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Psychologists Confirm 5 Signs That Show You Are In A Long Lasting Relationship

Psychologists Confirm 5 Signs That Show You Are In A Long Lasting Relationship

Relationships have different colors. Some have a terrific start but fade away suddenly. Others have to rough it out in the beginning but make it through fine. Why do some relationships last while others die off? What is the secret sauce that makes a long lasting relationship?

According to Psychologist John Gottman, who has spent the last 40 years of his life conducting research on couples, most marriages that result in divorce are not because of major differences in opinion but rather the inability to communicate differing opinions in a cordial manner. Also, many people try to change their partner’s personality according to their own wishes rather than accepting them as they are.

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Research Method

Dr. John Gottman’s research methods include analyzing couples in a home-like setting which he calls the Love Lab, where they talk to each other about everyday things or argue. “In the Love Lab, researchers claim they can predict with 91% accuracy whether a couple will thrive or fail after watching and listening to them for just five minutes“. The video cameras record not only the manner in which couples interact but also their reactions. Based on observations made about hundreds of couples over a period of 40 years, the researchers at the Relationship Research Institute are able to identify the signs that show if a couple is in a long lasting relationship. Read on to find out more about how the researchers’ findings can be used to help your relationship.

Findings

“What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage.” – Dr. John Gottman, The Relationship Research Institute

Here are the 5 signs that show that you are in a long lasting relationship:

1. You are courteous to each other

You talk to each other in a way that is cordial and friendly. You treat your partner as your equal. When you speak to each other in a manner that reflects respect, this fosters a long lasting relationship.

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2. You complain, but you do not criticize

Your complaints have an “I” tone rather that a “You” tone. You do not take complaints against each other to another level and start saying critical statements about your partner’s character or personality. You understand that forgetting to pay the rent on time means that there is an opportunity to work on time management skills, rather than thinking they are a failure.

3. You are not contemptuous towards each other

You speak to each other in the language of love. Name calling, sneering, eye-rolling and hurtful comments are not a part of your daily conversations. You understand that the words you do not like to hear from your partner, you should also not say to them.

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4. You do not put each other down

You focus on conflict resolution in an amicable manner. You understand that conflicts are not a battleground to establish your power over one another, but an opportunity to hear out a perspective that is different than your own. When differences in opinions emerge, you remind each other that you are a team and you are on each other’s side.

5. You do not ignore each other

You acknowledge each other’s feelings and hear out each other’s frustrations. You do not use silent treatment to ignore what your partner has to say, especially after a confrontation.

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For more information on the research and the findings you can refer to this article or read more about long lasting relationship here.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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