What is it about happy relationships?

People are complex beings, a huge number of processes are involved within us, many of which we are not aware of and which in any case influence the way we are, the way we make decisions and the quality of life we may or may not obtain.

When we add to this personal dimension of complexity the relationship with another person, then we have an exponential result. That is why having good bonds of friendship, work or couple is a challenge during life, and many times it is the focus that generates more complications and sadness in our transit through this world.

What would happen if we knew the key to those people who manage to build good relationships, undoubtedly our life would be different, we could enjoy much more of the bonds of trust and affection that we build, we would feel more accompanied and we could enjoy more of the benefits of having a support network during our lives.

It was with this in mind that I began to study more about the dimensions that help to have (or not have) relationships that besides being healthy can multiply our satisfaction. Undoubtedly, there are many views on this subject that propose different areas of work, from improving our communication skills, listening skills, empathy, flexibility in our beliefs about other people, etc, etc, etc, etc. The truth is that the list could be long, however there is one dimension that caught my attention, and it is related to the generation of emotions in relationships.

Reading John Gottman’s studies, I found that in his research he discovered that couples who are together and “tolerate” each other, are those that generate three positive emotions for every negative emotion. However, he saw that those couples that are strengthened, empowered and manage to project themselves over time are those that provide at least five positive emotions for every negative emotion. Also, he perceived that if the ratio of positive/negative experiences is less than 3/1 then that couple would end up in a breakup.

Other interesting things that Gottman raises are the four things that will kill relationships, and these are: destructive criticism, defensiveness, contempt and avoidance.

Thus, if what we want is to build bonds that we can consider good, healthy and that contribute to our happiness, it will be essential to be able to identify the emotions that the other person makes us feel, and which ones we make others feel, with the focus that we can improve and learn to enjoy in a different way and build bonds that fill us with satisfaction day by day.

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