Marriage is such a beautiful thing. It provides unrestricted access to that special person you love, which also presents a unique opportunity for you to learn from each other. I have been married to my best friend for a little over four years now, and let’s just say that it feels like being in the university all over again – except that, in this case, there is no foreseeable end date in sight. I could write an entire series on this subject, but let’s keep it simple today and focus on three (out of numerous) people skills I’ve learnt from him. Shall we?
To put things in context, I’ve always been an introvert. Before hubby and I got married, he would tease that I could spend months indoors without stepping out, provided I had food, water, books and the internet – and he wasn’t far from the truth 😅😅😅 On the other hand, he was the direct opposite. He couldn’t stay indoors for a full day without stepping outside to enjoy the ‘fresh air from Heaven.’ In the first few months of marriage, I just couldn’t understand why he needed to step outside to ‘clear his head.’ “Clear your head ke? Abi, am I the one clogging your head 🙄?” I’d always think. Anyways, I drift.
In this post, I share three of the numerous lessons I have gained from him in dealing with people. These lessons will take your people skills to the next level. Are you ready for it?
1. Nicknames for everyone: The first thing my hubby does when he meets anyone is giving them a nickname. Many times, he voices it out. At other times, he keeps it to himself. If you know my hubby personally, the odds are he has given you a nickname already😜 I later discovered that these names serve a purpose: they help him remember people’s names more easily. Let’s admit it; everyone loves the sound of their name. In Dale Carnegie’s book “how to make friends and influence people,” that’s one of the principles he mentioned. While the bearer of the name feels a sense of endearment as hubby fondly calls them by the special name he has coined, it similarly makes him unforgettable. Fun fact: when hubby and I newly became friends, he gave me a nickname I initially did not like but I am now very fond of.
2. Give context to gifts: It’s always very thoughtful to receive a gift. However, I find it intriguing how hubby is so great at giving the simplest of gifts, but they are always so meaningful. I often find that the attraction wasn’t really about the gift but his narrative about it. For instance, he recently gifted me a shower gel and told me how he waited for almost an hour in front of a shop to get it because there was a long queue to get the product (it was a special, handmade formulation), and he got me the very last bottle in stock 😅😅. Just so you know, I only use that shower gel for special occasions because my mind tells me there must be something truly special about it. At another time, he gifted me a journal (you know, the type that just has ruled pages and absolutely nothing written on it) for mother’s day. As he handed it over to me, he said, “motherhood is such a beautiful experience, I want you to enjoy every bit of it and document your experience, so I’m giving you this journal to write something you are grateful for every day.” He once gave me a pack of teabags and narrated the amazing benefits of the active ingredient in the tea and how it was perfect for me (thank you very much, Sir). My point is, sometimes the best gifts are the (almost) free ones 😉
3. SWOT analysis: For everyone hubby meets, he subconsciously does a SWOT analysis. That’s to say, he can immediately tell the individual’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. An interesting question I like asking him every so often is, “what do you think about this person?” I’m always gobsmacked at his response. What does he do with this info, you might ask? It helps him make the most of the relationship by leveraging the person’s strengths, complementing their weaknesses, gently nudging them to maximize their opportunities and making them aware of obvious threats. This is a classic example of what Stephen Covey would describe as a “win-win” situation.
He has many more people skills, but these are my favourites. Anyways, back to the drift, guess who can now stay indoors for months without going outdoors to get a dose of sunshine?? 😉 I’m sure you guessed right. So you see, we’re learning from each other after all 🤷♀️
PS: Please don’t tag him. I hope he doesn’t see this 🙈🙈
PSS: Today is NOT his birthday.
Categories: My lifestyle