Try tenderness

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If a relationship is sour at work or home, lighten it up with tenderness.

Yes, you can do that even at work without being creepy.

Tenderness means that you treat each person with a kind word and compassion, recognizing that they are doing the best they can at this moment in time. Even when it appears they are acting like jerks, to them that’s the “best” they are capable of right then. They are being pushed by stress to react to life, and they don’t have the right tools in their toolbox. They grab anger, self-righteousness, blaming and a whole host of negative behavior

But you don’t have to perpetuate the problem by acting the same way. Don’t “react” to them. Instead, defuse the situation with tenderness. Here’s how:

  • Speak calmly. Don’t add to the tension by raising your voice or using angry body language.
  • Interrupt their tirade by holding up a hand in a “stop” gesture and suggest that you talk about this issue later on when everyone is calm.
  • Remove yourself. Don’t just stand there waiting for them to politely agree with you. They’ll just catch their breath and continue spouting negative *&%$ at you. Why put yourself in the line of fire? Take charge by taking yourself to a safety zone.
  • Wherever possible, inject comments that are tender in nature, meaning they are loving and generous.
  • Praise others for the progress they make. A well-placed “Hey, great job–good going!” is appropriate in almost any situation, and said with a big smile helps everyone feel better, including you!
  • Reinforce it when someone’s behavior is to your liking. Too often, we only complain when we don’t like something. Flip that around and stop paying attention to the “Bad” — instead, look for absolutely everything “Good” you can find and PRAISE it!  The natural inclination is for the other person to start doing more of what gets attention, even if it’s not a conscious decision.

What tenderness tips can you share with us? Please comment and reTweet!

your happiness guru,


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