Several months ago I got a GPS unit, I love the thing, it’s amazing; It knows where you are, tells you how to get to where you want to go, and how long it takes to get there. Not only that, but when you don’t follow directions correctly it doesn’t get mad, it makes adjustments and gently and without judgement, says things like, “When possible turn around”, or “That’s OK Bob, we all make mistakes, please turn right then right again. So how is your day going? My, you look nice in that shirt”. Well, maybe the last statement is a bit of an exaggeration, but I love when it makes its recalculations because I didn’t follow the directions; it makes the adjustments not me. Well, human relationships are a lot more complicated and not so one-sided. But wouldn’t it be nice if we had something like a relationship GPS
I heard a radio commercial a while back that was based on this very concept. A warning would go off when the guy wasn’t responding right and a relationship dead end or disaster was imminent unless he changed direction. My version of this wonderful idea goes this way:
“Jim, do you think I talk too much?”
“Well Karen, you do go on and on and on sometimes.” WARNING, WARNING ,WARNING, BACKUP IMMEDIATELY…Well, let me try this one again. Why do you ask?
“Because Sharon told me she thought I talked too much, it hurt my feelings.”
“Why do you let her bother you, I’m sure she had a bad day, or you are over reacting.” WARNING, DON’T GO THERE…”Wow, that is a mean thing to say to you. What did you do after she said that?”
“Nothing really I said I was sorry, but later I got mad”.
“Can we eat dinner now and talk about this later?” WARNING, STAY ON COURSE… I can understand why, I don’t like feeling criticized, nobody does”
“Yea, maybe I go on a bit sometimes, but I think she was rude”. Let’s eat, I just wanted to get that off my chest”
OK. (Whew, I made it, and we made pretty good time too).