Three Magic Words

The three (magic) words that help you to make friends and influence people

Sometimes you just want to get it done. Right? Notwithstanding the slower pace of Portugal, either you’re pressured or maybe on a deadline. Maybe you are frustrated or irritated that you need to be doing it in the first place. And this can be at home, at work, or simply taking care of something over the phone. And you want it done now! Sure, you can be a brat about it. Push, push, push. “I hope we can do this quickly because I’m in a hurry!”

I’m suggesting something different. I’m suggesting that you give people the benefit of the doubt that they’re going as fast as they can for you. Mostly, I find that people want to be helpful – the people you work with, your partner, a friend. 

So here’s where those three magic words come in: when someone close to you or somebody at a service desk says, “I’ll take care of that for you right away!” then you say – get ready for it – “Thanks. Take your time.” 

How often do you hear someone say, “Take your time?” The phrase serves two valuable purposes: first, the dynamic between “take your time” and “could you hurry it up” is radically different and resets the energetic boundary between you and the other person. Think about it, when someone tells you to “Take your time”, doesn’t that lift the pressure and put you in a different frame of mind? 

In my experience, the person you just said that to is not going to work any slower. But you’ve initiated a whole new dynamic. It also makes you a kinder person and when you offer generosity to another, it makes you feel good. 

I invite you to try patience as a daily practice. As they say in the Algarve, amanha! And the Portuguese have the right idea, this attitude can be a real bonus for your intimate relationships – because it feels good to the other person when you’ve extended that kindness. And kindness begets kindness.

Becca Williams is an emotions therapist and clinician who helps people free themselves from emotional burdens, traumas, and limiting beliefs to live more fulfilling lives.


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