it's simply not effective. We tend to give them what we need rather than what they need. So in any relationship this becomes a problem because one person is loving the other person the best way they know how but the other person can still feel neglected. It's important to identify the love languages of the people close to you so that you can effectively give them love the way they are capable of receiving it. Now using all the different ways to love someone is awesome, but their will be one or two main ways most effective in making them feel loved and appreciated. This works in all types of relationships from marriage to business relationships. For example if a coworkers love language is "gifts" and you want them to feel appreciated, you can show up at work with a small gift for them. It doesn't have to cost a lot, in fact it's really not the amount as much as it is the fact that you got them something. I'm reminded of a story I heard about a husband who would wear himself out doing chores around the house. Dishes, laundry, etc. Always making sure everything was done and the house was super clean and in order. He felt so good inside and that he was loving his wife by doing this. All the while his wife felt neglected. His love language was "acts of service" and hers was "quality time spent". He thought his "acts of service" was the most effective way of loving his wife because that's what makes him feel loved. His wife was thinking, "why is he staying so busy with all these things?" " Why is he neglecting me?" "Can't he just spend some time with me?" Eventually she told him "I feel so alone" Which was her way of saying "I feel unloved by you" This of course made him upset hearing this. He was thinking "I have been doing all this work to love you." "Laundry is always done, dishes, etc. , how can you say that?" So they may have been using the "Golden Rule" but they weren't using the "Platinum rule". The simply weren't speaking the same language, which led to conflict and hurt. It's not enough to have good intentions in relationships. What matters is "are you effective?" Do your kids feel loved? Does your spouse feel loved? How about your coworker? Do they feel appreciated? If you are a boss, how bout your employees? When people feel loved and appreciated, they will go out of their way to help you achieve your goals. Everything in life revolves around relationships. No one can achieve anything of great value alone. We all need each other. It's the way God designed it. So choose to be most effective in your relationships. Make it your goal to recognize peoples main love languages the treat them accordingly. As you do this, you will be so surprised how your own needs will get met in the process. We really do reap what we sow. Blessings -Rob

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