If I still had the opportunity to speak into your lives (aka parent you), I'd suggest to you that these five phrases are words that you should say daily. More than once if necessary.
No bad thing will come of saying Please, thank you, I'm sorry, I love you and can I help?
Trust me on this.
1. Please. Every single day of your life you are going to need to ask someone to do something; Pass the salt. Lend you money. Clean the suite. Move over. Turn the volume down. Pray for you. Help you with a project. Give you a ride. Marry you. Rebuild your engine. Forgive your sins. Give you a hand. Forward a file. Share a work load. Join you at an event. Pay half the rent. Clean up their mess.
Just say please before you beg or bark out your request.
Please is a humbling word. I know that. Demanding assistance or requesting immediate compliance to one's wishes does sound more manly, I'll give you that... But great men can be humble. Nice guys DON'T finish last.
Jerks don't say please.
2. Thank you. Get in the habit of saying thanks. Thanks for dinner. Thanks for calling. Thanks for emailing. Thanks for being there. Thanks for helping out. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for a good day. Thanks for inviting me. Thanks for the talk. Thanks. Thanks for picking my order up for me. Thanks for dropping my dry cleaning off. Thanks.
There are added bonus points if you add the 3 words, "I appreciate that."
3. I'm sorry. You're human and at least once a day, you're going to screw up by losing your temper or your patience. Or you'll miss a deadline or an appointment. You'll break a promise or a vase. You'll hurt someone's feelings. You'll forget an important date. You'll say something mean. Do something deceitful. Act unkindly.
Get used to saying sorry. Nothing will repair a broken relationship faster than apologizing. Nothing is more attractive than a man saying sorry. (It helps that you guys all have beautiful big brown eyes.) Nothing is uglier than a man arguing, being defensive, acting self righteous or not accepting responsibility. Just own it. And say sorry.
Bonus points for adding the words, "How can I make this right?"
4. I love you. Seriously. Don't be stingey. Be extravagant with your love. Tell those folks you care about how much they mean to you. Parents. Grandparents. Cousins. Aunts and Uncles. Friends. Friends. Yes, friends. If 'love ya' is not cool to say - figure out another way to let them know they are important to you. Don't assume people know how you feel. Make a list (it can be a mental list) of all the people you love. Challenge yourself to add 2 names to that list every year. Keep a chart (it can be a mental chart) of how often you tell those people that you love them. Is it once a year? Once a lifetime? Once a month? Challenge yourself to do it more often than you are currently doing it.
Again. Your eyes are going to really help you with this I LOVE YOU thing. Brown Eyes + Words of Love = Melt/Swoon
5. Can I help? You are men. Created by God to be the stronger gender. By virtue of your sex, women will look to you for assistance with lifting, opening, moving, carrying and fixing. Don't wait to be asked. Stay alert and look for opportunities to be helpful. And not just with women. Offer to lend a hand to the other men in your life too. This is how easy it is, 'Hey. Need a hand?' or 'Here. Let me do that.' 'Is there anything I can do?'
The TV show you're missing to help someone will be online in a few minutes so don't worry about your shows. The book you are reading will still be there when you're done. And that sleep your are denying yourself can be caught up by going to bed earlier. Facebook chats will still be chatting when you're done.
I guess that's it. Just 5 things. Everyday.
Start with God. "Hi. Thanks. I'm sorry. Please? I love you. Anything I should do?"