In this week’s podcast, Jill advised listeners, especially those in a new relationship, to avoid changing a person. She said that if you feel the need to do that, then that person probably isn’t the right one for you.
To elaborate on that thought, she has more tips:
As Maya Angelou said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” If that is someone you do not like or cannot tolerate, move forward in your life without that person in it.
Speaking of tolerating people, remember that no one is perfect. Assess if you can tolerate the things they do that drive you crazy or whether it is truly a deal breaker.
Understand that you cannot–or should not–try to change a person’s personality. Trying to get them to change bad habits, however, is an acceptable practice.
In our podcast, Tony talked about the importance of listening, not letting your ego get in the way of hearing.
To expand upon that, he has more advice:
When you are truly listening, you can work together. Do that on all things that you can.
Find someone that you believe is a little better–whatever way you define that–than you. You can only become stronger and better together.
It is essential that you are actually in love with the person you’re with and that they are your best friend. Just loving a person isn’t enough. It’s hard to have a happy, long-lasting, loving relationship if you’re not truly in love. Apply the golden rule: love and respect your mate the way you want to be loved and respected.
What advice do you have for maintaining a relationship? Tell us in the comments section.
As a member of First to Read, I am able to read and review galleys. Caoilinn Hughes’ ORCHARD AND THE WASP was my first selection.
I found that the book has three strengths that would appeal to readers who want to get lost in a land or situation that may be foreign to them: 1) its sense of place and setting 2) its universal themes; and 3) its poetic language.
Hughes’ tale of a fragile family begins in Dublin, Ireland, but the author—through the lens of protagonist Gael Foess—takes the reader on an unsettling adventure in London and into to some jaw-dropping scenarios in New York. The first time the author describes the setting of each of these places, the reader is treated to the attractions and flaws of each locale, a clear sense of place.
Yet Hughes’ choice to connect these three vastly different places by weaving universal themes—family dysfunction, secrecy, deception, and wealth status—works.
At the start of the book, Gael is living with her parents and younger brother, who suffers from a condition no one in the family initially understood. Hughes shows the reader that Gael is his caretaker since both parents are rarely at home because of their careers. When Gael’s financier father leaves them during an economic crisis, her mother lapses into a depression, crashing her own career as a conductor for a professional orchestra. This causes Gael to take care of her too, or so that is her desire.
It is the paragraphs about music that offer readers language that is lyrical and tight. For example, Hughes writes, “Chordal strokes and a pair of harps stippled like rain” (32-33). Later, Hughes writes, “This symphony? So brief…reduced…like something that’s been boiling too long” (33).
The changing point of view (sometimes it was Gael’s and sometimes it was the all-knowing omniscient) might confuse or even put off some readers, but the satisfying ending is worth pushing through to get to the last page.