We've heard it all our lives: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Or... Treat people the way YOU want to be treated.
And I agree...to a point. But I think the golden rule is inherently flawed.
When I am sad or in a bad mood, here's what I want: I want to be gently teased, and then shown affection, warmth and understanding. I want someone to say, in a sweet voice, "do you want to talk about it?" And give me a hug and that's that. I'm that easy to cajole back into happiness.
And that's generally how I treated my friends when they were down. With hugs and affection and humor of the situation. It worked fairly well.
Then I married Tad. And when he was in a bad mood, I would put my arms around him and gently ask if he was okay and give him hugs.... And he did not like that. At all.
And when I was in a bad mood, he'd tease me relentlessly. And then give me space.
So finally we had a conversation and it turned out that he was treating me the way HE wanted to be treated and I was treating him the way I wanted to be treated.
So we switched. And now when I'm upset, he puts his arms around me and asks me if I want to talk. And when he's upset, I joke around, tell him to buck up, and then I give him space.
Now, this weekend, I was a bit pre-full-moonish (if you catch my drift) and being really cranky.
And then went over to Tad and stood near him.
Me: I want you to hug me and tell you that you love me.
Tad: (smirking) Well it's kind of hard.
Tad: I mean, I DO love you and here... (gives me a hug) But you know, you're being really difficult. (smirking again)
Tad: It's just difficult to to show you affection when you seem like you don't want it.
Me: (crossing my arms)
Tad: I'm sorry. I shouldn't tease you. It's just when you tell me that I'm being difficult, it's really helpful. Isn't this helpful?
Me: No! I don't mind if you tease me. I just don't want you to be honest with me!
Tad: (laughing) What?!!
Me: Don't tell me I'm difficult while I'm being difficult. Tell me later. Hmph.
Tad: (laughs and hugs me)
Granted I was being a little ridiculous, but you see how it works....
So, the new golden rule (It's more effective in the end but requires communication):
Treat others the way THEY want to be treated
Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.