American psychologist John Gottman has been studying relationships for 40 years and came up with four dangerous behavior types. He calls them “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
Indicators: When one of the partners makes fun of the other. Either in private or in public when you give insulting nicknames on purpose or do not value the other partner’s opinion. If you do not appreciate your partner and make them feel much more important.
How to fix it: Put yourself in the shoes of a loved one whom you mocked and see the situation from their point of view. Try and remind yourself how much you love them every time you think about making fun of them.
Indicators: When one partner gets irritated because of every mistake the other partner makes and brings up similar situations from the past. This results in, such words as “You always do everything wrong.”
How to fix it: You should not use an aggressive tone in conversation and do not transform a tiny problem into a huge one. Try to calmly ask your partner to do things differently next time.
Indicators: One partner thinks they did something wrong and to avoid criticism, immediately defends themselves. This is characterized by phrases like “Actually, I shouldn’t have done it!“ ”It’s not my fault!”. What happens is the other partner answers defensively.
How to fix it: It is so much easier to take responsibility for your behavior and apologize right away. Why waste lots of time on a pointless argument, when you can spend it on more pleasant things?
Avoiding a conflict
Indicators: When you sense an argument is coming, try responding to grievances quickly and without any emotion. Do not ignore your partner.
How to fix it: Don’t run away from your emotions. You should try to solve the problem peacefully if it lingers, it will surely be exposed sooner or later.
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