We played this game on a road trip awhile back -- or maybe you could call it a combination of wager and game.

I challenged Jamie to one hour of judgment-free conversation. The first person to make a judgmental statement would lose. We would be limited to descriptive language – no judging allowed. For instance, I was prohibited from saying, “Jamie, you are speeding” but I could say “Honey, you are going 80 and the posted speed limit is 65.”

If we stopped for lunch, we couldn’t say, “That waitress gave us crappy service.” Instead we would have to describe it: “It took five minutes for that waitress to acknowledge us, and another 15 minutes before we got the water we asked for. She did not bring the salsa we requested. And I never saw her smile once.”

What was the point? 

We often bury assumptions in the statements we make and the questions we ask. “Why are you ignoring me?” is a judgment that may raise the hackles of someone who is lost in thought but has not meant to ignore you. Why not try: “I asked you three questions in five minutes and you have yet to respond. What’s going on?”

So try the No Judgment Allowed game. I dare you! And then let us know how long you lasted.

We didn’t make it to 20 minutes.