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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Just 3 Words

There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships.
Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words.
When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new
friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that
have soured.

The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every

*1. Let me help*
Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they
do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

*2. I understand you.*
People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts

and understands them. Letting your spouse know - in so many little ways -
you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your
And this can apply to any relationship.

*3. I respect you*
Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another
person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were
adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends. This
applies to all interpersonal relationships.

*4. I miss you.*
Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply
and sincerely said to each other "I miss you." This powerful affirmation
tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how
important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from
your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say "I miss you."

*5. Maybe you're right. *
This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument. The implication
when you say "maybe you're right" is the humility of admitting, "maybe I'm
wrong". Let's face it. When you have an argument with someone, all you
normally do is solidify the other person's point of view. They, or you,
will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously
damaging the relationship between you. Saying "maybe you're right" can
open the door to explore the subject more. You may then have the
opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the
other person.

*6. Please forgive me*
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would
admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to
faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that
he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is
wiser today than he was yesterday.

*7. I thank you.*
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the
companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take daily
courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for
their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose
circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude
of gratitude.

*8. Count on me*
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential
ingredient for true friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds
people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and
true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating "you
can count on me."

*9. I'll be there*
If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a
sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from
home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase "I'll be there."
Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When
we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and
us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally
and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

*10. Go for it*
We are all unique individuals. Don't try to get your friends to conform to
your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how far
out they seem to you. God has given everyone dreams, dreams that are
unique to that person only. Support and encourage your friends to follow
their dreams. Tell them to "go for it."

*B o n u s : 11. I love you*
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone
that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest emotional needs.
The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse,
your children, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little
words: "I love you." Love is a choice. You can love even when the feeling

is gone.


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