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What are the things that predict whether A relationship is going to work or be Happy and what are the things that sort Of Herald the disaster and in a Relationship Now one of the things that Bob and I Found right away is we just looked at How Positive people were when they talked to Each other how affectionate how much They're left together Um interest in one another curiosity Versus hostility anger you know Contempt sadness and disgust and we just Took a ratio of how many seconds of Positive devotion was were there Compared to negative emotion and we Discovered that the Masters even in Conflict had five times as much positive Emotion as negative Whereas the disasters that ratio of Positive to negative average 0.8 is just A little bit more negativity and Positivity so that was one of our first Discoveries and then we asked are there Some negative things that are more Predictive than others and we came up With the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse And Julie can explain what that is if You want okay sure Um so these are the great big predictors Uh that can predict with over 90 percent Accuracy six years down the road where Are you going to be you're going to be
Together happily with your partner Unhappily or will you already be Separated and divorced so the first one Is criticism and all of us are familiar With that one there's no such thing as Constructive criticism none so when You're putting minutes yeah when your Boss tries to critically uh Tell you feedback that's not a good Thing so what criticism means is blaming A problem between you on a character Flaw of your partner so some examples of That are you're so lazy you wouldn't Think of cleaning up the kitchen why are You so uh irresponsible you're always Postponing how long it takes to pay the Bills you know what's happening with you What's wrong with you it's one of the Great criticisms how are you supposed to Answer that you know it's saying you in General are wrong so those are Criticisms and they hurt and the natural Response to that is the second Horseman Called defensiveness and defensiveness We're familiar with too there's two Types one is whining like I did two pay The bills on time or counter attack oh Yeah well when was the last time you Took the car in for repair you know it's A counter attack so that's defensiveness We have criticism defensiveness the Third is really the sulfuric acid for a Relationship it's called contempt and What we mean by contempt is its
Criticism too but from a place of moral Superiority so it includes some scorn Some disgust it's often expressed Through sarcasm Um like oh yeah I'm sure you picked up The tickets ha you know contempt uh is Also name-calling all those horrible Names when we get very angry that we'll Call somebody could be mockery also ooh You're so scared you know that kind of Stuff So contempt is horrible and it not only Is the strong strongest predictor of Relationship demise Contempt also destroys the immune system Of the listener we discovered that in 15 Minutes of conflict the number of times A listener heard something contemptuous Predicted how many infectious illnesses They would have in the coming years Right isn't that amazing so the immune System suppresses of core or fights off Viruses colds flus tumors right and the People who experience more contempt got Sicker over time so that was scary Finally the fourth Horseman is what we Call stonewalling and stonewalling is When one partner completely shuts down Absolutely gives no response to the Person pretends they're not even there We'll sit there but not give any nod of The head anything verbal and that's Related to another Finding of ours about Uh physiological flooding which John can
Explain but that what we call Stonewalling turning into a stone wall In the middle of a conversation is our Fourth Horseman right so the the Physiology was very predictive and uh And what we found was that when people's Heart rate gets above 100 beats a minute Or if you're an athlete 80 beats a Minute we start secreting our two stress Hormones cortisol and adrenaline and That shuts down the ability to listen People repeat themselves they think They're being more persuasive when they Ill instead of you know talking quietly They you know they really escalate their Behavior and they can't listen very well They can't take in any new information So the physiology is very important Because once people are secreting those Two stress hormones they you know the Conversation might as well be over Because it nobody makes any advance they Don't get creative as problem solvers And so on yeah another word for this is Fight or flight And I'm sure you know your listeners Have heard of that that's what we're Talking about So when you're facing your partner It feels like you're facing a Saber-toothed tiger So in that context let's say you're in The middle of uh I don't know a a an Argument with your partner and you're
Finding yourself feeling those triggers Of fight or flights what do you do in That context In order to succeed or in order to fail Which one to leave Let's say let's say both what does Success and what does fail look like Like what what are the kind of options That we have in this in this context Okay So fail looks like staying there in the Conversation when you're in fight or Flight uh and what happens is you Escalate you get louder you repeat Yourself you know Ad nauseam uh you Start to move into more criticism more Contempt you can't think straight you Don't hear your partner at all so Nothing you say is a response to your Partner you're just yelling your own Point of view maybe maybe even getting Physical in the worst cases in a Successful couple here's what they do The minute they sense that they're Getting flooded in fight or flight one Of them will call for a break and and Say when they ask for a break when They'll come back to talk about the Conversation you know that topic again So they'll say something like honey I've Got to take a break I'll be back in an Hour then let's talk again That way they don't leave the other Person feeling abandoned and not knowing
If they're ever going to talk about it Again then when the partners separate Into separate quarters uh they each do Something that is self-soothing Not think about the fight because if They think about it they'll stay Escalated but do something else distract Yourself read a magazine a book listen To music meditation go for a run you Know all kinds of things you can do to Self-soothe take a bath and then come Back at the designated time when you're Calmer and a way to tell if you're Calmer is take your heart rate and if Your heart rate is back down to normal Then you're good if it's not back go Back to your partner anyway and ask for More time Give a second time you'll return until You can talk calmly with one another and The conversation will look like you've Just had a brain transplant Hey friends thank you so much for Watching if you enjoyed this clip then Click here for the full unedited episode And if you like that then do please Consider subscribing to the channel it Means a lot thank you so much and have a Great day bye