Acceptance vs. Appreciation in a Relationship

When you are in a relationship with someone, especially a close one, there are going to be things that they do that drive you nuts. Whether it is a spouse, sibling, parent, friend, etc. There are just going to be those things that are different from how you would do them or diametrically opposed to who you are.

This is OK. It’s natural. People are different.

We can’t really ignore these things. It’s not like we can just shut off our feelings. It’s very, very, hard to turn off the way we feel.

If we just simply accept these things, that might be OK — for a while. Every time your partner does that thing you can just shrug it off. Pretend it does not bother you. Let it go — until the next time. And then the next. And all of this shrugging takes a fair amount of energy. Eventually, you will tire. It will wear you down. Then the resentment will creep in. Then, those tiny little annoyances will either become much larger annoyances or add up cumulatively be the thing that breaks your relationship in two.

I’m here to offer another path. One that I have taken.

Find a way to appreciate these things. Find the something in them that leads to why you love this person. The motivation behind the thing that drives you nutty might be the thing that makes that person a really good friend or great at their job. Find that, see it for what it is, and above all learn to appreciate it. Instead of a path to resentment, this then will become the path to deeper respect, understanding, and love.

My Friends Write Books Too

It would seem this is just the time of year for books coming out. It’s not just I that has a new book out, many of my friends do too. I thought it would be nice to make mention of those.

  • Rebuilding Blocks: How the Game of Kubb Put My Life Back Together by Garrick van Buren — Garrick is one of my closest friends and a personal mentor. Besides being a successful consultant and father of four, he also is an active tournament-level player of an ancient, nordic, strategy game called Kubb. This book is part memoir, part strategy guide, and part inspirational. But the whole thing is fantastic and a touching story of how an overworked and overwhelmed guy turned it around and now helps others do the same.

  • The Art and Science of Vaping: A Beginner’s Guide to Electronic Cigarettes by Brett Kelly — I don’t vape. I don’t plan to vape — ever. Just not something in my wheelhouse. That said, I have many friends that now do and often wonder myself what it’s all about. That’s why I’m going to purchase my friend Brett’s book. This has the “everything you need to know” part covered.

  • Consumed by Aaron Mahnke — Aaron has really impressed me with his growth as a writer after reading his last book. Therefore, I’m very much looking forward to this one. A thriller about an aspiring author who’s car breaks down in a small Rhode Island town. It’s not quite out yet but is available for pre-order.

  • Raw Materials: Collected Essays by Matt Gemmell — Matt is one of my favorite writers on the web. This is an excellent collection of his best work to date. Highly recommended.

  • The Mobile Writer by Julio Ojeda-Zapata — My friend Julio’s book has been out for a while now but it is still an excellent guide to getting writing done on your mobile devices. Tips, tricks, apps — it’s al covered here. Including case studies with many authors who write on-the-go (including your’s truly).

  • See You in Paradise: Stories by J. Robert Lennon — A well written and fun collection of short stories by a wonderful writer. He has a number of books but I’d start here. It’s a great introduction to his work.

I may add to this list as I remember others. Like I said, there’s a lot of great stuff coming out right now or real soon. Perfect for stocking up for next year’s reading goals or to give as gifts.

This Could Help — Now Everywhere


A little self promotion. My latest book, This Could Help, is now officially available on all platforms. It’s a collection of essays and asides, all of which could potentially help you in some way. Each one is purposely written to land hard and make an impact that matters.

It would make a great gift, especially for anyone in your life who could use helpful advice and encouragement. And, frankly, who couldn’t use that?

Here’s where to get it…

Of course, I would be honored if you checked out and considered buying any of my books. If you enjoy the work I do here, you will certainly enjoy those.

Thanks for everyone who has read my work in any format this year.