Updated: Nov 13, 2019
I saw an interesting experiment a couple tried out recently. They wanted to change the atmosphere of negativity that they both felt at home. They were both feeling it, they both disliked it, so why not both try to change it?
They each made a reminder on their task management system. (We live in an age where technology both hurts, and helps, our relationships, I guess.)
They decided to get reminders to catch each other doing something right, rather than catching one another doing something wrong. “Wow, you did ______ really well,” replaced, “Why do you ____ all the time??!”
But there was a secret to this technique. See below:
You must catch your partner doing FIVE things right, for every ONE thing you told them they were doing wrong.
Why 5 to 1 ratio? John Gottman found that successful couples already do it. You can find an article here, just by Googling it:
It worked immediately.
Humans have an innate desire to please others. Plus, we all want to be liked. As pack animals, it’s one of our highest urges.
Their atmosphere immediately became more positive. Criticisms weren’t as sharp, and their attitude toward the relationship changed quickly.