- The magic ratio of positive to negative interactions i.e. 5:1
- The Four Horseman of Conflict
- Criticism: Attacks on character, not action
- Contempt: Disrespect, sarcasm, mockery, ridicule, eye-rolling, scoffing, condescending resentment
- Defensiveness: Excuses, blame reversal, non-acceptance of guilt
- Stonewalling: Non-responsiveness a.k.a. The Cold Shoulder
Okay, the second one is four parts, but who's counting?
Fortunately, there are four antidotes and each is exemplified by the best couple in TV: The Simpson.
- Gentle Start-Up
- “I need you to take care of me, to put up with me, and most of all I need you to love me.”
- "You know Marge, looking at you I see the beauty of Princess Leia and the wisdom of Yoda." "Homer, maybe it is the Champagne talking, but I think you are pretty sexy yourself.”
- "I am so sorry, Homie. How is your crushed pelvis?" "Pretty good. Thanks for asking."
- "Cold shoulder, huh? I'll just talk to myself. How you doing Homer? Oh not too bad how bout you. Oh I'm fine, your wife was great in bed last night. You keep your hands off my wife! Oh yeah well I give her what she needs!" *strangles himself*
The Simpsons resolve conflict well. And if you pay attention, you'll notice five positive interactions for every bad one. How do you match up? Find out here.