click here to read the intro on the Four Horsemen 3. Defensiveness The Gottman’s describe defensiveness as having three varietals: righteous indignation i.e. “No I didn’t! I never do!” counter attacks i.e. “But You do that all the time!” innocent victim-hood, like whining. i.e. “But I was so busy doing what you wanted me to […]

click here to read the intro on the Four Horsemen 2. Contempt The Gottman’s describe contempt as “coming from a superior position” and being “fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner.”  “Contempt is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust. It seems strong, yes, but contempt is a sneaky little guy that can […]

click here to read the intro on the Four Horsemen 1. Criticism is a “broad-based attack on a person’s character.”  The Gottman’s also see criticism as stating a “defect in one’s partner’s personality or character.” Criticism can sometimes include dramatic words like “always” and “never.” Like all of the horsemen, criticism sabotages what you are trying to get […]

The Gottman Institute has found that when partners criticize each other, there is an important message they want their partner to get. Yet saying that message as a criticism and not as a complaint sabotages the listener’s ability to hear that message. Here is a suggestion of some ways to complain better so the complaint will more likely be […]