Where are they going?
It seems that bathtubs aren’t getting as much love in the housing market as they used to. I read an article in the Washington Post recently about how bathtubs are becoming less preferred than showers for home buyers. Elizabeth Mayhew, the author, thinks it’s because we don’t have time for baths anymore. A quick shower is all we have time for. Taking the time to take a bath is more of a luxury.
Does it matter?
Why is this on a therapy blog? Surprisingly, the same cultural trends that are making baths a thing of the past are also getting in the way of growing relationships. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard clients say that they don’t have enough time to connect with each other. Heck, I even feel like that sometimes.
Busy, hurried, or rushed interactions are characterized by efficiency and brevity. While that’s a useful mode (because sometimes things need to get done), staying there all the time can spell disaster for relationships.
How to slow down
Here’s an acronym* that can help:
Playfulness – Even during quick interactions, a little playfulness can be a reminder that you are real people instead of just tasks or obstacles.
Acceptance – Find ways to remind each other that your relationship is more important than this interaction … the interaction doesn’t change the fact that you accept each other and care about one another.
Curiosity – Dig a bit deeper. Don’t stay on the surface. How did you think to do that? Was that scary?
Empathy – Ask yourself, “How would I experience the world if I were in their shoes?”, then communicate that to them as a question. “If that happened to me, I’d feel ___________ is that what it was like for you?”
You won’t get it perfect every time, but even just 25% will transform the interactions you have in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. You’ll start to be surprised that in many of the hurried moments there is an unexpected bit of the connection we all long for.
So, here’s to bathtubs. May they always have a presence in our lives and remind us to un-hurry just a bit … to leave space for the unexpected.
I specialize in helping couples slow down and grow their relationships in this fast-paced, no time for baths world. Interested? Let’s talk … Use this link to get in touch.
* Dan Hughes came up with this acronym in case you want to know more.