Remember the magic words you were taught as a child? Now we would call them Key Words. In this instance we would call them Key Words for Happiness. Most parents and grandparents drilled these into our minds from the time we could talk until we packed and moved into our own space and our adult life. Unfortunately, some seem to leave these behind when they move and we are the worst for that. Let’s refresh our memories:
Please: The First “Key Word” to Happiness
Please, is the first magic or key word and should be used anytime you want or need something from another person. “Please, may I borrow your dictionary for a while.” “May I please have one of those cookies you baked for the party?” “Could you please help me with the housecleaning”? The word “please” and a genuine smile can get for you things that simply helping yourself can’t obtain. It is a common courtesy and should be used often.
Please should be followed by “Thank You” And “thank you” should be used generously when someone does something nice for you, whether solicited or unsolicited. “Thank you” takes almost no effort and yet reaps big rewards. “Thank you so much” for giving me a ride.” “Thanks for the cookie.” “Thanks for remembering my birthday.” “Thank you for being there for me. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” My ex-husband always remembered to say, “Thank you for the lovely dinner”—he never forgot and it was always appreciated. “Thank you” recognizes all the little things that someone does for you, tells them they matter and that you don’t take their kindnesses for granted.
“I’m sorry” is an important phrase and should be used only when you mean it. It breaks the ice after an argument or misunderstanding and clears the way for reconciliation whether in a small or large disagreement. It makes amends for acts of commission and omission—”I’m sorry I forgot to stop and get milk.” “I’m sorry I jumped to conclusions and blamed you for something you didn’t do.” “I’m sorry I said that stupid thing and made you cry.” We all know people who use it in almost every utterance and it loses its meaning—that isn’t what I’m talking about here. You did something and you know you did something on purpose or accidentally. “I’m sorry” is often all that needs to be said, although sometimes you need to make amends. You fix what you broke. You get what you forgot.
I Love You
“I Love You”
Those you love should hear it from you. We’ve all heard about the man, who when his wife asked, “Do you love me,” replied, “I married you, didn’t I?” The poor man. The poor wife. Your spouse should hear it often said with meaning (passion would be better). You child should hear it. Your parents should hear it. “I love you” isn’t just for the dating game—it’s for those around you who live and work along side you.
There you have them: the magic words that will make not only your life happier but also the lives of those around you:
- Thank you
- I’m sorry
- I love you
These words reflect self esteem and certainly contribute to self improvement and, certainly, to your happiness and the happiness of others.