Continuing from yesterday, the Gottmans talk about an interesting concept. The “4 horsemen” is a term coined by John and Julie Gottman to refer to four common behaviors that are predictors of relationship failure. These behaviors are:
Criticism: This involves attacking someone’s character or personality, rather than focusing on a specific behavior or issue. For example, instead of saying “I don’t like it when you leave dirty dishes in the sink,” a person might say “You are so lazy and inconsiderate.”
Contempt: This involves putting the other person down or mocking them in a hostile way. For example, using sarcasm or eye-rolling to show that you think the other person is stupid or unworthy of respect.
Defensiveness: This involves avoiding responsibility for your own actions and trying to shift blame onto the other person. For example, instead of acknowledging that you made a mistake and apologizing, you might say “I only did it because you always…” or “It’s not my fault, it’s yours.”
Stonewalling: This involves shutting down or withdrawing from the conversation, either physically or emotionally. For example, not responding to the other person’s comments, or walking out of the room without saying anything.
Pretty cool way of dissecting relationships, and especially what can go wrong!