When the Other Person Drops the Ball
It's true that no one gets through the day or week, much less a lifetime, without someone with whom they live, work, play or have another association "dropping the ball." The mate might forget to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home. The executive assistant forgets to give you the important message. The airline loses your baggage. Your mate slams the door and awakens the baby. Your teenager forgets to fill the gas tank.
How do you handle those little "boat-rockers"? The first thing you do is understand that the offending parties, in all probability, had no malicious intent. They did not spend a few extra minutes plotting to "get your goat" or create some discomfort. They simply forgot. It could be they were distracted with a busy schedule or had neglected to make a note of it, not realizing the importance of the request and thinking it was "no big deal."
Next, put yourself in that person's position. Can you understand why or how they dropped the ball? Third, evaluate this in the context of the relationship. Is this a pattern of behavior or an isolated incident? Does it really weigh much in the long-term relationship?
If the worst thing your teenager ever does is forget to refill the gas tank, it certainly isn't worth risking the destruction of your relationship. If it's the mate who unthinkingly slams the door and awakens the baby, just how significant is that in terms of the marriage? Weigh it, and evaluate its importance. Chances are excellent you will be able to understand that it really isn't that big a deal.
Finally, gently suggest to the offending party that while you realize it was not intentional, you would appreciate it if they would be a little more thoughtful in the future. Take this approach, and your relationships will be more pleasant and longer-lasting. Then I really will see you at the top!
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.