How communication patterns affect relationship wellness
Dr. John Gottman, a well-known researcher, has found that he can assess negative communication patterns to predict divorce in a majority of couples. Gottman lists four types of negative communication: contempt, defensiveness, criticism and stonewalling. In experiments, Gottman and his team recorded hundreds of couples fighting. They found that the couples whose arguments involved the above four negative communication patterns were much more likely to divorce within a few years.
Luckily, couples can choose to change their communication patterns if they want to. Gottman recommends rebuilding fondness and rediscovering admiration for one’s partner. An easy first step is telling your partner when they have done something you appreciate, like washing the dishes. With effort and practice, couples damaged by negative communication can build healthier and happier relationships.
To learn more about Gottman’s research, check out the Gottman Institute’s website: https://www.gottman.com/subscribe-for-free/
Or, check out this fascinating interview with Dr. Gottman:
**Photo of the Gottmans from https://www.gottman.com/about/john-julie-gottman/