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Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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24 Apr The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger, and death respectively. Dr. Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship. Gottman found that the presence of Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling in a relationship can predict divorce and named these negative styles of communication as "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". John Gottman's FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE. 1. Criticism: Attacking your partner's personality or character, usually with the intent of making someone right and someone wrong: Generalizations: “you always ” “you never ”“you're the type of person who ” “why are you so ” 2. Contempt: Attacking your.

Relationship guru John Gottman outlines four destructive patterns that will sink your relationship in his book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. Although most of the couples he studied for his book were heterosexual couples, Gottman is also a pioneer in studying same-sex relationships and the same patterns described here are just as applicable for gay and lesbian relationships. According to Gottman, anger and conflict are not what cause relationships to fail. Anger and conflict can actually be good because they help clear the air and open channels of communication.

These are ways of interacting that sabotage your efforts to communicate with your partner.

Gottman considers Contempt to be the most important for determining whether a relationship will survive. Gottman says as each horseman arrives, it paves the way for the next horseman to come and wreak havoc on your relationship.

The first step in eliminating the Horsemen is for you and your partner to recognize when these patterns are happening and then you can learn to change them.

I am in the final phase of a much overdue divorce. The first step in effectively managing conflict is to identify and fight The Four Horsemen when they arrive in your conflict discussions. Here is what I discovered. No 27 years later, no kids, I wish I had left 15 yrs ago.

The good news is there are remedies can help you drive the horsemen out of your relationship. The first Horseman is Criticism. When complaints are not acted on by the other partner not taken seriously, ignored, forgotten, or suppressedthe path is created for the horsemen Criticism to gallop in and take hold. Criticism makes one partner right and one partner wrong, and leads to source and shame.

Criticism uses phrases like: Contempt is hostile words and body language aimed at psychologically abusing your partner. Holding onto resentment inevitably leads to Contempt.

Contempt is even more destructive than Criticism. Contempt involves directing hostile words and body language at your partner. These hostile words and body language are meant to psychologically harm your partner and attacks their sense of self. Contempt includes openly insulting your partner, disrespecting them, and tearing down Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Gottman self-esteem.

Verbal examples of Contempt include putdowns, insults and name calling, yelling and screaming, mocking, sarcasm, ridiculing, and visit web page teasing. Contempt can also be conveyed link in body language. Examples of nonverbal Contempt include includes rolling your eyes, looking away, not making eye contact, or sneering.

This continues to leave issues unresolved making you angrier, making you feel hurt and extremely negative towards your partner. Defensiveness is shielding oneself from a perceived attack and seeing oneself as the victim. Of course, it is only natural for a person to feel defensive when they are being insulted, called names, or treated with contempt—but doing so inevitably invites in the Horsemen of Defensiveness.

Defensiveness involves blocking a verbal attack and seeing yourself as the victim. When you get defensive, you experience anxiety or a flooding of emotions, which makes it difficult for you to tune into what your partner is saying. Defensiveness also leads to escalation. When couples get defensive and it escalates, couples can get out of control. Defensiveness includes matching anger with anger, blame with blame, hardening your stance, making excuses, or denying responsibly.

People also communicate their defensiveness through a rigid body posture. This is when the Fourth Horseman Stonewalling enters the picture. Stonewalling happens when a person turns into a stone wall: This can happen in the middle of a discussion, when one partner just shuts down and stops responding to their partner. Stonewalling can also happen when Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Gottman remove yourself physically without communicating to your partner.

When a person stonewalls, they are exiting the relationship and avoiding solving the problem at hand. Also, when a person stonewalls, they are also not listening, the conflicts become silent and withdrawing becomes a hostile act. This can lead to the other partner attacking or telling the other partner that they are feeling shut out. Sometimes partners have the misconception that they are calming things down by stonewalling, but Stonewalling suggests displeasure, disconnection, division, compliancy, arrogance, and self-righteousness.

When Stonewalling becomes a predictable pattern, the relationship can be near its end and is need of immediate intervention.

Avoiding The “Four Horsemen” in Relationships | Practice | Greater Good in Action

Examples of Stonewalling include silence, changing the subject, talking or muttering to ourselves, and removing ourselves physically. Do you recognize any of these patterns in your relationship?

Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Gottman

The first step is to recognize patterns, and then you can work to change them. Here are some suggestions on patterns that will help rid your relationship of the Horsemen.

Gottman says that calming down is the precise physiological opposite of emotional flooding where a person is overwhelmed with intense emotion.


When a person is flooded, their article source is inundated by adrenalin, and the electrical signals from their limbic system the part of the brain that deals with emotions transmit twice as fast as the electrical signals from their neo cortex the part of the brain that handles reasoning.

Therefore, when you are flooded with emotion, it is not the best time to be handling a relationship conflict! You can both agree to take a time out. In addition, speak Non-Defensively, by not being defensive in your communication. Gottman says the best antidote for defensive communication is to decide to think positively about your partner and bring praise and admiration back into your relationship. Be direct and ask for what you want directly from your partner, rather than using the Four Horsemen CriticismContemptDefensivenessand Stonewalling to try to get what you want.

Also, make your complaints and requests specific to a given situation, and communicate how that made you feel.

Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Gottman

Remember not to use never, always, or should when communicating complaints or it is Criticism. Air your grievances, make a request, and communicate how you feel—then let it go! Not all requests are going to be are going to be honored, so you may need to compromise to get what you need rather than what you want. Treat your partner how you want to be treated: That means no putdowns, insults or name calling, yelling or screaming, mocking, sarcasm, ridiculing, or hurtful teasing.

Also, keep blame out of your discussion. Also it is important to validate your partner: Tell your partner that what they are saying makes sense to you, and you understand why they would feel that way. Try click listening where you repeat back what your partner says, and then your partner repeats back what you say.

Take responsibility for yourself and your feelings.

Four Negative Patterns That Predict Divorce (Part 1)

Learn to enjoy your partner and be grateful for your relationship. Gottman says the thing that separates couples who are content with those who are miserable, is that healthy couples have five positive interactions for every one negative interaction with each other.

Learn to be cognizant of your interactions. The way to rid your relationship of the Four Horsemen forever is to keep practicing communicating without them.

Remember the Four Horsemen want to destroy your relationship.

Defensiveness includes matching anger with anger, blame with blame, hardening your stance, making excuses, or denying responsibly. The world is still here and maybe better for some and worse for others. For more Detailed information about law visit these link — http:

The more you practice communicating without the Horsemen CriticismContemptDefensivenessand Stonewallingthe stronger your relationship will be. Stonewalling is withdrawing from the relationship in order to avoid conflict. Eliminating the Horsemen Do you recognize any of these patterns in your relationship?