Thursday, January 13, 2011
Are You a Master or Disaster of Marriage?
World renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, John Gottman has thirty-five years of breakthrough research on marriage. He describes the Masters vs. Disasters in Marriage. He and his wife Julie Schwartz Gottman co-founded The Gottman Relationship Institute and are the authors of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, among other helpful marriage enrichment materials.
The Four Horsemen Disasters:
1. Criticism: stating the problem as a defect in the character of the partner
2. Defensiveness: warding off a perceived attack with blame-shifting or whining
3. Contempt: any statement made to a partner from a superior place, insults, name-calling
4. Stonewalling: listener withdrawal, tuning out, elevated heart rate
The Four Horsemen Masters:
1. Gentle & Responsible
2. Curious & Interested
4. Open, Honest, & Self-soothing
Every relationship experiences conflict and alienation. Repairing is a key factor with Masters. "I'm sorry. I blew it. Can we talk about it?" The quality of friendship and response of recipient is important as well, along with a sense of shared meaning and purpose.
The ratio of positive to negative interaction is significant as well (5:1), as the following video explains.
Important to have five positives to every negative. Gottman's ratio.