Synopsis Of The TED Talks On “4 Habits of ALL Successful Relationships

by Dr. Andrea & Jonathan Taylor-Cummings.

According to these talented and knowledgeable experts, the couples who enjoy the most connected relationships practice these four habits:

1. Be curious, not critical. When conflict arises, if couples invest time in understanding, instead of criticizing, differences in perspectives or way of being, this will lead to dialogue that ends the argument and helps you to  notice and access the strengths in your different perspectives, which creates closeness.

2. Be careful, not crushing. When arguing with our partner, our ‘fight or flight’ responses are automatically activated. These are inherently “me” centered, not “us” focused, because our body and mind tell us that we must protect our feelings and ego. By being patient with, and attentive to, your partner during conflict, you can learn to take care of each other instead of just yourselves. This will naturally enhance your bond.

3. Ask, don’t assume. After we have been in a relationship with someone for some time, we become accustomed to how she/he does things. Some of the habits that our partner exhibits may drive us crazy, and others we may find to be endearing and wish to adopt. For those habits that we can’t stand, we’re much more likely to instantly become irritated and attack, instead of ask why our partner does that ‘thing’. When we assume, it suggests to our partner that we do not have faith in her/him, and/or that we believe the worst about her/his intentions, which creates mistrust and distance.

4. Connect before you correct. Before honing in on what your partner is doing wrong, spend five minutes being warm and curious with your partner about her/his day (I know, sometimes it feels impossible to suspend your anger, and it may also feel counterintuitive or disingenuous to even consider starting with kindness and curiosity when you’re furious, but trust me, it works). Why? Because this is more likely to help both of you to feel regulated (because you’re connecting with each other) and will increase the likelihood that your partner will accept your influence. Consider this: most of us are mounting a defense when we feel attacked; however, if someone is first tender with, and interested in, what we have to say, we are much more likely to be receptive to their thoughts. Also, when we’re not regulated, productive, attachment-promoting conversation is likely not happening.

As Dr. Andrea and Jonathan aptly point out, “people go where they feel welcome, but stay where they feel valued.” This is so true.

If you need help with implementing these points, call me to schedule a session for couples therapy. Together, we’ll navigate this voyage.

Speak Your Mind


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