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Don't Be a Jerk - And Other Things I Learned from my Mom

My mom is known for two things: 1) Saying the most hysterical (unplanned) things and 2) telling it like it is. As far as moms go, I think my brother and I have gleaned some pretty good real-life advice from her over the years.

Mom and me! 

The following are some of mom’s best lessons that have stuck with me.

If you act like a jerk, you’re not going to have any friends:

Pretty self-explanatory, right? She taught me this at a very young age. Basically, she said that you can’t just freak freely and expect that people are going to like you. You need to rein it in a little, be polite, and be kind. 
People don’t do more than they want to do.

Many years ago, I was a single mom working four jobs. Out of the blue, a friend of mine sent me a card with a $200 check in it, requesting that I spend it on myself. I called my mom and told her I wanted to return the money. My mother said, “She sent that to you because she wanted to do something nice for you. People generally don’t do anything they don’t want to do. Keep it, and be sure to send her a very gracious, hand written letter.” So I did.

Apologize/admit when you’re wrong.

We all screw up at times. Sometimes we say things we wish we hadn’t. My mom is really good about making amends to us when we’ve all had time to cool off and she feels as if she’s in the wrong. It makes it much easier to move on. This is one of the lessons I am most grateful to have learned, and I put it into practice when warranted. Because let’s face it, I’m not always perfect.

Help those that help themselves.

My mother gives, but quietly. She has led us by example on this one. When she knows of people struggling, yet they’re valiantly trying to improve their situation, she is usually one of the first to step in and provide additional help.

Living together is hard.

We’re not just talking marriage here. My mom always told me that sharing the same space with anyone, be it your spouse, your kids, your best friend, will be difficult at times. She taught me to pick my battles and encourages me to be open to expressing what I need (and to listen to what others need), so that we have a happy, harmonious home.

When someone cleans your kitchen, enjoy it!

My mother is very particular about order and neatness, and her home is no exception. With that being said, she is confused by people who get mad when someone does a kindness for them, yet doesn’t do it in the way that person would have done it himself. Mom said, “If someone empties your dishwasher and puts stuff in the wrong cabinet, let them! Who cares? SOMEONE JUST DID YOUR CHORES!!!!” As in, you can move stuff around later. Don’t be so uptight.

Never loan money.

Ever. My mom has always told me; if you want to help someone out, then help them. In other words, don’t loan the money, just give it to them. Loans cause rifts in relationships, and assistance is better without expectations.

What have you learned from your mother? Drop us a comment and share her best advice!

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