If You Bugged Yourself, What Would You Hear?
- Dr. Les Parrott for the eHarmony Research Library
- 2003 6 Jun
Some scientists in Great Britain have come up with the idea that every word that has ever been spoken is still floating around out there somewhere in space. All we need, they say, is one more scientific breakthrough and we can bring in any conversation that has ever occurred. We can hear Lincoln give his Gettysburg address, or Caesar deliver his orations in the halls of the senate in Rome. We could even hear the words of our Lord as he gave the Sermon on the Mount.
But think of the personal implications. What if our conversations could be replayed at will? What if you could say, "Let's listen to what I said last Tuesday about that topic"?
Thank goodness no one has played back what we say to each other during our dates. Researchers at Duke University, however, have recorded and analyzed conversations between couples. For six weeks they surreptitiously taped conversations during meals. After tabulating the results, they discovered that most conversations can be categorized in one of four ways:
2) Critical-of-others conversations
3) Materialistic conversations
4) Discussions of issues and ideas
If you bugged yourself, if you recorded the conversations between you and your partner, what would you hear? What category of conversation would top your list??
The prophet Isaiah didn't have the technical equipment for recording his conversations in ancient Jerusalem, but when he was only 26 years of age he took a personal inventory of his talk. And what he found didn't please him: "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD almighty."
Taking your own personal inventory may help you better understand your unique communication style. It's important to recognize negativism in one's self as Isaiah did. Like all of us, he could have easily justified it. He was at a low point in his life: Everything had fallen to pieces with the death of the king and the failure of the regime that he followed.
Isaiah had plenty of personal disappointments to cope with. He could have fortified his negative attitude with his friends; they certainly would have fanned the flames of a critical conversation. But Isaiah chose a different route. He prayed for God to help him burn away the negativism that had pervaded his personal interactions.
So ask yourself, what would you hear if your conversations were recorded? How are the topics of conversation between you and your partner related to your shared spiritual journey? What practical things can you do as a couple to avoid negative conversations? The things you choose to talk about will determine the tone of your relationships-whether they are upbeat or colored by negativism.
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