WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

August 13, 2012

Spicy Words and Mayonnaise Sayings

Are you looking for ways to liven up how you speak to your loved ones? Sometimes when we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, things normalize to the point where we forget to notice what’s special. It’s easy to overlook the magic, and perhaps we forget to say things that rekindle the love that we once felt. In my book WordFood: How We Feed or Starve our Relationships, I talk about how to spice up our interactions with affectionate comments such as:
“You are the cream in my coffee.”

“I hate getting out of bed with you still in it.”
“You make me want to cuddle all day.”
“You’re the magic that puts the sparkle in my life.”
“I can’t wait to put my arms around you when I see you again.”

These are the sayings that tickle our loved one’s fancy. They are reminders that someone is special and loved. Despite the demands of the day, the laundry, the long work hours, the kids’ homework, whatever the must-dos of your world, the person you chose to spend your life with is still your life’s love. When you remind them so, it makes all the difference.

Mayonnaise phrases are words that help digest heavy information, the same way that the salad dressing makes tuna more palatable. When we’re having a tough conversation with someone it’s always helpful to have some gentle phrases handy to soothe the passage of tough stuff. For example:

“I know you’ll do this well.”
“You have the fortitude to take this on.”
“You just need to believe in yourself.”
“You’re terrific at this. You’re just a little off course.”
“You’ve got the skills to get this done.”
“You have great courage.”
“Thank you for hearing me out.”

These phrases can accompany a coaching session with a teenage son or a recalcitrant employee, a challenged friend or an unhappy athlete. Whatever the situation, choose words that uplift and guide, and draw from your own experiences to show your humanity. Share your story and how you have walked a similar path. By sharing our frailties we build connections, and by building connections we build strength.

WordFood is all about feeding each other words that uplift us every day. Choose your words carefully, and see how they can make all the difference!

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