When it comes to relationships, I think there is always room for improvement. Sure, we may have a great relationship with our significant other, our family, and friends, but you often, we get comfortable. When we get comfortable in relationships is when we start to slip. We start to not do the things that got us to this comfortable point to begin with. Relationships need work, continuous work, but they are worth it. Whether you are in that comfort zone and need to keep the relationship strong, or if you need to get to that sweet spot, here are three books I would recommend to help…
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
I have talked about this book a couple times before in my posts. This is the quintessential book on relationships. In this book, author Gary Chapman identifies five ways people feel and express love (5 Love Languages). The thought behind the book is to identify the primary love language of the person with whom you have the relationship, and then simply love them using that language. If a person is a physical touch person, you show them your love by hugs, pats on the back, and kisses (when appropriate). If the person is more of a Receiving Gifts type of love language, then buy them little trinkets of love that show them you were thinking of them. This is how they feel loved.
The point to this book is to understand how the person you want to love wants to be loved. Then just love them in that way. This book is a MUST read. It is simple, short, and provides some great examples of people being loved the wrong way and how to love them the right way. You HAVE TO read this book!!!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
This concept behind this book can be applied not only to relationships, but also to everyday things in life. The two simple rules of harmony author Richard Carlson expresses in this book is simple:
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. It’s all small stuff.
Pretty straight forward, but let me explain. This book talks about looking at all the little things in life that we give too much power to. For example, we tend to make things a bigger deal than they actually are. We hold on to a time when someone let us down, rather than just forgiving and moving on. We tend to give the small things too much power over our minds. It is true that the small things make up the big things, but small things by themselves should not overwhelm you to a point where you are unhappy.
One way this book helped me was with how I viewed a problem with my sons. I was always upset with them not picking up after themselves. They would leave dirty cups and bowls all over the house. I am kind of a neat freak, so this would drive me crazy and often end up with me yelling at them and getting really mad. But then I read this book. This book helped me see that these little things are just the small stuff. For example, if one of my boys was very sick and in the hospital, would I really care about the dirty bowl left in the playroom? No, I would not. And that is the point. It doesn’t mean I approve of them leaving their cups and bowls all over the house. It just means that when it happens, I don’t get ridiculously mad any more. I simply ask them to stop what they are doing and come pick it up immediately. It may not be the best time for them to stop what they are doing and pick it up, which is an even better way to learn, but I still have them come do it immediately. I don’t get mad anymore and our relationships are better because of it.
Family Wisdom: From the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This is a great book that tells the story of a top businesswoman who experiences a life-threatening accident. After waking up in the hospital, she sees her brother, whom she hasn’t seen in a very long time, but now he is a monk. Her brother has come back into her life just as she needs him. She is so consumed in business, her family life is struggling. Her brother teachers her about the Five Masteries of the Family Leader:
1. Leadership in life begins with leadership at home;
2. Shift from scolding the child to molding the leader;
3. Focus your child on greatness, not weakness;
4. To be an excellent parent, become an excellent person;
5. Give your child immortality through the gift of legacy.
This book explains these five concepts in a fun and entertaining way that will motivate you to change some things for the better in your life. It will help you prioritize your family and relationships as the top things in your life, with everything else being second. This is a very easy book to read and one that I believe every parent should read at least once.
Relationships need work. We can’t just hope our relationships work out…we have to work at them. We have to show the people in our lives how much we love and value them. They are a priority and need to feel that everyday…not just once in a while. It is easy to get caught up in life and lose focus on what is really important. These books will help you remember what is important and then show you how to love those most important in your life.
All of these books are a great read. I found them all to be entertaining, educational, and inspiring. Do your loved ones a favor…do yourself a favor…read these books. You will be glad you did!!!
*** I provided my Amazon affiliate links to each book. If you want to pick them up, just click on the links and start improving your relationships today!!!