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Anytime you ask your partner or friend, or anyone you do not hold authority over to change their behavior and they do, it is a gift.

It is sometimes hard to realize this because we think they “should” change. We think that a “good person” or a “thoughtful person” or a “decent person” would behave in a certain way. That image we hold of how another should act is in our individual mind, not in theirs.

This really hit me once when I was reading some advice column about roommates. Someone had written in and was talking about how upset they were that their roommate left dirty dishes in the sink overnight and how horrible that was and how could she get them to stop doing that because it wasn’t right. The author of the advice column said something that startled me. She said basically that the roommate lived there too and had as much right to have the kitchen the way they wanted.


I could see how that would open up a conversation between equals. And if roommate A changed how she handled her dishes to accommodate roommate B, that would be a gift and could be received as a gift with gratitude and appreciation.

This can be a simple as being on time or coming home. A weird thing that I find myself doing is thanking Richard for coming home from a trip to be with me. He isn’t required to, it is a gift. But it extends to so many things that we take for granted, especially in being a couple - having dinner together, giving you a hug, texting throughout the day. If you think this is something they “should” do, you can’t appreciate it and be grateful for it. It becomes a requirement, NOT a gift.

So look to the accommodations others in your life make for you. They don’t have to do it. They are doing it for you. You might want to thank them.


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