Behaviour that puts your relationship at risk
What research says
Relationship research has found that five positive inputs are required to cancel out one negative input. There is a limit to how many positive inputs anyone can do so we need to concentrate on reducing the negative inputs.
There are four negative patterns of behaviours, shown in the drawing below, which are very common and very damaging to relationships.
SCORING POINTS - basically allowing a specific issue to expand into a general character assasination by using words like "always" or "never". So you accuse someone of always being late when they were late for lunch today.
THINKING THE WORSE - Reading negative things into a situation. Husband brings home bunch of flowers - wife says or thinks "What has he done wrong then?" when actually it was a genuinely thoughtful present.
OPTING OUT - refusing or avoiding talking through an issue or facing the issue. Burying an issue under the carpet or simply refusing to talk.
PUT DOWNS - Verbal or behaviour that indicates "contempt"- Example "You are useless" or raising the eyebrows, clicking with the tongue or turning your back on someone.
EXERCISE: What negative behaviour pattern are you most conscious of doing? Try to STOP doing it. Ask you friend/partner/colleague to help you by pointing out when you do it. Avoid these patterns and your relationship will be much inproved.