Posted by: Health & Lifestyle Coach Julie | 21/06/2010

Julie’s Notes: “The Relationship Cure” by John Gottman & Joan DeClaire

15 Oct 2008

I FINALLY, finally finished John Gottman & Joan DeClaire’s “The Relationship Cure” book. So many time consuming exercises! I’ve got to say, it was well worth the time. I try to think of it as a personal investment in the relationships I have w/people. I thought it would help in the marriage department; instead, was pleasantly surprised that it also included relationships w/children, Adult siblings, friends, and coworkers.

Ahh, too bad I didn’t find this book earlier! It would have saved so much more time and money in therapy sessions! :) Hey, better late than never, right? I’m just grateful to have found this book and have prioritized the time to analyze what’s going on.

21 June Addendum: Things not going too well with one of my personal relationships. It’s a priority to me so I’ve decided to re-read this book to see if I can on cover why I’m not prioritizing this particular relationship. Stay tuned! Other books I recommend: “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman and “10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage” by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman & Joan DeClaire.

June 2010
Notes from The Relationship Cure:

- Sharing emotional information can help people feel connected.
- 1) Analyze the way you bid (question, gesture, look, touch, express, etc.) and the way you respond to other peoples’ bids
2) Discover how your brain’s emotional command system affect your bidding process
3) Examine how your emotional heritage impacts your ability to connect w/others and your style of bidding
4) Develop your emotional communication skills
5) Find shared meaning w/others

- One of the most common barriers to adult relationships is a practical one: lack of time.
- Sharing your experience w/other people who express understanding and empathy may be helpful
- Healing a connection doesn’t happen automatically, it takes a certain amount of conscious effort and diligence. If both parties are willing to hang in there, pay attention, and change direction when they make mistakes, chances are they can improve the relationship.
- a Positive sign is where people value one another & are willing to work thru the rough spots to stick together. It’s by weathering conflicts that marriages, families, friendships, and work teams grow strong [amen!]

6 Bid Busters & How to Avoid them!
1) Being mindless [wow! I have workshops on mindful eating! has too much attention to the business made me mindless on my relationships? How interesting! And if so, how can I balance work/life successfully? I think prioritization is key]
-Give relationship ATTENTION & INTENTION; goal setting helps (i.e. build emotional connection)

2) Harsh Startup

3) Using Harmful Criticism instead of Helpful Complaints
-Complaints focuses on specific problem, addressing person’s behavior not perceived character flaws
-Criticism more judgmental and global (“you ALWAYs, NEVER, etc.), attacks person’s character, assigns blame, hurts feelings, increases tension, resentment, defensiveness

4) Flooding

5) Practicing a Crabby Habit of Mind

6) Avoiding the conversation you need to have

10 Great questions to ask yourself:
1) How does your family’s philosophy of emotion affect your ability to express difficult emotions like sadness, anger or fear?
2) Are there certain emotions that I have a difficulty time acknowledging in others? in myself?
3) Do I often feel unjustified or guilty when expressing negative emotions?
4) Think of relationships that’s important to you. When you have a choice to turn toward, turn away, or turn against person’s bid for connection, what do you do?
How do your choices differ from how your parents might have reacted? [eye opener!]
5) When somebody gets sad, angry, fearful, etc. do you focus more on the behavior or feelings underneath the behavior?
6) What happens if I turn towards people’s expressions of negative feelings with VALIDATION? vs defensiveness/stonewalling, etc.?
7) How do I usually respond to sadness, fear & anger?
8) Do I see a correlation between my response and the emotional philosophy with which I was raised?
9) what happens if I turn toward other people’s expression of negative feelings (sadness, anger, fear, etc.) with validation?
10) What happens if I turn toward other people’s expression of negative feelings with MORE than validation (like support & guidance?)?

- Couples who accept, respect and honor each other’s feelings are less likely to divorce.

3 ways to find Shared Meaning:
1) Recognize that conflict often stems from people’s idealism. If we can UNCOVER the ideals hidden w/in another’s position in a conflict we can often find common meaning.
2) Talk about dreams and aspirations, foster support for these quests
3) Create or support rituals, regularly engaging in meaningful activities that draw people together emotionally

Plenty of mind-blasting exercises! Take the time needed to invest in the relationships most important to you!

Namaste (“I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me” -Deepak Chopra)!

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