Getting Enough Love—Revisited

Tuesday, 21 September 2021 13:59
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Is sharing love an important apart of your life?  Do you share a limited amount of love because you are a strong director, analyzer or socializer—or a weak relator?  Do you really share as much love as you want to?  Maybe a revisit of a previous pearl may help improve your loving life.
While involved in the many aspects of your practice odyssey over the past few months, you should not have lost sight of an important aspect of a successful practice—that you must love your team and patients; that your team must love you and your patients; and that the patients must love you and your team.  This fact has become obvious to me after working with hundreds of practices and thousands of staff over the past 50 years—the more love they shared the more successful their practice is; no matter how big or small.  Of course we can’t love everyone all of the time—it has its limits—but we all could do better. 
Love is something that most of us are uncomfortable discussing—while craving more of it.  Strong relators (or those of us who do not have a weak relator style) can share love more easily than others.  No matter what our genetic style strengths are, we all share love—but unfortunately, only when we are using our “bonding” relator style.  In general, I find the vast majority (60%) of orthodontists are task-oriented directors and analyzers, about 30% are strong socializers, and about 10% are strong relators—so the majority of us needs help to share more love.  Orthodontists with a strong director style and a weak relator style (opposite styles that balance each other out), find it particularly difficult to share love.  Orthodontists with a strong analyzer style and a weak relator style also have difficulty sharing love.  Socializers feel a lot of joy and interpret it as love, but it isn’t love because there is little bonding involved.  But, just because we don’t naturally share love, it doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t share more.
In the pearl “Are you getting enough love in your life” we discussed the various ways of experiencing love daily.  Most of it was to be aware and to “catch a moment of love”, then dwell on it.  But there is a more pro-active way of sharing more love daily—you can institute an “attitude” that relators naturally use—being appreciative and thankful.
It seems unrealistic that just being more appreciative and thankful could make such a big difference in our lives, but it does.  Most of us take it for granted that when someone does something for us that our “thank you” is implied—it isn’t.  We lose something by not saying it and others lose something by not hearing it.  By not being appreciative and saying “thank you” we don’t acknowledge to ourselves that, that person did something nice for us and that we are worth it.  By not saying, “thank you” we degrade the other person by making their efforts seem meaningless and their life less valuable.
By saying “thank you” we acknowledge to ourselves that we appreciate what this person has done for us, which makes us feel more important.  By saying “thank you” the other person feels that what they did is valuable, which makes their life more meaningful.  And the sad fact is that a person doing what might be considered “lower status work” actually needs more acknowledgements, but they usually get less.
Over the past year I have experimented with appreciating and thanking others for what they did for me.  I did this with clients, anybody I met outside my home, and especially with my family.  At first it seemed stilted and disingenuous, but after hundreds of incidences it became natural.  I could see the changes on the people’s faces when I acknowledged and thanked them, changing from a “well, that task is done” blank expression to a “my efforts are appreciated” smile.  I am a much happier person now that I share more love and appreciation—I whish I had learned this simple fact decades ago.
Thus, whether in your practice, your home or when out and about, if you share an appreciative “thank you”, you will eventually share more love.  At first, you will feel a little awkward saying it, but it will eventually become more natural and accepted by others as you naturally emanate positive emotional energy.  It is especially effective when you can look someone straight in the eye when saying it and emoting positive energy.  Of course, there are those who respond to your “thank you” with “no problem”, which kills the love—but by emanating positive emotional energy you will usually get around that—keeping eye contact also helps.  You will also get a “you’re welcome” some of the time, which also feels good.  Actually, the more you maintain eye contact emit positive emotional energy, the more positive responses you will receive from others.
And it isn’t necessary to thank everybody for everything—that gets a little stale after a while.  For a start, practice maintaining eye contact and saying “thank you” to people outside of your practice when in restaurants, stores, etc., and especially with your family.  This will naturally transfer over to your practice.  It will take many weeks/months to attain a more loving life, but you will find it well worth the effort and appreciation.
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