What if you could change the mood and health of a dating or long-term relationship by the words you use to describe it?
You can–if you expand on the logic and findings in a recent linguistic study by Doctors Peter S. Dodds and Christopher M. Danforth at the University of Vermont.
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The New York Times reported that this pair of Vermont statisticians analyzed song lyrics, speeches and blog content to evaluate our mass psychology and national well being.
They studied 232,574 songs written by 20,025 artists between 1960 and 2007.
They evaluated the emotional content in 2.3 million blog posts from 2005 to 2009.
They analyzed State of the Union speeches going back to George Washington and rated the emotional charge of the words used.
What are the researchers’ findings?
What we sing and say reveal clues to our well being as individuals and as a society. While analyzing the emotional content of blogs by the age of the blogger, they found a curious pattern. Teenagers blog posts used and abundance of words like “sick”, “hate” and “stupid.”
With advancing age, the tone of bloggers’ word choices softened gradually, rising to a plateau of well being in ages 50s and 60s until the word “sick” reappears in the 70s.
Dr. Dodds says the bloggers’ patterns may not represent all of society, but their patterns are pronounced.
As for popular music, the Vermont researchers found that the emotional pattern of lyrics within each musical genre remained stable throughout the 50-year period they studied. But the overall trend turned downward as recent artists explored darker themes more explicitly than their predecessors in the 1960s.
The low point, lyric wise, was 2003. Coincidentally, that was the year Darkthrone released its album, “Hate Them.”
How can you use these findings to increase harmony, happiness and romance in your intimate relationship?
I often tell my community, “What you see will be, when you take correct action.”
Doesn’t that also apply to what you say to and about your romantic partner?
A universal law states that what you focus on expands. When you see strengths, you strengthen them and flaws lose power and importance. Same thing happens when you speak (or sing) about the strengths, wonderful emotions and qualities in your romantic partner.
What words are you using to describe your special date or mate?
Critical, judgmental, disappointing, annoying? Or inspiring, loving, tender, fun?
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Do you see how shifting your focus and your words may enhance how you relate to a date or mate? Will you use this secret to bring out the best in each other and promote harmony and happiness?
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