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Auto Repair Shop Owner's Daily Dose 13: Significant Others (Family)


Significant Others by Rick White, President 180BIZ

In this episode, I’ll step back and look at the different relationships in our lives and give you some thoughts that can help you, not only improve your business but improve the rest of your life, as well. Let’s talk about significant others. Now I want to be clear, I am not a psychologist. I am not a therapist, nor do I play one on television. All I'm going to do is share with you what I have learned over my 57 years so far, and what has worked for me. I’ll share observations and things that I'm still working on.  I'm going to be talking from a husband's perspective to a wife.

I love women; they are amazing. They are so much stronger and smarter and more resourceful than men. I'm sorry guys. It's a fact. They spit babies out and we cry when we get a splinter. So, I’ll just leave it at that.

The first thing I want to talk about is taking people for granted. When we first meet the love of our lives, we are just completely focused on everything they bring to the table. We are focused on all their good traits and they're perfect. They are so amazing. When they say, “Hey, take out the trash.” We take out the trash with a smile. We can’t do enough for them. And then months or years later, what happens? When she says, “Take out the trash,” we reply, “Why don't you take out the trash? What's the matter with your legs? “

The “Law of Familiarity” occurs. When we have something in our lives day in and day out, we start to take it for granted. You must be aware of that. It's very easy to take things for granted. That's why it's so important to start the day with gratitude. I'm going to tell you a little secret. You know what really gets me into a grateful attitude? It’s when I think about the things I take for granted not being there anymore.

About seven or eight years ago we had what was called a Derecho come through and it's a violent windstorm. It came through, it was the beginning of July and it knocked out power in our area for seven days.  We had no water, no toilets, no electricity. It was hot out. When that stuff came back on and I could flush a toilet again, I just said a little prayer of thank you every morning. Every time I used it. Why? Because when it was taken away from me I realized how much I appreciated it. I flipped on a light switch and the lights came on. So, with your spouse or significant other, the first thing I want you to do is imagine them not being there. I am serious.  Think of that person never being there again. Second thing I want you to do is remember what it felt like when you first met that person and how they made your heart skip. Think about how you felt like you were dying if you weren't around them.

Tony Robbins says that if you treat your spouse or significant other like you were dating, there will never be an end. And I think that's amazing. So, the first thing I want you to do, please is understand the law of familiarity. You're taking stuff for granted in your life. Please step back. There's a lot of stuff you take for granted that people would kill for, so be aware and love that person. Be aware of what they bring to the table. Steve Harvey came up with this and I thought this was brilliant. I heard this from him. He said that there are the three P's to being a great husband. And the three Ps are you must profess, protect, and provide. Let's go over each one.

PROFESS:  All that means is letting your spouse or significant other know how you feel.  Let your wife know what she means to you. Let her know that you appreciate her, that you love her, and that she means the world to you. But profess is not just with words. It actions and attitude, too.  Love is a verb, not a noun. So, when you profess your love, you must profess it with words, actions, and attitude. And I want to be very transparent here. Words, I don't have a problem with.  I tell Brenda that I love her a hundred times a day. I also profess my love with actions, but they're my actions, not what she wants.

 There's a really great book called the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you have never read it, I highly recommend that you get it and read it as a couple.  The five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

We all want all five but is a major one that makes all the difference in the world for you. My dominant Love Language is Words of Affirmation. I want to be Brenda's hero all the time and I want to be the knight in shining armor. And sometimes that gets me in trouble. Brenda’s Love Language is Quality Time. The way I show love is I do Acts of Service. So how screwed up is that? So, what you want to do is learn to understand what your spouse’s or significant other’s major Love Language is and then talk to them, show them your love in their language. So, words are easy, actions are tougher.

The attitude part, that's what I struggle with even today.  There are times saying I love you with clenched teeth and a scowl. So, I’m saying that the attitude must be there. Profess your love in all three, Words, Actions, and Attitude. That’s a big deal.

PROTECT: The next thing we need to do as men is to protect our wives. That doesn't mean smother them. Women are smarter than we are. They just are. They're more in touch with their feelings. They're more open. They're multi aware. We're not. It's okay, but they still need to feel protected. They still need to feel safe. You can make your woman feel safe without making her feel diminutive to you.

Brenda is a very strong, powerful force to be reckoned with. And I love that about her.  We're both steamrollers. You know, controlled enthusiasts (not freaks). But I love that about her. I didn't in the beginning because I felt like she had to agree with everything I said. But I don't feel that way anymore. She is absolutely a force of nature and I love that about her. She cares so much about other people. But she still needs to feel protected. She needs to feel safe. I believe on some level it's instinctual. From a physical perspective, women are typically the weaker of the two sexes. They need to feel safe. I'm going to say this and please don't take this as a sexist thing. I don't mean it that way. If you ask a room full of women how many times they've felt unsafe in the last 30 days. Most of them will raise their hand.  For example, they may have felt unsafe getting into their car late at night. But guys don't feel that way. We go out, we don't care. We just don't think about it because we don't have the same issues that they do. So, your significant other male to female as a rule wants to feel protected.

PROVIDE: And then the last thing is that we must provide for them. They want to know that they have a partner, someone that has their back no matter what.  Does that make sense ladies? I hope it does. Guys want is we want to be your hero. We want to be able to save the day for you every time we possibly can, and we just want to be seen for that.  Appreciated for it, truly. That's kind of a generalization, but I've seen it to be true more than not.

What are some ideas that you can do with this? I'm going to give you, here's some tips.

(1) Find things you can do together.

  • Now there are certain television shows that Brenda and I shared just the two of us and it's our time together.
  • Believe it or not, we play cards on our iPad. There's a cribbage game that's online and we play cribbage. It's funny, she'll be on one side of the bed and I'm on the other at night and we're playing cribbage on our iPads.
  • We've read books together.
  • Brenda bought a stack of cards that are questions for each of us to answer with each other to get to know one another better.  And I'm going to tell everybody out there, if you think you know your spouse or significant other, you're wrong. I truly believe that we are layers and layers and layers and layers. And I think it's our obligation to just peel those layers and get to know our significant other so deeply.

I believe that God is so cool because with a spouse or a significant other, God teaches us how to care for someone other than ourselves. He teaches us how to put someone before ourselves. And for some of us it's a lifelong lesson. For Brenda, she does it so naturally. For me it's a challenge and it's one of our greatest sticking points. But you know something? The love she has for me makes me want to be better every day. Don't always succeed at it, but I want to be.

(2) Now the last thing is to do temperature checks. Every night Brenda and I sit down and ask each other to rate the day as a couple. On a scale of one to ten, from suck to amazing. This is a powerful tool. Don't get defensive when you get a low number. Ask, “Why?” There are times where Brenda rated the day as a five.  I’ll be honest with you, it hurts. I sometimes even want to get a little defensive, but defensive doesn't work here. 

I stay open and ask her why she rated the day a five.  I ask, “What happened through the day that you rated it a five?” She, typically, shows me something that I didn't see. It was a blind spot where my head was somewhere else. I was thinking of something and I didn't hear her, or I thought I handled something the right way and she preferred it a different way.

Do a temperature check with your spouse every night. Treat your spouse or significant other like you were dating. Treat each other like that and you will love each other forever. I love Brenda so much that we’re celebrating our 17th year together. It’s the best thing I ever did.

Take a moment and realize all the things you take for granted. I hope this helped.

God bless.

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