Family of Faith – 7/29/07
The MAGIC Ratio…
You know those couples that you look at and think, “Those two really have it all together!” You look at their family and the kids are all well behaved, they seem to always be smiling, you never hear either of them speak negatively about the other. For a second you think that they probably never argue and that nothing negative ever happens in their home. This is where John Gottman, a marriage counselor and researcher would disagree. According to him ALL couples have negative interactions. Without defining exactly what that is (because different individuals perceive what negative is differently) he says what makes these “perfect” couples different is not that they never argue. Its not that life hasn’t ever dealt them a bad hand and definitely not that they just avoid their problems. Gottman says that these couples are different because the positive interactions outweigh the negative by five to one. For every negative comment made, there are five positive comments. Does this ratio seem too impossible for you and your family? You have probably never actually tried counting but what if you did? What would your family life look like if for every negative thing that happened, five positive were there fighting to make you “The perfect family.” Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Taking It Home
What would your positive to negative compliment ratio be? 1 to 1? 5 to 1? 1 to 5?
The writer of Proverbs 15 uses pretty harsh language saying that heartache crushes the spirit. Has someone in your family had their spirit crushed by negative comments made without consideration of the consequences?
Having a 5 to 1 compliment ratio does not automatically fix the negative things said. How might it make you more aware of the comments being made on a daily basis around the home?