Triple A Ratio Rescue Formula
Conflicts in relationships can be a creative force. Conflict occurs in healthy, dynamic partnerships – it’s like relationship growing pains. (Remember how much your muscles ached when your body was growing? The discomfort of the conflict could be the way the relationship leaves room for where you want to grow next.) Differences are not a death sentence. What is more important than getting rid of conflict is managing conflict in relationships. That is where a coach can help by creating a safe space to work together, not on who is wrong but on what is possible, what is desired, what is emerging.
How are they going to be together faced with this conflict, it is almost always more important than the conflict itself. According to research by John Gottman PhD, 69% of all marital problems are perpetual. This is as true of the happiest marriage as it is of the most unhappy. The place to focus your attention is not on eliminating conflicts, but on how you relate to your differences. This, according to Gottman’s research, is what distinguishes marriages that stayed together from those that broke up.
Here’s what John Gottman recommends:
1) Increase overall positivity, say a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. These interactions don’t have to be important. Just a “hello” or a kiss on the cheek or sharing the newspaper …
2) Increase positivity in conflicts. Affectionate humor, calm the other, raise complaints slowly and respectfully instead of exploding …
3) Decrease negativity in conflict, especially blame, defensiveness, contempt and stone walls, what Gottman calls the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” When you feel inundated with emotions like anger or panic, take a break.
Here’s a hint on how to tell if you’re engaging in one of these jockeying behaviors: If you see your partner adopting one of these jockeying poses, you probably are too! They almost always travel in pairs. One person blames, the other person is on the defensive or is stone walls.
You get the picture? When you find out this is happening, monitor your own behavior. If you can’t do that, at least take a break.
Triple A Ratio Rescue Formula
My program for promoting healthy, collaborative and positive relationships focuses on these three skills:
Thank you loops. Nothing lifts and maintains positivity better. The more they express what they appreciate about each other, the more appreciative things the relationship will give them.
Alignment. Find common ground, work as a team, even in the conflict itself. This is where a trained coach can help you gain a new perspective.
Agreement. Design the relationship and build trust throughout the process.
A relationship is a dynamic and growing entity, constantly stretching into unfamiliar territory. That is why he never gets it “right”. Your relationship is always changing, like a liquid, to fill all the spaces of possibility.