Rob Pennington – Show Your Love

Author and executive coach Rob Pennington shares how you can show someone you care in the simplest of ways.


I believe that feeling loved is more important than being right. I think we all agree. Again, we forget in the middle of the argument.

In my shower, we have this knob that you pull to turn the water on. Right and left, hot and cold. A little plunger that you push that sends the water either up to the shower or down into the tub. I, like everyone I knew, pulls the plunger, so the water comes up through the shower. I put my hand in, wait until the temperature gets the way. Anybody else do this? And when it gets the way I want, then I get in.

My wife, for some other reason, has this experience that when she turns on the water, she expects it to be going down into the tub, so she leans in to put her hand underneath the faucet. Where’s the water coming from, after I’ve used it? From the shower! What does it do? Hits her in the head. How’s she feeling? And we get into this argument about who’s gonna have the plunger in or out.

Haven’t you ever had silly arguments that were intense about that? Who’s gonna try to control who? Whose right way is the right way?

That went on for a long time. Power struggle. And somehow, I don’t know why, some time when I was finishing the shower, I thought of what was gonna happen, and I saw myself having the choice of doing something with that plunger to have it go up in the shower or down into the tub. And, I knew very clearly, that if it went down in the tub, how would my wife feel? She’d feel loved.

And isn’t that the way we want the people we love to feel? We want them to feel loved. And I saw how simple and easy that was, but I had to realize the difference between a requirement and a preference. That you don’t go to war over preferences. In fact, when it’s not a requirement, by definition, you’ve agreed to not agree. You’ve agreed to not have to have it your way. That’s what not a requirement means. And so, push the plunger in. And when she comes in, and the water hits her hands, she feels loved. And just to be a little poignant about it, she passed away about four years ago. And, when I take a shower, I am still pushing the plunger in. It makes me feel loved.