If you have been practicing your second habit – speaking with patience, kindness and respect, you may have already noticed interesting changes in your relationships. Your sweetie, and anyone else on whom you have been practicing this habit, probably listens to you much more than (s)he ever did before. You are having fewer fights. You are probably getting more of what you ask for. You are remembering what you love about this person, and letting go of obstacles. If you haven’t gotten this far, keep practicing. These benefits are coming your way! When you speak to someone with respect and kindness, (s)he doesn’t have to assume a defensive posture. (S)he doesn’t have to be angry because (s)he has been insulted and/or criticized. It is safe and even pleasant to listen to you. (S)he wants to show you appreciation and love.
A quick tip: when you practice speaking this way, give up the thought that you are the most important person, and that your needs are more important than anyone else’s needs. Stop trying to be first, etc. Defer to the other person. This is such a civilized and gentle approach. When you are speaking to your children, showing love and gentleness is different than indulging and spoiling them. They may not “get their way”, but they will know you believe in them, and you are on their side. They will have to do things they don’t want to do, just as you do things you don’t want to do. Your example will show them they don’t have to be afraid to live under discipline. It will show them they can get control of their emotions and do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it. This is a very valuable lesson that will help them for the rest of their lives in so many different ways.
You can’t make other people treat you the way you want to be treated, but you can practice speaking with patience, kindness and respect. You can add a little civility to the world around you. Do not underestimate the power of this one habit.
One more thing: this is not manipulation, and it is not being dishonest. Yes, you may feel like choking this person rather than being patient. But by choosing how to treat a fellow human being, you are choosing a path of discipline and peace.