Ways to love yourself, love your partner, love your family (yes even that crazy cousin or sibling that you swear is from outer space), love your neighbor, your friends, your coworkers and so on. I think you get what I am trying to say here. Basically it’s finding ways to relate and to have much more personal connections with other human beings.
These are three love hacks I have learned to use in my life.
The first love hack is empathy. I learned this one back when I worked as a part time admin for the history department at a community college. Let’s just say it was a tough place to make genuine connections. I dealt with multiple personalities all day because my job was to keep in constant communication with faculty, adjunct professors and other administrative staff. Sometimes that meant I had to relay messages that were kind of aggressive from one party to another. It was my role to soften the blows as much as possible as I moved the message forward. I had to be empathic to both parties. Yes, even when these individuals would use their wit or position in the organization to try and upset me. I had to keep reminding myself that they were just like everyone else, and bound to have their good days and bad. I didn’t know what they were going through or how the message I was relaying to them was affecting them. I had to be empathetic. Now, I like to pull this love hack out of my arsenal anytime someone is trying my patience. Even if they are making it hard for me to want to be empathetic.
Tolerance is the second love hack I use often. Although I should probably consider calling this life hack patience since it really does feel sometimes like my patience is being pushed to its limits. Regardless, this love hack can save you time and many headaches. The best way to illustrate how this love hack can be a lifesaver is to think about it with a group of children. Say children between the ages of 5 and 8-years-old. Seriously, spend a few days with two to three kids in that age range and believe me you will come out a much more patient person. If their repetitive and redundant questions don’t make you scream, their way of always trying to use tricks to get in or out of any situation will sure to try your last nerve. Then, just when you think they have understood why their bad behavior is less than desirable, they change it up on you and start doing something else you need to call their attention about. You will have to be patient in order to get through these couple of days. That’s the same thing in life. Whether you’re dealing with a child or someone who happens to be acting like a child at the moment, use this love hack to get through those moments when you feel like you’re being pushed to the limit. Know and understand that the way they see and understand things may not be the same way you see and understand things. Be tolerant. Better yet, exercise patience.
Third love hack, acceptance. All of us are made in our own unique way. I wouldn’t want to change who I am or how I think unless I was the one who decided it made sense for me to do so. Until I am ready to accept the change. So why would I expect anyone else to change or want to change unless they decide to do it. They can’t be different all of a sudden because I wish them to be different. Can you honestly say you would even want them to be, or that you would want someone else to wish you different at any given moment? Tough question to answer isn’t it? I think this line in the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhur says it best: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… We can’t make people something they are not, nor should we want to. Sometimes our differences are what make relationships more interesting and fun. Next time you’re frustrated or angry about how different the person next to you is, think about how those differences might actually work well together to create something new and different. This is a tough love hack to accept for sure, but it is worth considering if you want to avoid wasting precious time and energy on the things we can’t control.
There you have it. These three love hacks have helped me a lot and will probably make managing those complicated relationships in your a little easier too.