Selective Hearing and Reverse Psychology

If you’ve ever hung around any other human being for very long, you have been a victim of selective hearing. Spouses use this, children use this, parents use this, students use this, congregations use this…yes, we all use selective hearing.

Well, lately I have come to notice just how much my son hears what I say. The child’s mind is a steel trap! And he loves to share the information that comes into that trap with whomever will listen.

However, if I were to remind him it’s his day to feed the dogs and cat THREE times, he didn’t hear me say it not once!!!! Or if I were to inquire about the status of his laundry on a Monday…”Oh, I didn’t know you were talking to me.” Sure you didn’t…Monday is your laundry day…no one else’s. Of course I was talking to someone else!

But let me say something about myself, or a student, or a friend, or a family member and THAT he hears. Hears it well enough to jump right in on a conversation he knows nothing about. Hears it well enough to share PART of a story, usually a really bad part, with the first person willing to listen to him talk.

GGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! If he can hear the things I whisper to Chris that are none of his business and not meant for him to hear, well, he should definitely hear the stern tone of my voice reminding to feed the animals.

So, I wonder, what would happen if I started lowering my voice and trying to hide my instructions to complete chores?

What if I made life lessons sound more like gossip?

What if I quote Scripture as if it were top secret words given to me by someone in “power”?

Is it possible to use selective hearing for good? To modify how I say things that will “trick” other people into “hearing” what I say?

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