Just because it’s not important to me doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Just because it’s not important to me doesn’t mean it’s not important. This is a big life lesson that I need you to hear right now. This one statement will mend relationships.
Let me give you an example from my own life. Bear with me, I do have a point…eventually.
My family is a farming family. I grew up on a farm, and I’ll be the first to admit, it wasn’t really my thing. As a child, I didn’t appreciate life in the country. There was no joy for me in doing chores in sub-zero temperatures during winter, shoveling out pig pens, or slopping around in the mud and muck to load up animals to go to market. Does any of this sound like fun to you? Nope, me neither. Fast forward a dozen or so years. I get married, and what does my husband do? Joins the farming business.
One day, I was having some well-deserved time to myself. My husband was in charge of all three kids, while I was off doing my own thing. His only request was that I come home by a certain time, because he had to go load some cattle with my dad.
“No problem!” I said, and I took off. The deadline for me to be home came and went. I knew I was going to be late, but I was savoring my free time. I said to myself that my husband only had do to a chore with my dad- no big deal. Dad would understand why he was late. Dad would be okay with his daughter having a bit of extra free time. That’s how I justified it to myself.
When I did arrive home, my husband was incredibly ticked off at me. He had every right to be mad. Not only did I disrespect the expectations that we’d set together, I also made him late for his thing.
Being on time and helping out on the farm was VERY important to him. I disregarded his feelings and made him late, because it wasn’t important to me. Ouch.
So I ask you to think about your own relationships. Are you brushing off your co-workers idea? Are you disregarding your significant others’ hobby, because you think it’s stupid? Are you ignoring your kids’ interests? Just because it’s not important to you doesn’t mean it’s not important to them.
Reverse the roll. How do you feel when something that is important to you is ignored or disregarded? It hurts. Not only does it diminish the value of your “thing,” but also chips away at your relationship, and maybe even your self-worth a little bit. (Because if my “thing“ is stupid, maybe I’m stupid for liking it.)
This world is big and wonderful and everybody in it is unique. Each person has their own set of values, beliefs, and interests. Everybody has their own “thing.” We can repair and improve our relationships in all areas of our lives by asking this one little question, “Am I respecting what’s important to them?”