I read about a statistic that indicated when a married couple expressed kindness, loving words and actions on a ratio of five to one—meaning that every negative encounter was balanced by five or more positive encounters—then that marriage had a strong chance for success. The interesting thing is how powerful that one negative encounter can be. But, if we build positive, affirming, loving words into our daily speech, the overall effect with be enriching and rewarding. Then when the occasional misstep comes along, if we have been careful in the past, the incident will be easier to overcome. It will not be the last straw, but the first, and can be forgiven and forgotten.
Obviously this information extends beyond the bounds of marital relationships and affects all our interactions with people. Not only does it affect couples, but also group interactions. What if our employers were careful to give at least five positive comments to every negative one? And, what if even those negative comments were couched in loving, supportive words?
What if this use of loving words were carried on in the political world? Personally, I am sick of hearing politicians make accusations and judgments about their opponents. They fight and argue worse than children, and the most extreme scenarios come across as nothing more than big bullies. Loving words can change individuals, couples, political leaders, and nations. But, most of all, loving words can change us.
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