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The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is to treat others the way you want to be treated. It is a principle that is found from the teachings of Jesus and is generally accepted around the world as a good way to live.

I remember trying to teach the Golden Rule to my children. They would respond by telling me, "Well, he did this to me, so I did that to him!" The concept seemed simple, but it was much harder to help them put it into action. If I'm really honest, the concept is even harder sometimes to live out in my own life and marriage!

When working with couples, I am reminded of the Golden Rule. How often do we treat the ones we love the most in ways we would rather not be treated? I don't know about you, but I want my husband to understand me, see me, get me, and know me. I can get angry and blame him for dropping the ball, or responding unkindly to me. But, if I dropped the ball or responded unkindly to him, wouldn't I want him to remember I'm only human?

So often though, we want to be right and we will go to great lengths to prove it! Meet a criticism with one of your own. Roll your eyes. Raise your voice.

John and Julie Gottman, Relationship Experts, share the communication concept of The Assumption of Similarity. The idea is simple: if you find yourself attributing a positive trait to yourself, pausing and attempting to see if that positive attribute is also in your partner. And, visa versa. If you attribute a negative trait to your partner, create space to consider if you might also be exhibiting that negativity yourself.

Sounds a little like the Golden Rule, huh!?

So, the next time you find yourself in a fight, stop to consider treating your partner the way you want to be treated. Do you want to be heard? Listen. Do you want to be respected? Refrain from name calling. Do you think you are right? Consider your partner's perspective and accept influence from them.

Turn toward one another using the Assumption of Similarity and the Golden Rule!

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