Psychology professor and his team at the Institute Gottman studied 40 types of family communication to identify key precursors of divorce or, as they are called Gottman, “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.” “Sins”, these were much simpler than you think: carping, contempt, defensive behavior, enclosure (emotional alienation from partner).
High school Gottman experts advise how to avoid these mistakes.
Criticize – it is not just utter wife that he improperly washing dishes or smartphone uses. As explained by a staff member of the Institute Gottman Ellie Fox, “When you complain, you talk about a particular issue and criticizing, you attack the character.” In other words, you say, to make a person sick.
How to avoid it?
1. Before you criticize a spouse, think about what you’re concerned about is actually.
“Before you go to the partner criticism, stop for a minute and think about what is behind your claims. Do not engage-criticism: instead of “You never put your shoes in place,” say: “It would be great if you remove the shoes in the closet.”
2. Do not throw out all at once, that turns on the tongue.
“In other areas of our lives we express claims reserved. For example, if someone is upset with you at work, you’re not going to rush to the office manager or colleague to say about their everyday concerns. Chances are, you think about it, advise other and get ready for this conversation. The same “filter” and the claim should be married. ”
3. Turn criticisms wish.
“Most of the nagging hidden tender feelings and needs. Rather than criticize, try to tactfully share what you feel and what would most like from her husband. ”
Contempt – is the worst of the four horsemen of the first harbingers of divorce, says Gottman. Disrespectful behavior – this is when you roll your eyes arrogantly, saying sarcastically mocked partner or give him a nickname.
How to avoid it?
1. Instead of having to explain to your partner what is wrong with him, tell me what feels right to you.
“Criticism of the partner with the superiority of position – a sure way to destroy love. Will save us from this description of their feelings and needs, and not a criticism of marital shortcomings “(Robert R. Rodriguez)
2. The spouse needs to feel that you love and appreciate.
“Disrespect occurs when one partner feels undervalued. Try every day to find a reason to praise her husband. Let this be a seemingly small change, such as morning coffee brewed for you. ” (Daniel Kepler)
3. Remember, the most important thing – the words you choose.
“Your arrogance – a way to say: You’re beneath me.” Are you sure you want to convey the beloved is this idea? I tell my clients that they have ceased to shift the problem to your partner. The problem is not your partner – a problem in the problem “(Elizabeth Earnshaw, a therapist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
No. 3. defensive behavior
Defensive behavior – it is in fact “self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or display the image of an innocent victim in an attempt to fend off the attack.” When you answer the accusation, you show defensive behavior.
How to avoid it?
1. Try to sympathize with her husband.
“Stop and listen to the words of his, get something with which you agree. Let it be any trifle. Try to take responsibility at least for a fraction of what you hear. The phrase: “I understand what you’re talking” can work wonders. ”
2. Tell a partner about your feelings during an argument.
“Often we go on the defensive, even when our partner is not attacking us. If you do not call the master, but promised to do it, just tell the beloved: “Please do not be mad at me. I really do not have time today to call a plumber. I was very busy. Sorry. I will call him tomorrow. ”
3. Find the strength to say “sorry”.
“Naturally, we are defending ourselves against criticism and attacks. Yet study Gottman shows that “Aesir relations” do not react. Rather, they take part of the responsibility. Hearing criticism, they sigh and say, “I’m sorry that it happened, my dear, and I’m ready to be held accountable. Let’s see what’s what. ”
Enclosure occurs when you turn away from a partner rather than solve the problem. When you become silent and retire to your room, you insulate yourself from it.
How to avoid it?
1. Learn to listen to yourself.
“The first step – to learn to understand what your body responds physiologically to the complexities in the relationship. It is important to recognize these signals: rapid pulse, shallow breathing, confused thoughts – and learn how to calm yourself. ” (Elizabeth Earnshaw)
2. Pick a safe word and ask for a break.
“When you feel you can not cope with them, let them know your spouse that you need a break. Once you’ve both calmed down, continue the conversation. ” (Daniel Kepler)
3. When you start off from a conversation, get an opportunity to take a break.
“Fencing off usually occurs when you are tired of so much that you can not concentrate. If you feel that you are “off”, have a break for at least 20 minutes (but not longer than a day), to find the balance before the return to dialogue. But go back to it at whatever cost! Pauses are good for recovery, rather than to avoid conversation. ” (Robert R. Rodriguez)