Most relationship experts would ask you to avoid blame and shame in your tone – and who do I know who never use either? Google Maps and Siri.

Whenever asked they seem to have a positive response and hear me out completely without any interruptions.

So here are the 6 lessons I learned from Google Maps and Siri in forming happy relationships.

LESSONS FROM GOOGLE MAPS

1. Be Clear

When asked a question, Google maps listens attentively and gives me a clear response on what to do.

Like when I want to reach from Place A to Place B, it first waits patiently for all my inputs and then provides a clear route.

Best route

There are no references to earlier behavioral patterns or giving advice on if my choices are correct or not.

LESSON LEARNT:

When someone asks me to give an idea on how they can get from their current situation to their desired situation, I first listen attentively to them without interrupting and then provide the best solution according to me without judging thier original choice of destination.

2. Give Options

Google Maps also does not dictate which route I have to take once it presents me with a solution.

Answering my query, Google Maps gives me options of routes to take with suggestions on which it thinks is best. However, if I decide to take the least suggested route it does NOT give me an earful on my poor choices.

Alternate routes

Options mean the receiver of the suggestions has the freedom of choice and does not need to conform to the giver’s opinions or frequently taken routes.

LESSON LEARNT:

Once I suggest a solution or many solutions to a person or child it is up to them on what to do with it. It is NOT imperative that they have to DO AS I SAY. That is dictating. I am free once I have offered the best solution according to me.

I should not bring my ego into the situation and want to control another human’s choices and actions.

3. Reroute Without Blaming

Now, supposing I take the preferred route and miss a turn, it does NOT scream and shout at me for making a mistake.

Rerouting

The goal is to reach the destination NOT to assign blame.

It simply reroutes with the next best solution and providing a valuable lesson in return. The next time I am on that route or a similar one- I will be more careful of missing that turn.

LESSON LEARNT:

When someone makes a mistake and usually hasn’t taken my designated choice of solution, I should refrain from saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO’. It is shaming and only satisfies my ego. It does not help in the end goal which is reaching the desired destination.

Instead, I must look past the mistake and reroute from that bend in the road.

Maybe it was a much-needed lesson for the person concerned. They already know they made a mistake and have learned from it. My harping on it will diminish the lesson and my respect.

So just pick up where you left off and find the best solution. If you truly look – there is always ONE.

LESSONS FROM SIRI

4. Be Specific

When asked a question, Siri answers that specific question ONLY.

Siri

She does not bring up past questions and her opinions on them. Also, she does not bring up extra information surrounding that question.

Being specific helps to address the current need in the best possible way.

LESSON LEARNT:

When asked a question, my intention should be to provide the best possible solution in a non-judgemental way. Also, listen actively and offer a solution only to the current problem being as concise as possible.

5. Tone Matters

Siri’s tone is always peaceful and calm – describing things as they are and NOT what they ought to be.

While responding to requests Siri maintains a cool, non-judgemental tone. And the following is scientifically proven:

More than WHAT we say

HOW we say it MATTERS

Prachi Bansal

Tone matters more than 50% in any conversation!

LESSON LEARNT:

While responding always maintain a serene tone. The message is well received by the listener and has the desired effect. Here blaming or shaming tones destroy more than build.

I find ‘describing the situation’ an appropriate way to respond to negative situations.

For example – Situation: There are dirty socks lying on the floor.

Normal Response: ” I am so sick of you littering socks everywhere. Is it my only job to clean up after you? No shame you have in being so dirty! You are a total lazy lump!”

SIRI Response: ” I see dirty socks on the floor. They do not help in my goal of keeping the house clean. Kindly refrain from doing so”

6. Repeat Calmly If Necessary

Finally, even if asked multiple times the same question- Siri will reply with the same patience and calm tone.

Like an emotionally regulated adult – Siri gives the same serene response to the repeated question.

LESSON LEARNT:

Be a broken record. REPEAT the same responses in the SAME TONE.

And that is the beginning of co-regulation. The goal of fulfilling relationships.

When you are consistent with responses, the receiver understands they cannot intimidate you. Your emotional regulation brushes off on them and they learn to regulate themselves too.

In the age of artificial intelligence, as I promote emotional intelligence, I support a collaborative learning approach. Google Maps and Siri were made to assist us but what if they can guide us too!

After all, those who seek inspiration can find it anywhere:)

Prachi Bansal

Hi, I am Prachi Bansal. This blog is an endeavor to increase emotional intelligence and facilitate collaboration and communication amongst parents and children, friends, family, and co-workers. Thanks for stopping by:)

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