Sometimes the relationships of couple enter in a negative dynamic Of incomprehension, continuous discussions or conflicts that can not be solved in the right way.
At the moment, the prediction of the relationship is not very flattering and, in a way, the negative spiral in which we are immersed may make us think that union is doomed to failure.
The truth is that, if a meeting point is not achieved, the most salutary outcome may be separation, but if it is a lack of empathy And communication, everything can be solved, with effort, desire and help.
The changes that are needed
Without clinging to the impossible, We can introduce small changes that favor a greater adjustment Between the interests, feelings and emotions of the two members of the couple.
The aim is simply to re-dominate the positive moments, because through them it will be easier to experience and understand the needs of the neighbor.
In the first place it must be taken into account that The objective is not to not discuss, but to resolve the situation of confrontation Considering the approaches and the emotions of our couple .
For example, we must know that when the scheme that governs the discussion is violent, it probably will not be able to resolve in a satisfactory way. Moreover, the problem will become entrenched and aggravated, causing even the resolution to be negative.
Knowing this, if we begin a scandal in a sarcastic or critical tone, we must stop. Although the intonation is low and calm words can be charged with negativity and challenge (For example:"Homework for you does not exist...").
We recommend reading: 7 things that happen to you when you are no longer happy in your relationship
The Four horsemen of the Apocalypse In relationships
According to psychologist John Gottman, 90% of conflicts that begin with a certain amount of negativity end badly. Gottman, who has devoted much of his career to researching this, has found a pattern of climbing that prevents us from understanding In the couple.
He has called these steps The four horsemen of the apocalypse . Let's see below how we can identify them.
First Rider: The Critic
Coexistence makes the presence of complaints inevitable. However, between complaints and criticisms there are big differences that can make a healthy relationship in the couple difficult.
A complaint refers to a specific situation or action ("Yesterday it was your turn to take out the trash and you did not do it"), but the review Is global and is often accompanied by negative attributions to the personality of the person (" I'm angry because you did not take out the trash. I always do it when it comes to you, you do not care about everything!") .
Surely we have already realized how common criticism is in quarrels; However, if we recognize them, we may be able to contain ourselves. It is enough to avoid blaming and performing negative attributions on the other.
Here are some examples:
- Example 1: Review: Why are you always so selfish? You could have told me that you were too tired to make love and not let me get here.
Complain: You should have told me earlier that you were tired to make love.
- EXAMPLE 2 Review: They are always ahead of me and I am your second dish. We were going to dinner alone tonight.
Complaint: T You should have consulted me before inviting your friends to dinner. Tonight was for us.
Second Horseman: Contempt
The sarcasm, the insults, rolling the eyes, the mocking tone or the hostile humor poison all discussion and increase the possibility of saving more negativity towards the couple.
In fact, Each unresolved conflict has a cumulative effect , So that subsequent discussions are loaded with hostility to the point that, sometimes, the only purpose is to disparage the other and place it in a position of inferiority.
Third rider: The defensive attitude
In the face of contempt, it is normal for the other person to defend himself. Is usually To attack-defend-counter-attack ; This climb occurs until one of the two retreats.
Fourth rider: The evasive attitude or the confinement
Communication is non-existent, because everything the other says does not matter. There is indifference and passageism. This is the most dangerous rider since The evasive implies that he does not care What the other person says, do or feel.
The lack of understanding goes further and begins to question the feelings.
- Example: If Juan finds himself with a barrage of criticism when he comes home and hides behind the newspaper, Jimena will scream more and more. In this situation Juan leaves the room.
As Gottman asserts, This evasion behavior is more frequent in men For evolutionary reasons, since their physiological activation is greater since they needed it to hunt.
In the same way, it is assumed that women needed less activation, since breastfeeding requires a state of relaxation.
In any case the fourth horseman is the latest and Not usually in recent couples, but in those that lead Together for a while And have succumbed to the spiral of negativity.
The presence of these four horsemen predicts by 82% the failure of a relationship for the psychologist John M. Gottman but, however, if we add to this the failure of attempts at redress, the percentage of success in predicting failure Of the ratio is 90%.
Keys to Enhancing Empathy and Understanding
The signs of recognition and listening
Offer recognition and listen out Such as eye contact, assent, occasionally saying"yes"or"already". When a person takes an evasive attitude (no signs of recognition, tends to pull away or look down without saying anything) the other person perceives that he speaks with a wall and does not care what the conflict generates.
See also: Be part of the life of one who gives you light, not darkness
Attempts to redress
Gottman points out that Emotionally intelligent couples make use of certain strategies to stop the escalation Of riders in a discussion or conflict, which facilitates understanding and proper communication.
These attempts at reparation can be: tongue out, nose touching, laughing, begging for forgiveness. Even pronouncing phrases such as"you're getting off topic"or"stop yelling at me"in irritated tone can contribute to unloading tension.
Increase the number of positive exchanges
In this sense, we must add the importance of the fact that the number of positive exchanges or expressions of affection is greater than the number of negative exchanges or discussions.
We can do this by agreeing to devote Days to love , Care and protection, to surprise our partner and keep genuine details every day.
It is important not to succumb to stress and routine Daily in our relationship. Therefore, when we are angry, annoyed, overwhelmed or absorbed with our affairs we must never forget to maintain customs that offer validation to our partner.
In short, it is a matter of transmitting that, for many bad moments, we are still together and in a position to help each other.
Bibliographic source consulted: Seven golden rules for living in a couple. By John Gottman.