Actions speak louder than words; a phrase we have all heard from time to time. While the saying bears a lot of truth, it is still a little misleading to say the least. I didn’t realize how much so until I had one of my rare moments of clarity this morning. It came after I woke up yet again trying to remember the last time I had sex. I was trying to make myself believe that it hadn’t been that long, but the sheer fact that I could not remember proved otherwise. It’s amazing how much sex can cloud your judgement. It makes things seem better than what they actually are. Anyway, I’m starting to get off subject. But that minor bit of side tracking gave me an idea of another post. I know, I know get to it already.
Actions do have a lot of impact. But actions alone don’t always tell the whole story. A lot of times in life, people have the tendency to become complacent, especially in marriage. We tend to assume that our partners know how we feel just by being there. On the flip side, we tend to assume that our partners are no longer interested just because they don’t say anything, which in some cases is true. Point being, in both cases, actions aren’t enough to keep the doubts at bay. I think it is human nature to want some sort of verbal validation for things we do, good or bad. The perfect examples are children. Would you punish a child without telling them what they did wrong? Would you clap for or “high-five” a child for a job well done without offering words of praise? The answer is probably no. Yet when we become adults, the automatic assumption is “you should know”. But when you combine words and actions, it helps decipher whether or not someone is full of shit, or genuinely cares.
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once said, “There are two things that people value more than money and sex; praise and appreciation”. As with most things, my first thought was “Bullshit”. But then I let the words soak in a little bit. Let’s take a look at sex. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say we all enjoy sex quite a bit. But if the person,or persons for that lucky few, were to be completely silent while having sex, you would probably question whether or not you were doing something right. Now lets take a look at money. Say that an annual salary of $250k was more than enough for you to live comfortably. You receive two job offers. One for $350k; one for $400k. Both of these amounts go well beyond what you need to live comfortably. However, the job for $350k has an excellent reputation for being a great organization to work for, while the $400k job has the opposite reputation. Is an additional $50k a year worth the stress? I think the answer for most people would be no. Praise and appreciation go a long way. Once again, I use the example of a child. A child doesn’t, or shouldn’t understand the value of sex and money, but they’ll take a high-five and a complement any day of the week.
I know that the last paragraph was slightly off subject, but I thought it was important to demonstrate how we take positive reinforcement for granted. Actions are nice, like getting offered an additional $50k for the same job, or sex with the person of your dreams. But sometimes those actions are meaningless without the proper validation behind them. The easiest way to provide that validtion is through the words we say, not just the actions we perform. Never take for granted the importance of a few kind words to the ones we love. They could mean more to them than anything you could ever buy. Well, in most cases. If my wife bought me a Bentley today, she could call me a piece of shit everyday for a year and I would probably give less than a damn. At least that is what my mouth says; the tears in my pillow might say otherwise.
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