Successful couples look for
ways to accentuate the positive, and they try to
say yes as often as possible. That doesn't
mean that people in good relationships don't
have disagreements and arguments. Nor does it
mean that you have to give up your dreams and
aspirations, or give into to someone who is
being unreasonable, or seeks to control your
Examples of yeses in a conversation
||Yes, I would love a
cup of coffee
||Yes, I will pick up
some food on my way home.
||Yes, I would like to
go to the gym this evening.
||Yes, I will go with
you to the hospital.
Yes, let's go and see a movie at the
||Yes, and I think we
should go away for Easter.
||Yes, you should go
for the promotion.
At work, relationships with
bosses, colleagues, customers and suppliers will
only really flourish if you listen to and
acknowledge each other's views and ideas,
feelings and concerns. The same rule applies to
relationships with classmates and friends. Your
interactions must have more yeses in them than
If your exchanges and
interactions are full of nos, you may find it
hard to switch overnight to ones full of yeses.
What is important is that you and your partner
recognize that exchanges populated mainly with
nos have a negative impact on one or both
partners' emotions and feelings, and they often
lead to big arguments, or one or both partners
Watch this video by John
Gottman about the "magic relationship ratio"
where he talks about the importance of saying
positive things to each other.
Monitor your interactions and
discussions and give yourselves time to improve
your communication and interaction. Rate your
exchanges on a scale of 1 to 10 at the beginning
of the week, set yourself an improvement goal,
rate things again at the end of the week, and
review where you have got to. Repeat the
process until you both think that things have
got much better.
|* Making Relationships
Work. A Conversation with Psychologist
John M. Gottman by Diane Coutu. Harvard
Business Review, December 2007.