Today’s topic on this 82nd day of our 100 Day Personal Performance and Business Growth Challenge is the concept of away, towards or against. These three things can make or break your relationship with someone else. They can make or break your relationship with yourself. They can make or break your intimate relationship and they can make or break your client relationships.
What we are talking about is really important. I just got done doing a Gottman Level 1 certification course. If you aren’t familiar with who they are; they did 30 years of research based on 3,000 couples on what makes or breaks a relationship, what turns you into a master of a relationship or a disaster of relationships.
In this course they talk about a concept in building a relationship with your partner, they call it the concept of turning towards. The research shows that the masters of relationships, when their partner would make a bid for their attention (“hey, check this out,” or “this is interesting, what do you think of it?” or “come look at this”) the other person has the choice of turning away from them (they showed us videos of a partner shrugging and turning away when a bid for their attention is made). Or you can turn against them (“now that’s stupid, it’s not that big a deal,”). Saying such things literally turns you against your partner. Others turn away by saying “why are you even watching that, it’s ridiculous!”).
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Those last two things (turning against and turning away from) are the telltale signs of a disaster relationship. The Gottman people say they can watch a couple, and this is one of the things they observe, and with a 95 percent accuracy, if the ratio is off, is a guaranteed failed relationship over time. This means that they either fall apart, or stay together while miserable with each other. This is because that pattern of turning either away from or against creates a disaster in a relationship.
The third pattern or option is turning towards. What does that mean? It means when your partner makes a bid for your attention, you stop what you are doing, you tell your brain that your partner is the most important human being, nothing else is more important, you take a deep breath, turn towards them and say, “Wow, that’s interesting! Tell me more! What else?”
Here’s another little tip while you turn towards your partner, validate their emotions. Be interested in them and what they are interested in. This is exactly what happens when couples have just met each other, they are fully immersed in what each is doing, and they want to learn more. But when you’ve been married 7 years, 12 years or even 50 years, you aren’t interested anymore!
What keeps a relationship exciting is staying curious, staying interested. We shall be going deeper into relationships, but here’s a quick tip I want to give you. Become aware. How often in a 24-hour span do you turn towards the person, how often do you turn away from the person or how often do you turn against the person and put them down or make fun of or beat down or look down on whatever it is that they are talking about? Keep track of these three things.
If you want a relationship that is going to fall apart, if you have more negative than positive, you are done. If you have one positive to one negative, you are done. If you have three positives to each negative, you are stable, not even growing. That’s just stability.
If you have six positives for every negative, now you are starting to get a little growth in your relationship. So the key becomes, how often do you turn towards, turn away or turn against. You need a minimum of six positives for every one negative of turning away or turning against if you are to have a chance of growing your relationship. Use this, put it in motion and have fun with it!
To Your Success,