A Healthy Stepmother . . . demonstrates her strength.

Your strength can come in many forms. Sometimes it will come in the form of saying out loud what no one else can say. Sometimes it comes in the form of silence. Other times it means you go for a walk while your husband spends time with his kids, sometimes it means taking part in the pizza fest at your husband’s side.

A few other ideas appeared in my email inbox this morning in the form of Seth Godin’s blog. I subscribe to Godin’s blog and it arrives daily, a little pffffft message for me to read and ponder for that day. It always involves a reminder about authenticity and connection because that’s what today’s marketing involves. Seth Godin used to work for Yahoo and then founded Squidoo and wrote a kazillion books, of which Permission Marketing and Ideavirus are my favorites. Now he travels the globe talking about how to connect with your customer. He’s spot on with this one.

Here’s the email.

[You're getting this note because you subscribed to Seth Godin's  blog.] 

Demonstrating strength

Defer to others

Avoid shortcuts

Tell the truth

Offer kindness

Seek alliances

Volunteer to take the short straw

Choose the long-term, sacrificing the short

Demonstrate respect to all, not just the obviously strong

Share credit and be public in your gratitude

Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength. And the market knows it.

Email to a friend

And, it occurred to me that your market as a stepmother is your husband and your stepchildren and the ex-wife and your relatives and his relatives and all the friends and family who surround you.

Soooooooooo . . .

Maybe this is what it means to take the high road. Maybe when you do these things that are listed in Godin’s blogpost you are demonstrating your strength. Of course, you are also a market. Your husband is marketing to you. His ex is marketing to you. His kids are marketing to you. They just might not think of it that way, but they could get a lot more of what they want in life if they did. But, that’s another blogpost.

Demonstrating your strength is much more difficult to do than to act out, avoid, or ignore. So go slowly, practice, and be kind to yourself.

My favorites on this list include . . . well, all of them. It’s too hard to choose one over the others. They are a package deal. Any and all of them demonstrate strength. If we can use these strategies with strangers to build trust and a business that is strong and clear and true-intentioned, we can use the same strategies in our families.

You will have to wait a long time for the outcome of your efforts to be known.

You will have to exercise all the patience you ever thought you had.

You will have to wait, wait, and wait some more.

And, eventually, something will begin to grow. The connections you wanted with your spouse will grow. The connections with yourself will grow. And, let’s hope the extensions and additional growth occurs between you and the others in the extended family, for that will bring peace to every single one of you.

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