Growing up during the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war, I remember a key plan for keeping us safe was mutually assured destruction (MAD). The logic was neither side would nuke the other because both the Soviets and Americans had enough atomic weapons to completely wipe the other country out. Doesn’t the acronym MAD say it all? 🤣 I bring that up because I’ve noticed a similar, and quite different, dynamic between my wife and I. Lisa and I practice what I’ve dubbed Mutually Assured Awesomeness (MAA). Since I never tire of bragging about her, 😍 and what blesses our relationship also greatly aids my interactions with all flavors of people, I figured I’d share a bit about what I mean!
I’ll start by noting we definitely have our shortfalls and wrongs—and, because of the way we choose to see and engage one another, even those turn out to be gifts. The #1 key to Mutually Assured Awesomeness is making a habit of believing the best about one another. When I meltdown, Lisa believes there’s an important story there. If I snap, she surmises something got under my skin that could use some TLC. In moments of irritation, my honey holds me and tenderly asks what’s on my mind.
Whether we realize it, or not, humans are constantly shaping a story in our heads to make sense of people, events, and such—since much of this narrative is assumed, presumed, or made up, the trick is to make the story a good one! I never really got a reason why my second wife divorced me, but I have plenty of kind and understanding hunches. You might really dislike _____, but if you’d had the same DNA and experiences as her/him, you’d likely be similar. Know what I mean?
A related vital aspect of MAA is speaking the best to one another—there’s something about naming the goodness in another person that brings out and amplifies said gift. Lisa frequently tells others, “Lang is the kindest person I know,” and you know what? It brings greater levels of giving, encouragement, and selflessness out of me! Words are a powerful, creative force, so affirmations and encouragements make a world of difference.
A final way we mutually assure awesomeness in one another is via joyful solutions. While compromises leave one, or both, parties frustrated, a joyful solution is taking the time to listen deeply and creatively find a path that’s joyful to both. 4+ years in, this has worked EVERY TIME.
Believe the Best + Speak the Best + Joyful Solutions = Mutually Assured Awesomeness. At least in my experience. What speaks to you?
Hugs & Love,
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