Couple Talk – Importance of Kindness and Fondness,  ‘Turning Towards’ 

∇ Have you become argumentive lately?

∇ Seem to only see the negative in your partner?

∇ Seem to have bad “moods” a lot lately?

∇ Not as happy as the early days in the relationship?

∇ Wonder when things are going to change?

∇ Feel stuck in your relationship?

∇ Feel not as upbeat as usual?

∇ Tired of fighting?

∇ Ponder getting back at your partner?

∇ Think: Hurt ME, and you will hurt MORE!

Well join the club!  53 % Divorce Rate In USA

Wikipedia Divorce Rates Worldwide

Need a fast change to restore your relationship to better times? Read on…

Masters And Disasters

The Gottman Institute studies of Julie and John Gottman along with many other supporting studies¹  say lasting relationships come down to kindness, fondness, turning towards your partner and an active interest in maintaining intimate friendship over the years.

A question came up: Do unhappy marriages share something in common?

Psychologist John and Julie Gottman along with Robert Levenson for the past four decades has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work.

In 1986, John Gottman with his colleague Robert Levenson  and associates, hooked the couples up to measure the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat. The hooked up ‘wiggle-monitors’ to determine the edginess of them wiggling in chairs. They establish base rates and then followed along with a research team behind walls monitoring their vital signs. They had the couples talk about their relationship. Such things like: how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and positive memories they had. Everything was recorded including videotaping.

The data suggested two major groups: the Masters and the Disasters.

Analyzing the data they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters.

The Masters were still happily together after six years.

The Disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages.

The Disasters

The disasters looked calm during the interviews but their active physiology told important new data understanding relationships.

  • heart rates were quick
  • sweat glands were active
  • blood flow was fast
  • often edginess in wiggling in chairs

Following thousands of couples longitudinally, The Gottman Institute found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

Say What?

The disasters showed signs of arousal—of being in fight-or-flight mode—in their relationships. The Limbric brain is involved here. Specifically the amygdala. This also affects impulse control and the anger response. (Anger Management).

Having a conversation sitting next to their spouse was, to their bodies, like facing off with lions and tigers and bears.

Even when they were talking about pleasant or mundane facets of their relationships, they were prepared to attack and be attacked. This sent their heart rates soaring and made them more aggressive toward each other.

An example: The couple could be talking about how their days had gone, and a highly aroused wife might say to her husband, “Why don’t you start talking about your day. It won’t take you very long.” A put down indeed. This then distances the couple, perhaps the feeling of being disrespected and an anger response arises, even if not expressed.

The Masters

The masters, by contrast, showed low physiological arousal.

They felt:

  • calm and connected together
  • Their vital signs were more normal or returned to normal quickly if aroused
  • translated into warm and affectionate behavior even if they argued.

It’s not that the masters had a better physiological make-up than the disasters. The masters had created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.

Professor Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it.

In 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus looking like a bed and breakfast apartment deemed “The Love Lab”.  He invited 130 newlywed couples, each couple one at a time, to spend the day at this retreat and watched and recorded as before everything normal couples do: arrive, put up groceries, eat, chat, cook, clean, listen to music, hang out, etc.

Professor Gottman and his team, made a critical discovery in this study. It identified why some relationships thrive while others wither.

Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.”

One of John’s favorite examples from my training with them:

The wife who is a bird enthusiast notices a bluebird flying across the yard and finds a perch on a branch. She says quietly to her husband eating cereal while watching TV, “Look …a bluejay outside!” He is apparently absorbed and says nothing to her.

Question: What does the wife feel from this interaction?

Happy?
Sad?
Mad?
Invisible?
Not heard?
Disrespected?
Disconnected?

Joyful?

No… she might feel: Invisible, Not heard, Disrespected, Disconnected

The wife is not just commenting on the bluebird, she is requesting a response from her husband, a sign of interest or support, hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.

The husband missed his chance with no response. He is effect “turned away.” Silence, no response.

REWIND: How would he “turn towards”?

Professor Gottman suggests the husband grunt, “Huh?” or better “Wow, a sign spring is here.”  I suggest: Put down the cereal and come over and look beside your wife holding her, perhaps better, a hug from behind, a bit of playfulness and a kiss on the cheek.

CHOOSE:  Respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” .

Though the bird-bid might seem minor, it actually reveals a lot about the health of their relationship.

People (Masters) who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t, (Disasters) those who turned away, would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”

These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy.

The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.

By observing these types of interactions, Professor Gottman can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples—straight or gay, rich or poor, childless or not, will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later. Much of it comes down to the spirit couples bring to the relationship.

Couples who practice kindness and generosity stay together. (Masters)

Couples who practice contempt, criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and hostility mostly breakup or are unhappy. (Disasters)

“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in our training. Masters are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. I call it the 3 A’s. Appreciate, Acknowledge, Acceptance.

Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

  1. criticism
  2. defensiveness
  3. contempt
  4. stonewalling

Contempt is the number one factor that tears couples apart.

1. Couples who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 % of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there. People who give their partner the cold shoulder (avoidance or putting up walls) choosing to  ignore their partner or responding minimally, damage their relationship by making their partner feel invisible, alone, as if they’re not there, and/or not valued.

Being mean is the death of relationships.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is  the death of relationships.

Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together.

Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, validated and feel loved, connected. The more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.

Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. Exercise it to keep it in shape. A good relationship requires consistent mindfulness and hard work.

When your partner expresses a need (bid) even if you are emotionally not available or tired, or stressed, you still turn toward your partner.

Do not ignore the small moments of emotional connection or they will slowly wear away at your relationship. Neglect creates distance between partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored.

Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on your relationship. This is the time to remember kindness and learn to disengage before things get ugly. Successful couples know and practice this.

ACTION:

1. Make a list of 5 Acts Of Kindness You Will Do Today, each day.

2. 3 A’s. Appreciate, Acknowledge, Acceptance. How? Practice.

See Blog on Practice Not Quarreling.

 

The Sound Relationship House (C) Gottman Institute Used With Permission. Do Not Reproduce.

The Sound Relationship House (C) Gottman Institute Used With Permission. Do Not Reproduce.

 

 

 

Need Relationship Help?

Have Couples Conflict?

CONTACT: 

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Michele Weiner-Davis Divorce Busting Level I ​
Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator
Gottman Method Couple Therapy Level 1 Certificate of Completion
Certified ​MHS ​Bar-On Emotional Intelligence​ EQ-i 2.0 ​Provider
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

Linked in:http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

#1 Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence

 

Couples Conflict Management Intensive

Couples Conflict Management Intensive

Couples Conflict Management Intensive In Atlanta, GA

” Save Your Relationship Workshop “

Couples in Conflict Intensive Workshop Course To End Conflict And Smell The Roses

Director Richard Taylor of Atlanta Anger Management is offering an Intensive For Couples Wanting To Enhance Their Relationship; For those couples who are having trouble in their relationship. If Anger seems to be an overriding emotions that comes up too frequently and too intensely lately, too many arguments, discord ever present, this is for you.

NOTE: RICHARD ONLY OFFERS THIS 2x A YEAR.

Couples Conflict Management Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

FOR:

Couples In Trouble

Relationships where Anger, Depression, Being Stuck, Broken Trust, Broken Promises Exist

Break up or Divorce seems likely

SEEKING:

Creative Partners Invested In Change To Empower Your Relationship.

Important Note: This is not COUNSELING. This is Educational Based Coaching.

WHEN:

Friday Night “Date” Night – July 10, 24 August 7, 14 Four Sessions 6:30PM – 8:00PM

COUPLE COST:

Early Bird Sign-up $240.00 USD – Sign up by June 17
Discount $280.00 – Sign up by July 5
Regular Pricing $360.00 – Sign Up after July 5 12:00AM

Pre-Pay To Reserve Your Two Seats. 3 Couples Only. Total 6 People. Non Refundable.

WE WILL BE LEARNING:

Core Life Skills in the following domains:

• Emotional Intelligence:
self-awareness & self-control, social-awareness and relationship management
• Anger Awareness – ABCDs Of Anger
• Assessments in: Identying Your Trippgers, Passive Anger Behaviors, Aggressive Behaviors, Cognitive Distortions or Assumptions
• Anger Management
• Improved Communication through Assertion Training & Active Listening
• Relationship Management
• Conflict Styles
• Learning to Respond To Another Person’s Anger
• Optimism and Gratitude
• Empathy and Compassion
• Fighting Fair
• Proper Time Outs
• Stop Arguing
• Learning to turn Aggressive Anger into Respectful Anger
• Learning to Live In The Present Moment
• Letting Go Of Past Hurts
• Become Best Friends Again
• Manage Conflict
• Create Shared Meaning
• Create Bucket List Of Dreams & Possibilities
• You are what you consume, Nutrition, Stress, Media

• Time For Couple to Have a Meaningful Private Conversation

WHAT TO EXPECT: Rapid Change And Improvement In Your Relationship.
FORMAT: 1.5 Hour Couple Conflict Intensive Sessions with 3 Couples with 4 Meetups All Commited To Change July 10, 24 and August 7, 14
WHEN:

Friday Night “Date” Night – July 10, 24 August 7, 14 Four Sessions 6:30PM – 8:00PM

No Babies, No Children as they will distract you/others

A Total of Six Hours of Growth and Change

PrePay above to Reserve Your Seat.

NOTE: RICHARD ONLY OFFERS THIS 2X A YEAR.

Call Richard Taylor 678.576.1913 to discuss if you have questions.

INCLUDED:

After the Intensive, each couple will have a free follow up 1 Hour Private Session four weeks later With Richard Taylor.

Take Away For Free: Free workbook of Couple Conflict Intensive for Future Reference

TERMS: Non Refundable
Please plan to attend 4 Consecutive 1.5 Hour Couple Sessions

No Make Up Sessions
If you cancel at last minute you agree to forfeit 90% of paid amount. The remaining 10% will be refunded with 5-7 business days

All USD funds are non refundable. Only Book if you really plan to attend.

In all 6 hours of learning new principles and life skills to steer a new course towards
growing, breaking loose of codependency, becoming best friends again, learning to let go and truly get on with better happier living.

Call Richard at 678-576-1913 for more information or with questions.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

DO I NEED ANGER MANAGEMENT HELP?

Any of these currently at work in your relationship?

–>Criticism –> Defensiveness –> Contempt –> Withdrawal

–>Days pass with no happiness and joy

–>Harsh words exchanged daily

–>Name Calling and Blaming a way of life

–>Life’s Passion is gone, just existing is our daily duty

–>Stuck. Destructive patterns exchanged frequently

–>At least one partner never forgets anything and continually revisits them.

–>You hear yourself say: “Our relationship is messed up!”

–>”Oh x#%!, Here we go again!”

1) Your partner puts you down verbally, in private or in front of others.
2) Your partner tells you he/she loves you but behavior shows otherwise.
3) Your partner doesn’t’t want you to see or talk to friends or family.
4) Your partner is jealous of the time you spend with your kids.
5) Your partner shows up often at your work unexpectedly or opens your mail.
6) Your partner calls you often to see what you are doing.
7) You cry often or feel depressed over your relationship.
8) Your partner says you would have the perfect relationship if only you would change.
9) Your partner wants you to be dependent on him.
10) Your partner does things for you and then uses them to make you feel obligated.
11) Your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, or words are devalued.
12) You don’t know who you are anymore without him/her, or how you would survive.
13) Your friends/family don’t like your partner or don’t think he is good for you.
14) You have changed things about yourself to suit your partner, even when it is not your taste.
15) You always go where your partner wants to, like movies, restaurants, etc.
16) Your partner has made you feel afraid or unsafe, and you have been afraid to speak the truth at times for fear of upsetting him/her (walking on eggshells).
17) You don’t feel you have control of your life anymore.
18) Your self-esteem is lower since you’ve been with your partner.
19) You think it’s up to you to make the relationship work.
20) You keep secrets about your relationship from others who love you because they wouldn’t understand.
21) Your partner makes you feel unattractive or stupid.
22) Your partner accuses you of cheating and is overly jealous.
23) Your partner can be really sweet to you one minute, and really mean the next.
24) Your partner seems really sweet/loving to you when he/she thinks you are about to leave the relationship, or after he/she has been mean to you.
25) You can’t remember the last time you felt happy for more than a few days straight.
DRESS: Casual
BRING: Snacks, Bottle Drinks if you want.
ENVIRONMENT: Inside Corporate Building

Complimentary Refreshments: Designer Coffees, Hot Tea, Hot Chocolate, Cappuccino, Filtered Water
Purists: Bring your own, bring your own snacks.
Free workbook of Couple Conflict Intensive for Future Reference

There will be break-out time for couples to work alone on their issues, private discussion
and try some of the new ways to be in a relationship.

This is an experience to immerse yourselves into.

Creative Partners Invested In Change To Empower Your Relationship.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Rapid Change And Improvement In Your Relationship.

CONTACT:
Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate of the AAAMP

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

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REWIRE YOUR BRAIN – PRACTICE NOT QUARRELING

Who do you argue with?

The Practice

Don’t quarrel.

Why?

It’s one thing to stick up for yourself and others. But it’s a different matter to get caught up in wrangles, contentiousness, squabbles . . . in a word: quarrels.

Similarly, it’s one thing to disagree with someone, even to the point of arguing – but it’s a different matter to get so caught up in your position that you lose sight of the bigger picture, including your relationship with the other person. Then you’re quarreling.

You know you’re quarreling when you find yourself getting irritated, especially with that sticky feeling that you’re just not gonna quit until you’ve won.

Quarrels happen both out in the open, between people, and inside the mind, like when you make a case in your head about another person or keep revisiting an argument to make your point more forcefully. We quarrel most with family and friends – imagine that! – but also with people on TV, or politicians and groups we don’t like. We can even quarrel with conditions in life (such as an illness or tight money) or with physical objects, like a sticky drawer slammed shut in anger.

However they happen, quarrels are stressful, activating the ancient fight-or-flight machinery in your brain and body: a bit of this won’t harm you, but a regular diet of quarreling is not good for your long-term physical and mental health.

Plus it eats away like acid on a relationship. For example, I was in a serious relationship in my mid-twenties that was headed for marriage, but our regular quarrels finally so scorched the earth in our hearts that no love could grow there for each other.

This week, try not quarrel with anyone or anything.

How?

Be mindful of what quarreling feels like, in your body, emotions, and thoughts. For example, be aware of that sense of revving up, pushing against, being right, and driving your view home that is so characteristic of quarreling. Ask yourself: Does this feel good? Is this good for me?

Observe the impact of quarreling in relationships, whether you’re doing it or others are (including on the world stage). Ask yourself:Are the results good? What would my relationships be like if I did not quarrel in them?

If you sense yourself warming up to a quarrel, step back, slow down, don’t do it. Try a different approach: Say only what truly needs saying; stay calm and contained, without trying to persuade the other person; don’t take any bait. If it comes to this, let the other person, not you, look over-heated and argumentative.

Richard Taylor adds: [ “If you want to always be right you will end up single.”]

Much of the time, you’ll realize that nothing needs to be said at all:you just don’t have to resist the other person. His or her words can pass on by like a gust of air swirling some leaves along its way. You don’t have to be contentious. Your silence does not equal agreement. Nor does it mean that the other person has won the point – and even if he or she has, would that actually matter so much in a week – or year – or so?

If you do get caught up in a quarrel, as soon as you realize that’s happened, back out of it. A good first step is to get quieter. Think about what really matters in the interaction – like saying what you are going to do in the future, or finding out some key fact – and then zero in on that thing, whatever it is. Maybe acknowledge to the other person that you’ve realized you’ve gotten into a kind of argument here, but that’s not what you really want to do. If that person tries to keep up the fight, you don’t have to. It takes two to quarrel, and only one to stop it. Then when the time is right, as you can, try to repair the damage of the quarrel.

Overall, explore the sense of being at peace with the world, without a quarrel with anyone.

(The feeling of this reminds me of a saying from my wife’s childhood, which should be adapted to one’s own situation: Be a friend to all, and a sister to every Girl Scout!)

by

Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
25 Mitchell Blvd.
San Rafael, California 94903

Used With Permission

My Offerings

· Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom – Written with a neurologist, Richard Mendius, M.D., and with a Foreword by Daniel Siegel, M.D. and a Preface by Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., it’s full of effective ways to use your mind to change your brain to benefit your whole being.
· Stress-Proof Your Brain -Meditations to rewire neural pathways for stress relief and unconditional happiness.
· Meditations to Change Your Brain – Three CDs of powerful guided practices, plus practical suggestions, for personal transformation.
·  Meditations for Happiness – Downloadable program (3 CDs worth) on gratitude, inner protectors, and coming home to happiness.

Question? Are we going to remember this argument in a year from now? 

Related Richard’s Selected Best In Class Books – DVDs – Meditations

Couples Conflict Management

Couples Communication Help

What Is Anger Management?

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management

5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: http://www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

Linked in: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence