As a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I was ecstatic when they won their sixth Super Bowl in February. My wife purchased a DVD of highlights of the Steelers' 2008 season. What I love about these NFL Films productions is that we get to hear the behind the scenes conversations that players and coaches have on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, at the practices etc.
The second time he used the phrase "style points" was in the waning seconds of Super Bowl 43. The Steelers had led for most of the game until about the 2 minute mark, when the normally stout Pittsburgh defense allowed Arizona to score, giving the Cardinals the lead with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go.
Then, in a thrilling drive, the Steelers scored a touchdown of their own and had re-taken the lead, giving the Cardinals the ball with only 30 seconds remaining. Just before the Steelers defense took the field, Tomlin pulled his players together and said "style points don't matter! We win the game, we're a legendary defense. Put an exclamation point on your work." In other words, "so what if we have to win this game ugly! If we win, it doesn't matter...now go do it!"
The Steelers defense forced a fumble and went on to win Super Bowl 43. I'm sure at that moment as the clock ticked down to zero, no one on the defense even cared that they gave up that touchdown to the Cardinals just a few short minutes ago. Why would they? They hit their goal...they were World Champions.
Isn't it true that so often we worry so much about "style points" instead of a goal of having a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship? Let me try to explain...
- Have you ever had an argument with someone where you were more worried about proving yourself right, or appearing smarter, better, more prepared, more "together" than your spouse, than about your relationship?
- Have you ever refused to apologize because you didn't want to appear to be weak? Or didn't want to be the one to back down ... even when you knew you should?
- Have you ever willfully said or done something to your spouse that you knew would hurt? But you did it anyway because you were going to "send him a message"? Or you were going to "teach her a lesson?"
As I ask you these questions, I tell you that I am totally guilty on all counts, many times over. I have been too preoccupied with style points and looking "right" or "strong" or "in charge", as opposed to keeping myself focused on the goal of having great relationships.
How have you overcome the need to have great "style points" in your relationships?