What’s the most destructive relationship patterns, according to this famous psychologist?

A famous psychologist can predict divorce with 91% accuracy.

A-list celebs and billionaires go to him with their relationship challenges.

Here’s the most destructive pattern he identified (and how to protect against it):

Dr. John Gottman is a world-renowned researcher.

For nearly 50 years, he’s studied the science of relationships.

He was able to predict divorce with 91% accuracy by identifying 4 patterns in conflict.

These patterns predicted the end of the relationship.

They were called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The most predictive of them all was Contempt.

Contempt is the most corrosive of the Horsemen.

I studied with Gottman and have seen the brutal consequences of contempt in personal relationships and across 100s of company cultures.

Gottman called Contempt: “Sulfuric Acid for Connection”

What is Contempt?

Contempt sounds like criticism with a crucial difference.

Contempt assumes a position of moral superiority over the other.

Someone feeling Contempt feels BETTER than the other.

Expressing negativity combined with superiority drives the relationship apart.

How do you recognize contempt?

Emotions show up as sensations in our bodies.

Studies show emotional sensations have common signatures across cultures.

Where most feel Contempt:

Contempt often feels like intense heat inside the chest and head area.

Some feel heat and tension in their hands as well.

If you feel Contempt in an important relationship, it’s best not to express it in the moment.

Instead:

-exit the conversation
-let your body reset
-pick up the discussion later from a more calm place

How do you recognize contempt in others?

Gottman’s research showed that the most common behavior associated with Contempt was:

THE EYE ROLL

Here’s what Contempt sounds like in the workplace:

“You’re overworked? Cry me a river. I’ve been dealing with all the most important strategic priorities. I don’t have time to deal with your issues.”

Fortunately, Gottman discovered there is an antidote to Contempt.

He identified a practice you can follow to insulate your partnerships and teams from Contempt.

The Antidote to Contempt: Culture of Appreciation

-Remind yourself of your partner’s or colleagues’ positive qualities.
-Find and express gratitude regularly to them.

Sharing your appreciation for the great things about them insulates against Contempt.

As Dr. Andrew Huberman points out, gratitude’s powerful impact is upon HEARING it from another: https://twitter.com/hubermanlab/status/1587936316116766720
To Summarize:

1. Understand the powerful destructive force that is Contempt

2. Learn where to feel it in yourself and how to spot it in others (eye roll)

3. Practice gratitude – create a culture of appreciation in your partnerships to insulate against contempt

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