“You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask?” says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. “It starts with g-o, and it’s not God.” Of course, Wozniak is referring to the all-knowing Google.
Wozniak, who is also well-known for a recent stint on Dancing with the Stars, knows a thing or two about technology (but not so much about dancing). He tells CNN “we’ve lost a lot of control” in our lives because of the prevalence of technology and our inability to turn it off.
Well, if Google is so smart, perhaps it can tell us what people are thinking about their marriages. You’re familiar with the “auto complete” function on Google, in which you type the first word, and Google fills in the most likely search phrases, right?
While writing this post, I typed in “My husband” and the auto responses included: hates me, is annoying, is gay, is a jerk, is verbally abusive.
I typed in “My wife,” and the auto responses included: is mean, is a high school girl, is having an affair, is a gangster. (OK, a couple of surprises there. In case you were wondering, My Wife is a Gangster is a Korean movie, and My Wife is a High School Girl is a Japanese series in which a girl marries her teacher.)
I typed in “My marriage” and the auto responders included: matters, is falling apart, is in trouble, is over. (My marriage matters leads you to a divorce attorney’s web site that purports to be against online services that encourage affairs.)
I suppose it is not surprising that so many are searching for answers to negative issues. After all, no one is looking for a solution to a happy marriage. However, I’m wondering if the searches reflect on a greater tendency to think the worst of our spouse (i.e. he is annoying), rather than to focus our energies on positive attributes or positive thoughts throughout our day.
When you think “My spouse,” what does your brain’s search function first bring to mind? Is it “lazy” or “inconsiderate”? Or is it something nicer … “sweet” or “fun”?
Michele Weiner-Davis shared an interesting article this week that described the principle of “acting as if.” She explained that many of us expect the worst from our mates when we need to approach them about something, and then help make that a self-fulfilling prophesy. For example, if you are on your way home and fear a negative response from your partner about something, you are more likely to make that happen. On the other hand, if you “act as if” you will receive a loving, caring response, you are also more likely to get that. She says, instead of being pessimistic, think of how you might turn the situation around. How would you handle it if you were expecting a positive response? “Then, regardless of how skeptical you might be about the possibilities of good things happening, ‘act as if.’ Do all the things you would do if you were convinced of a positive outcome. Then watch the results,” says Weiner-Davis.
When you search (i.e. Google) your heart, do you find love? Do you picture a loving, supportive mate? If not, seek ways to be more understanding and loving through words and actions. In many cases, that love and understanding will be returned in time. In the spirit of generosity for the season, let’s search for ways we can infuse good tidings into our interactions.
Note: the idea for the auto search on marriage came from Eyder Peralta from National Public Radio.
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