Trade phones with your spouse/significant other for one week.
Yesterday, while browsing blogs, I came across this challenge/idea/suggestion.
Can trading phones for one week make your relationship stronger?
While it has been brought to my attention that this was a “game” lesson in trust…….my first thought was empathy.
Oh my stars, if I had to answer all the questions and text that Mr. Right receives…….yikes. I am not sure I could go on and on about the shipping industry, Army, politics, golf or hockey playoffs. Nor do I think he would be that interested in my friends talking about quilting and recipes and kids and spouses, dog treat orders or the new website for ordering dresses.
(Okay, we are not REAL scientists here, so don’t get all twisted in knots over this experiment. If you don’t have a spouse, substitute the word girlfriend or sister, adult child, co-worker. Maybe even try it for a weekend?)
The idea is you trade phones and have to answer text and emails in place of the other person. Not in their voice nor can you say, “Hi Joanne, this is Mr. Right, I am using Daleen’s phone for the week, she will get back to you in seven days.”
You have to answer the greeting and have a conversation. “Oh Hi Kathy, this is Mr. Right, do you like the orange fabric for the border of the quilt or do you think teal would be more shocking and fancy?” or “Oh my goodness, I am sincerely sorry your friend passed away. We will begin praying for you.” Then go get a sympathy card and get it ready for mailing. “Will you join us for the potluck on Tuesday? Yes, and I will be bringing a vegetable tray. Thank you for including me”. Then write down veggie tray on the calendar.
Will your spouse say NO? My work is much too important for you to dabble in it! Will your spouse say NO, my phone, my private life? Will your spouse say NO, I am vital and no one, not even you can take my place?
Or will your partner in crime say, SURE, I will gladly let you see how my week unfolds. Yes please, you talk to these folks for a week, see what I go through. Here you go, can we start NOW?
Now, I don’t think the experiment means answering specific work related questions. I don’t want to answer a government question about shipping something to Argentina or if I think the Toronto Maple Leafs should get a coach (which, by the way I do think they should GET A COACH, any coach).
I think there are some questions you can politely answer. However, let’s leave the work specific questions to the pros.
I think the general idea is to walk a week in your spouses shoes.
The idea of me carrying a plain black phone is sort of sad. I love my teal colored case. It has “diamonds” that sparkle all over it and a lovely quilted pattern. Under my fancy, girlie case, my phone is gold. Yep, you guessed it, Mr. Right’s phone under the black cover is black. (seems rather dull and boring)
So, once we trade phones, the discussion begins.
Wow, you have a lot of friends who check in with you. My goodness, you sure keep in touch with lots of folks. You must get tired of answering some? How do you manage to stay kind and friendly with some mean and grumpy folks at your business? How on earth do you keep all this straight?
Will this experiment give us more understanding of what our significant other walks through daily? Will we be more understanding when, at the end of the day, they say, geesh, I am tired.
Will we find it charming that they still lift up and continue to cheer on friends from 30 years ago, or do we find ourselves being a bit jealous?
Will we have more empathy and act more loving toward that person?
I am like a 6th grade girl twisting and twirling a lock of her hair. Smiling. I think it will be a lovely experiment and a look behind curtain at how the magic happens. I think it will bring to light just how kind, generous with time, considerate my spouse really is.
Are you game? Are you brave/curious/thoughtful enough to take on the challenge?