Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Attitude Adjustment, a Double-Edged Sword That Can Make or Break a Relationship or Marriage

We’ve talked about how an attitude adjustment can build attraction, but we need to talk about how the wrong attitude adjustment can just as effectively kill attraction, to the point of trashing a relationship or marriage completely!

First, I’d like to tell everyone how proud I am of the letters I’ve been receiving from you folks. I have a very good group of readers, people who make the choice to improve and follow through on it, something that I don’t see much in the rest of my day-to-day activities. Constant contact with people who get things done is both therapeutic and motivating, and if you don’t have any other “winners” in your social or work circle, I strongly urge you to find some.

It’s very easy for the members of any group of people to sink to the level of the lowest member in the group, and surrounding yourself with high-quality people is excellent insurance against this, not to mention much more enjoyable than listening to some mealy-mouthed worm complaining about his mishaps and shortcomings every time you see him. Good people should keep the company of good people, not those who want to be supported by good people rather than expend the effort themselves to be good people.

Getting into today’s lesson, I was reminded by a letter from one of you that attitudes can be adjusted in both directions, for the better and for the worse, and it can go entirely unnoticed until it’s too late. Meet my buddy Joe, one of the older among you:

Hi David,

Thought I'd take advantage of the invitation to share a current example and the observed effects.
I'll try to make this the “readers digest” version, but some back-story is probably beneficial.

About 8 months ago some friends and I pooled funds and bought a business that would otherwise have disappeared. Three of us contributed money and one was to be sweat equity.

At the time I was exerting leadership and authority it triggered attraction in a woman (we'll call her Judy) I'd known for about a year and who was involved in the purchase as well. We were spending an increasing amount of time together, sharing more of our lives and becoming intimate. After being alone for about 4 years (long separation and divorce) it was a very welcome addition to my life.

After things settled in, I neglected to “keep it going” in terms of leadership, (mistakenly) feeling that since she and I were doing well and had a definite affinity that things would continue. WRONG. There are other factors involved, but basically I failed to continue in the leadership role and the attraction waned considerably. The end result was that the relationship that had been hot and very mutual was put “on hold” until we “each got things in our lives straightened out.”

This last week we had to remove the “sweat equity partner” from managing the restaurant. Since I'm the geographically close partner AND the person that put the deal together AND have worked the business as well, it has fallen to me to organize and manage the restaurant. This created a lot of strain and even induced a bit of “panic” initially. A lot communication went on with the partners over status, decision-making, etc. Again I failed to take a strong enough leadership position.

Since that point I've gotten a handle on things, however, the effect on my relationship with Judy took a worse turn in that she's not confident with my assertiveness and there's now some struggle and even bossiness on her part in how things will proceed. Yep, classic wussiness and deference have caused her to feel she has to “be the man.”

Now there are other issues in play here, and an evaluation of Judy as an appropriate partner is clearly required as she has her own set of issues. HOWEVER, observing the progression of events here it's clear that FAILING TO TAKE THE LEADERSHIP ROLE HAS TANKED WHAT WAS ONCE A CLEAR AFFINITY AND PRETTY FUN AND INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP.

I'm re-evaluating my process of relating information to my partners with an eye towards framing the issue, identifying options and suggesting the most effective choice, INSTEAD of coming across with a “what am I going to do now” type of attitude.

It's a learning process and some take longer to “get” the lessons. The thing is that the lessons continue to come until we DO get it.

Thanks David for your help and newsletters. They're helping me to change into a better man and better partner...for someone, sometime.

Regards,
Joe


As you can see from Joe’s account, letting your attitude deteriorate in the face of stress, deadlines, boredom, and a lot of other things, is easy, and it can cost you, dearly. So keep an eye on your attitude, mood, deviation from good habits (like being on time, or being well-groomed) that show self-respect, etc., and don’t let things go down the tubes when they could easily be maintained or improved. It’s far easier to maintain the good things in life than it is to regain them once lost.

Think of a bundle of asphalt roofing shingles. Once you get them up on your shoulder, holding them there or going up the ladder with them isn’t hard at all, but getting them from the ground to your shoulder (especially if you do two at a time like I do) is rough, and you can get hurt pretty badly doing it if you don’t do it just right. Relationships are the same way. Easy to maintain or elevate from a comfortable position, but having the potential to break your back if you have to bring one from the ground up.

So now you have to ask yourself a question: “Do I know what my attitude, demeanor, personality, habits, etc., are projecting about me???” And do you know how the people, and specifically the women in your life, are interpreting what they see? Another question: “If somebody, especially a woman, tried to tell me what they see, would I listen, and understand?”

You will after you’ve read my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you’ll also know what they like seeing and how to adjust your attitude and outlook so that they see what they’re looking for and you enjoy your life more, not because they see it, but because YOU do. It’s fun, easy, and every man who has tried it to date has succeeded in making his life better, regardless of what woman’s company he was keeping, so whatever is holding you back, skip it, and get over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy right now. Never put off until tomorrow the success you can have today!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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