In continuation to my previous post with steps 1, 2, and 3 on how to enjoy each other, these are the final steps. Remember, not every step will come naturally and that’s ok. Practice each step individually and with baby-steps and soon it will become second nature!

Step 4

Become a Reaction-Free Person

What does it mean when a person is reaction-free? Does being reaction-free mean there are no reactions; do they flow freely? The answer is yes.

This lady named Freda thinks she’s a great driver; she’s never had an accident and she maintains her car well. However, her friend Shawn may say different; he says she drives too close to other cars and is truly terrified when he rides with her. In order to eliminate his reaction, he chooses to bring a newspaper to read in order to avoid watching her drive.

This is an example of being reaction-free. Shawn already knows Freda drives this way, by choosing to go with the flow and not stating how he feels.

You take responsibility for your own reactions; and can respectfully accept the situation easily.

Step 5

Manage Expectations

There was this married couple named Henry and Louise, who lived the next block over. The couple would start fights over the smallest things. One time Henry forgot to take the garbage out, another time Louise forgot to latch the gate. Some said Henry was to blame, others say it was Louise. I say it was their expectations.

Expectations are classified in many different ways. Some call them projections, introjections, and fantasies. Others call them to pre-set resentments. In my opinion, expectations are strong beliefs of the other person that are usually ignored until the situation occurs and is then brought up in full force.

Expectations are the building blocks to perfectionism and judgmental attitudes. They can quickly divide groups into “us” and “them,” “the right” and “the wrong,” and then morph into entitlements. At least that’s what happens with Henry and Louise.

In all relationships, you should not ever assume something will be done by the other person because you expected it. If Henry didn’t take the garbage out again, Louise shouldn’t be surprised and should not be quick to judge the situation.

Instead, she should communicate with Henry her needs and they both can work something out.

Step 6

Install Policies and Procedures

Have you ever woke up in the morning feeling like you can’t think clearly until you have your first cup of coffee? If you answered yes, then you have a procedure.

Have you ever told someone to not talk to you until you had a cup of coffee? Well, you have a policy. In fact, all boundaries are policies and all actions resulting from the boundaries are procedures.

Establishing policies and procedures for people ahead of time is better than creating them on the spot. People will not only respect you but you will come off as a calm individual when a mishap occurs.

Step 7

See The High Value In Enjoying Each Other

It’s true that the word joy is at the root of enjoyment. How does this differ from indulgence? How is joy different from satisfaction and is it the same as happiness? Joy seems to be more pervasive. It touches every part and oddly enough, can exist even when happiness is gone.

Indulgence is more about hoarding, consuming, obtaining, acquiring more than what is needed. There seems to be little pleasure in indulgence, nothing sustainable anyway. You can have joy without indulgence, often when you have indulgence you have moved away from Joy.

Pursuing a high value is to look for joy. Do this by imagining your most important relationship.

What would it be like to wake up in the morning saying to yourself, I wonder when or how I will enjoy today? What new ways of enjoying him/her will appear today? What effect will that have on your relationship?

This is a way we build capacity in our relationships. Comment below and let me know how it works for you.