“What if the greatest gift to your relationship were you- willing to be as brilliantly, beautifully, amazingly, bizarrely, weirdly, intensely, and joyfully different as you truly be without divorcing any of you?” -Dr Dain Heer, Being You Changing the World
One of my dogs is a fast pooper. My other dog is a social sniffer.
The fast pooper drops it like it's hot and runs off. In the time it takes most people to sneeze once she’s done and moving on!
The social sniffer on the other hand likes to savor the smell of each blade of grass... taking notes, in detail, on the attendance and health of each of the dogs... cats... possum... fox... deer... armadillo...raccoon... horse.... roach, ant and microbe that has visited a single spot. I could go on for days if I listed everything that he's exploring in absolute detail... likewise, he could stand in a single spot, totally happy, for days on end. Sniff sniff sniff... sniff... snort sniff sniff....
They’re really different.
This morning as I'm holding back the fast pooper long enough to pick up after her and pulling the social sniffer along so that we can go on a WALK... it got me thinking about a few things about relationships... here are these two very very different beings who have enjoyed one another from the day they met... what is it that gives them so much ease with one another? They’ve been besties (would that be beasties since they’re dogs?) for about 8 years now and they have total ease with one another. I could learn a thing or... maybe even four...
1. CHOOSE SOMEONE YOU CAN SAY YES TO- There’s a question in the Being You Changing the World book that I love, “Will this person be a contribution to my life and living?” Starting with someone you can say, “yes” to makes all the difference. Dogs are smarter than people. They know from the very beginning who they’ll be friends with and who they won’t.
2. KNOW WHO YOU ARE- There's nothing wrong with being a fast pooper or a social sniffer BUT trying to go on a walk with the two of them together creates a lot of tension... literally... there's a lot of tension on their leashes. One is always being held back and the other one is always being pulled begrudgingly forward... sound familiar? Which one are you? Who are you with? Being really honest with yourself about who you are and who you are with lets you make choices that work for both of you not against you! What if the person you are with never had to change? What if you could shift your focus from what creates tension to what you’re grateful for about them? What if you never had to change to be with them either? What if you could shift your focus from what you think is wrong with you to what you’re grateful for about you. What would it be like to begin looking at what would work for you if neither of you ever had to change?
3. IT’S NOT PERSONAL. FIND THE OVERLAP- You know what both of my dogs like to do? Snuggle. There is no tension in the room when it's snuggle time. As a bonus, they have the same taste in decor. They both LOVE to snuggle on the furry lamb skin rug. When they're snuggling together on their favorite rug do you know what you get? Two VERY happy Chihuahuas. The chihuahuas get, intrinsically, something that most of us don’t. They get that nothing is personal, everything is just an interesting point of view. Luna, the fast pooper, never takes it personally that Louie, the social sniffer, would rather lick the floor for an hour than play with her. Louie never takes it personally that Luna loves playing with kids even though he distrusts kids 85% of the time. They enjoy, together, what they enjoy together and enjoy apart what they do apart. Is there anything you’ve decided you HAVE to do together with the person you are with that they don’t like doing? Is there something else you could add to your life that you would both enjoy together?
4. DON'T COMPROMISE. DO WHAT WORKS- I know this is controversial. A lot of people say that compromise is KEY to a good relationship... Good? Maybe... But what about a GREAT relationship? For my dogs, compromise would mean that the fast pooper would have to slow down and the slow sniffer would have to sniff less. BOTH of them would enjoy their lives less so they could go at the same speed. But you know what works even better for them? Going to the dog park. What does going to the dog park have to do with not compromising? When we go to the dog park, both of the dogs get what they want! The fast pooper gets to run around fast... greeting everyone and everything her quick little tail wagging as she proudly pounces around in the world. The social sniffer gets to travel the perimeter of the park to find every little peed-on blade of grass and take notes. There's no compromise, just a way that they both get to do what they enjoy- together but not stiflingly so... Next time you go to compromise, try asking these questions, “What’s possible here that we’ve never considered? What exactly are we trying to create with this compromise? Is there something else we can do or create that that will work even better for us?”
Maybe you don’t want to take relationship tips from the dogs... If you want more ground breaking people only tips check these out:
Being You Adventures 3 Part Series including Being You in Relationship
Sex is Not a Four Letter Word
Being You Changing the World