Everybody knows the golden rule, right? It’s basic. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. We learn this in kindergarten.
The problem being, not everybody wants what you want.
I’ll give you a personal example:
When I get injured — a toe stubbing, a cut with a kitchen knife, a four-year-old elbow to the lip — I want someone to rush right up, administer comforting murmurs and fetch an ice pack or bandages as needed.
When Ben gets hurt, he wants to be left the hell alone for at least five minutes. Someone rushing up to him to help is the about the last thing he wants. (I know, what a weirdo.)
So, after about 5 years of being together and getting rejected while trying to offer help to an injured partner, I finally got wise and gave him some space until he came to ask where the band-aids were.
The platinum rule says: Treat others the way they would like to be treated.
I can’t remember where I heard this idea. Probably some work related customer service workshop years ago. It really stuck with me. I use it not just at work, but in family life.
When I know Ben if stressed about the state of the house, I’ll clean the mudroom first, as I know that’s the room that really gets to him. (Personally, I’d prefer to start with the bathroom.)
When Nora gets hurt, I get her an ice pack, almost regardless of the type of injury. (I usually just need a “poor thing,” cooed sincerely.)
When my friend, Sandi, is returning from Arizona, I weed her rose beds and make enough dinner to feed her family, too. (Um, actually, this is exactly what I’d like, too.)
Hopefully, I’m passing this concept on to Nora. There is some evidence, she’s getting it. Lately, when she’s picking flowers, she’s distributing them based on color preference of the recipient: orange for daddy, blue for mommy, pink for herself.
Not a bad start on living the platinum rule.