We sometimes think that once a relationship is broken- we can’t repair it. This is totally fallacious. You can repair a relationship with nearly ANYONE, as long as there’s willingness on both sides. You can even repair a relationship when it’s really only YOU that’s making big strides or efforts to improve it in the beginning.

Often, when lead by example, and are willing to try (and try again), we can accomplish great things. This is especially true when part of our efforts are about seeking to understand, asking about the other person’s perspectives, and demonstrating repeatedly that we really want to make things better. When we’re humble and vulnerable, and open to hearing about other people’s views of us (no matter how hard they may initially sting), and then we take action to adapt and change based on feedback- we can make even bigger strides.

Sidenote: In his book, Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey talks about this. Using the 13 Trust behaviors in the book is a great guide for how to repair a broken relationship or build from scratch.

This beautiful shirt I’m wearing today was a gift from a colleague who I once didn’t get along with. We didn’t see eye to eye, and I allowed our differences of opinion and background to stand in the way of a good working relationship. We were peers, but we hardly spoke. I tended to see this person as a competitor of mine, instead of a teammate. These were all mistakes on my part.

When we both took steps to mend the relationship, we realized that we could benefit greatly from knowing each other- and we were able to become close at work- and even friends.

Among the many things I’ve learned from this individual is to be aware of your own love language and that of those closest to you. At work, Gary Chapman calls these love languages “languages of appreciation in the workplace”.

Mine has always been words of affirmation (no surprises!), but the individual who gave me this shirt often expresses appreciation in the form of GIFTS. I’m not much of a gift person, and for a long time, wouldn’t really value or treasure the gifts that she (or anyone) would give me at work. Then, I changed my views on that. When I see this shirt now, I am reminded that her giving it to me- meant a great deal to HER. And that’s REALLY important.

When we can adapt our love or appreciation languages to the language of those around us- we can take major steps towards improving a relationship. We show people that we care enough about them to adapt, and show appreciation in the ways THEY want to be appreciated. We can also be grateful for how they show appreciation for US.

I learned all of this from forming and then improving a relationship with someone who was once estranged from me, and because of that, I have the most wonderful blouse to show for it. Loving my outfit today, and all that it represents.

#lovelanguages #lovelanguage #gifts #garychapman #rebuildtrust #trust #rebuild #friendship #colleagues #thankyou #attire