According To Gottman, People Engage In Which Behavior When They Insult Each Other And Attack Each Other’s Self-Worth?

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Written By Muhammad Saad

I'm a psychologist dedicated to evidence-based research in psychology, covering diverse aspects of the field.

When people insult or attack their partner’s self-worth, they are engaging in the destructive relationship behavior known as contempt.

As defined by psychologist John Gottman based on his extensive research, contempt involves expressing disgust, disrespect or loathing towards one’s partner through insults, mockery, hostile humor or dismissiveness.

Displaying contempt crosses a line as it stops addressing the issue and starts attacking the person themselves, seeking to undermine their sense of self.

This shows a lack of caring or respect for the partner. Gottman found contempt to be one of the strongest predictors of divorce because it so deeply poisons the relationship climate and makes repairing intimacy incredibly challenging.

While disagreements are normal, maintaining respect and caring for one’s partner even during conflicts is vital for long-term relationship health and satisfaction according to Gottman’s findings.

Expressing contempt through personal insults crosses a line and indicates deeper issues need resolution to improve the relationship dynamic. Communication must be respectful and focus on behaviors, not character attacks, to resolve issues constructively.

Research Of Gottman

Who Is Gottman?

John Gottman is a highly influential psychologist and relationship expert who has conducted extensive research on marital stability, divorce prediction, and relationship satisfaction.

He is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington and is the co-founder of the Gottman Institute, which provides research-based resources and interventions for couples and families.

Gottman’s research focuses on the dynamics of relationship interactions, with a particular emphasis on communication patterns, emotional expression, and physiological responses. He has developed a number of influential theories and models, including the Sound Relationship House theory, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the Magic Ratio.

Gottman’s work has had a significant impact on the field of couples therapy, and his research-based approach has helped to develop evidence-based interventions for couples facing a range of relationship challenges.

He has written numerous books and academic articles, and his work has been widely featured in popular media outlets.

Working of Gottmen Research

  1. The Sound Relationship House: Gottman’s research led to the creation of the Sound Relationship House theory, which outlines seven principles that make up a healthy relationship: love maps, fondness and admiration, turning towards, accepting influence, the positive perspective, managing conflict, and creating shared meaning.
  2. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Gottman identified four communication patterns that are highly predictive of divorce: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. These patterns can lead to a negative cycle of interaction that can be difficult to break.
  3. Emotionally Intelligent Couples: Gottman found that couples who are able to manage their emotions during conflict are more likely to have successful relationships. These couples are able to stay calm, listen actively, and express their needs and feelings in a respectful way.
  4. The Magic Ratio: Gottman’s research suggests that successful relationships have a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. This means that for every negative interaction, there should be at least five positive ones.
  5. The Importance of Repair Attempts: Gottman found that repair attempts, or efforts to repair the relationship after a conflict, are crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship. Couples who are able to make and accept repair attempts are more likely to stay together.
  6. The Role of Physiology: Gottman’s research also suggests that physiology plays a role in relationship dynamics. Couples who are able to manage their heart rates and other physiological responses during conflict are more likely to have successful relationships.

Overall, Gottman’s research emphasizes the importance of effective communication, emotional intelligence, and positive interactions in maintaining healthy relationships. His findings have been widely applied in couples therapy and other interventions aimed at improving relationship satisfaction.

If You Want To read All His Research You Should Check!

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