Typically when we think about “relationship breakers,” we think of “big” issues like infidelity, constant fighting, loss of love, and a lack of intimacy.
Reality: they don’t happen overnight. These bigger issues are often the result of what John Gottman calls “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling are communication tactics that cause damage in relationships. We’re all guilty of using these from time to time - the trouble starts when they become our main ways of communicating. Once that happens, our relationship develops a tone of negativity, combativeness, and disrespect. Neither partner feels heard or understood and they start to turn away from one another.
Couples resort to these tactics when they are not feeling important, valued, or cared for. They pull out these “big guns” in hopes of getting their partner to meet their needs, but it actually has the opposite effect.
Today we’re giving you the antidotes to these damaging communication tactics, better strategies for getting your needs met, and ways to reduce triggers during conflicts with your partner. Be sure to download your free bonus - the ultimate cheat sheet from The Gottman Institute for keeping The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their antidotes in mind.
Short on time? Here's a list of today's topics and when to listen:
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - 1:00
- Criticism - 1:29
- Defensiveness - 1:45
- Stonewalling - 2:21
- Contempt - 2:44
- Why we resort to The Four Horsemen - 7:32
- What The Four Horsemen invite from your partner - 10:35
- Antidotes for The Four Horsemen - 13:00
- “I” statements - 13:53
- Take accountability + validate your partner - 16:09
- Physiological self-soothing - 17:58
- State your own needs + feelings - 21:03
- Trigger words - 25:51
- Meredith + Marina’s takeaways - 33:55