by Serena Wadhwa Psy.D., LCPC, CADC
FAIRYTALE: Some couples just seem to have the perfect marriage, so I often compare my relationship to theirs
and end up feeling like it doesn’t measure up. Why don’t I have that “perfect marriage?”
REALITY: It’s easy to believe that the public magical moments we see of a marriage are all of what that marriage
has. However, no marriage, no matter how enchanting it seems, is perfect. Each marriage has its ups and downs
and it’s important to recognize that each partner is a real individual with different goals, dreams, situations, issues,
and not a made up fantasy. All marriages do have magical moments; it’s working towards creating more of them
that’s important. It’s important not to compare your marriage to someone else’s because each situation is different.
You don’t know what that couple’s marriage is like in the privacy of their own home. You may not even know the
real reasons why the marriage occurred. When you compare your marriage to someone else’s, you are denying
yourself the opportunity to see the reality of your own situation.
We cannot magically want something to occur in our reality without some work on our part. Look at what aspects
of your marriage are you comparing. For example, if you are comparing the romance in your marriage to the
romance in your friend’s marriage, what is it about her romance that you want more of in your marriage? Once you
determine what specifically you want more of (surprises, candlelight dinners, dates, etc.) you can begin developing
a plan to get it. If you want more magical moments, talk with your partner about what these magical moments are
and how the two of you can go about creating them.
FAIRYTALE: We won’t have any money issues because we know that’s not the most important factor in a lasting
marriage. So why is it that seems to be all we argue about?
REALITY: All of us have an idealized version of our fairy tale wedding. We want it to be perfect and everything
else that goes with it, including the marriage. We want to believe that once we have that fairy tale wedding, spared
no expense, there is nothing more we need to do. Yet some believe that the more money invested in the wedding,
the more it means that each partner is invested in the marriage. This is an erroneous belief. Sparing no expense for
a wedding does little in planning the marriage itself. Money does become one of the most frequently argued about
topics in marriages. After the ceremony itself, the bills are still left to be paid. This can cause frustration, stress, and
arguments between individuals who love each other to the death. The reality is that if you are not investing in the
marriage, chances are you’ll hit more that your share of rough patches. It doesn’t have to be the poisoned apple
that puts your marriage to sleep, but the point is, you need to focus on planning the marriage more than planning
the wedding. No magic wand can get you out of a rut, no matter how much you wish for it.
FAIRYTALE: I know that getting married will fulfill every need, desire, wish and fantasy that I have.
REALITY: No one person fulfills all of someone’s desires, needs and wishes. Even for Cinderella, she needed
certain mice to be the horses and other mice to be the coachmen. No one mouse could do all that. Snow White
had seven different dwarfs that had their individual functions. No one dwarf could do all that. It works the same way
for individuals. We can’t expect one person to take on all that responsibility. This is why it’s important to have a
good support circle of friends and family, as each person can fulfill something you need. For example, you may
have one friend that you can talk to about certain issues, but there is another friend that’s the fun one when you
want to hang out and relax. The same is true of your spouse. While your spouse is the primary person you may turn
to, he/she cannot be the only person you have. It may create an unhealthy relationship. It’s important to keep in
mind that while Prince Charming can perhaps read minds, your spouse cannot. If you need or want something, let it
be known. Communication is an important skill in a good marriage.
FAIRYTALE: Married people have less satisfying sex lives, and less sex, than single people.
REALITY: According to a national study, the reality is that married individuals have better and more satisfying sex
than do singles and unmarried couples. In fact, there are numerous benefits for married individuals than for those
who are single. Research indicated that married couples (provided they have married the “right person”) have better
psychological health, live longer, may make more money, and experience less domestic violence. In a long-term
commitment, most individuals want to please their partners, as it contributes to the satisfaction experienced. In
marriage, there is a higher level of commitment and a greater sense of trust and security. These factors contribute
to the higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
FAIRYTALE: Cohabitation is just like marriage, but without “the piece of paper.”
REALITY: While we may wishfully believe that cohabiting is similar to being married, this is not true. What some
research indicates, is that those who cohabitate experience increased levels of marital unhappiness and possible
divorce than those who do not cohabitate before marriage. Part of what may contribute to this is that when a couple
gets “the piece of paper” there is a stronger commitment and investment that occurs. Each individual is more
invested in keeping the marriage healthy. There is also more thought given to the partner’s input, thoughts, wants,
when any major decision is being made. In cohabitation, this is not necessarily the case. Couples who live together
but have not gone that extra step to solidify the relationship, usually do not give equal consideration to their partner
when major decisions occur. There is still some psychological separation that exists, without “that piece of paper.”
Additionally, research indicates that the benefits of cohabitation, while better than for those who are single, do not
reach the benefits that couples who are married experience.
Have you ever met someone who made absolutely everything an argument? No matter what the case they not only highlight the worst part of the situation, but also manage somehow to add to the problem by finding fault, blaming others and creating layers of confusion.
These people are among the most challenging to work with at church and in secular situations. They only see the faults of others and have an amazing knack for making the situation worse by inwardly enjoying the strife that lies at the heart of a difficult scenario.
It is amazing how dealing with people who love conflict can draw you into the same place if you are not careful. Interaction with negative people can begin to affect you and literally cause you to walk into work, church or home anticipating conflict, negativity and an argument. As you put things together for a project, committee, or even a gift, you do so anticipating them finding something wrong with what you have done.
These broken, hurting and hurtful people are in our neighborhoods, places of work, churches and even our homes. As difficult as they are to deal with, God commands us to show love to them as well.
Psalm 34:14 says: “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” This verse prompts us to not only do the right thing, but to also follow the way of peace. To pursue something means that we are actively chasing it. How many times have you and I chased revenge, the last word or winning an argument rather than peace.
Sadly, many in the rising generations feel that seeking peace makes you “a punk” or soft. Yet, those who are older, wiser and have lived through battles – both spiritual and natural – can attest that seeking peace makes you a healthier and more balanced person. Living to argue and arguing to live makes one bitter and not better. It creates a hardened heart and removes the joy from what God determined should be an abundant life.
This week, ignore the foolishness and rise above the controversy the enemy brings; seek peace in every situation and once you find it – pursue it.
Would you do the same thing?
I have heard you say that you shouldn’t give out pricing unless you gather information first. Though I agree with you, sometimes you can‘t do that. I am an account executive for a software company. We have several applications and packages that we sell and they are somewhat customized but we do have packages that are inexpensive, off-the-shelf packages as well. My question is how can I ask questions and find out more information if the person on the phone making the inquiry asks about our basic package and how much that one is? I mean it is a very straight forward question.
OK let me calm down a minute before I answer this because I might blow. First of all, I didn’t realize that if you have a particular procedure you use to collect information and recommend the correct package for the prospect (or suspect in this case) that what they think they want is automatically correct and you are obliged to answer. I looked up your companies website before I answered and I don’t see anywhere an indication of you being non-profit organizations. What we fail to remember if you give an answer out that quickly you have absolutely no idea why they are looking at it, what else they are looking at, what issues they need to solve etc. If you don’t find out these simple answers isn’t there a chance you could be recommending (or in this case giving information on) the wrong application for their needs? If so isn’t it your responsibility to make sure you get to the issues they are having and recommend what is right and not just what they ask for simply because they asked for it???
Take control of you sales process, or it will take control of you and turn you into an order- taker and not a sales professional.
Our company supplies promotional products to companies for give-aways to clients, prospective clients and to use at trade shows. My question is a simple one. I had a meeting with a large accounting and tax firm and they want to get samples of what I think they should use. I gave them the ones I thought were best for them and I have called and called to follow up with no answer on what they want, how many etc. How do I get them to call me back?
Well there is no trick but let’s understand a few things.
First of all I wouldn’t give anyone anything without clearly understanding if they like the ideas, what will happen next and by when. I would ask them, “So if I give you the few things I think will help you with your upcoming trade show, based on what you told me you were trying to accomplish, with in the budget that we discussed, and you love them, what happens next?” If you don’t have a clear understanding here, don’t proceed.
Second of all what you are doing is not “following up” it’s stalking! Follow up is when you mutually agree on what is going to happen next and each of you have set up a clear understanding of what that means. For example you will agree to talk on Tuesday at 3pm to get their decision of whether they are going with you or not and if so what are they ordering.
In both questions I am feeling (which is very common) the need to do whatever the prospect asks. You will only have that need if you don’t have a process that you follow to build business in your organization. Stop letting everyone else be in charge of your business and get control of a process that you use to sell. The last I checked most of you are not into business for fun. Most of us are trying to build business and make money. Believe me it won’t happen by letting the prospect decide how you run your process.
I wouldn’t get surgery done by a doctor who said , “well this is how I do it but how would you like to proceed?” or a pilot so asked the passengers what speed to go once in the sky. Why is it ok in sales. It’s not.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best selling author of “To Sell is Not to Sell”. Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to: www.schulzbusiness.com.