Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen presents...

Certified Virtual Presenter

Linda's Positively Speaking Blog

Rants & Raves by Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen


How to Destroy a Relationship - With Four Simple Behaviors

By Linda Larsen - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Featured Image

As a motivational speaker I focus a lot on how to create healthy, strong, mutually satisfying relationships. And one of my most favorite sources of information is the work of Dr. John Gottman. Since the 1980's, John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington has brought together over 3,000 couples to study their interactions and, based on how they communicate with each other, determine whether or not they will still be married fifteen years later. His accuracy rate, if he watches them interact for one hour, is a whopping 95%!

He has found that his information comes by focusing on the presence of what he calls the Four Horsemen: defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt. And the most important one in determining if the marriage is in trouble - is contempt.

Could you unwittingly be engaging in any of those behaviors? It can happen. I think that I have one of the healthiest relationships in the world, but if I am reeeeally honest, I admit that defensive can creep into my interactions. I'm getting better, but I have to be ever-vigilant.

Here's a plan: Tell your mate that because you value your relationship with him (a man for purposes of this example) you want to make CERTAIN that you don't unintentionally do anything to jeopardize it. Tell him about Dr. Gottman's work and then ask him if you are ever guilty of any of those four behaviors.

Now, more than likely, you have never asked this before. And it's quite possible he could think, "Uh oh. This is a trap. The right answer MUST be 'No, never!'" Accordingly, if that is his response, do NOT drop it there. Persist by saying, "Honey, I know I probably don't do any of these to any large degree, but is there one I ever do just a little?

If he still says "Oh no. You're perfect," gently persist. "But, if there WAS one, what would it be?"

You might then get a response like, "Well, you hardly EVER do it. And it's not even worth mentioning, but sometimes, I can't even remember when - I think you might have a tendency me..."

THIS IS THE MAKE-OR-BREAK-MOMENT!! RESIST the temptation to say, "What! Are you crazy? I don't ever do that!! Name a time - name ONE time!!!"

If you respond like that, he will more than likely clam up and your purpose will be totally defeated. The bottom line is - how can you ever correct a problem that you won't acknowledge and discuss?

Then, once it's up on the table you can tell him how much you appreciate him letting you know and that you will consciously work on correcting it.

DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!  This is graduate level stuff!  It is NOT easy to hear someone tell you that you are engaging in less than attractive behaviors.  But just like that slogan button that I am so fond of quoting reads:

"The Truth Will Set You Free... But First It Will Piss You Off."

Ain't it the truth...

Linda Larsen,  Humorous Motivational Speaker
Helping people bring their finest, best & happiest self to life!

About the Author

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day! To talk to Linda about how she can contribute to the success of your next event, call 941-927-4700. Or go to Book Linda Now!

Like this blog? Share it!

Recent Posts



Tag Cloud

beauty how to get what you want healthcare success happiness Broadway laughter communication model chronic back pain fear of trump presidency Delta goal setting gift ideas appreciation Dr. Brene Brown, The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto difficult people American Idol motivational speaker success depression Conrad Hall cell phone addiction Dr. Phil Hillary Clinton attitude listening Shakespeare, thank-you notes achieving success Hamilton conflict management back relief happy customers how to deal with negative people negative thinking Lin-Manuel Miranda Donald Trump latex mattress review mental illness listening skills stressful elections building rapport lying in politics parenting mans search for meaning how to strengthen relationships bad drivers compassion bucket list passion Tim Richardson effective communication communication bottom line improvement marriage raving fans feeling good best bed for bad back zig ziglar southern accent encouragement goal achievement dr. john gottman complainers difficult patients Viktor Frankl communication skills proactive people divorce statistics gripers unhappy employees successful dental practices personal responsibility Noah Racey's Pulse brain chemistry happiness at work costumes bipolar disorder anxiety stress management good night's sleep public speaking horror stories building character tension patient service customer service habits motivational speaker on communication what you name the thing panic attacks cheerleading magic act managing stress stonewalling dental practice strategies political anxiety controlling your emotional state funny motivational speakers gratitude criticism iPhone4S mindset learning speak up positive attitude coronavirus Asolo State Theater Kelly Swanson achievements motivational speaker Linda Larsen airline pilots self confidence actors changing behaviors shakespeare truth in politics getting to yes time management election 2016 marshmallow test defensiveness self talk customer service secrets understanding the business of motivational speaker how to listen finding humor dental practice mattress recommendation self-image attitudes National Car Rental personal development confidence humor changing habits power of a smile whiners linda larsen remodel stress joy Changing perspectives husbands who don't listen truth funny motivational speaker selling happiness multi-tasking positive perspective how to have high self-esteem vision boards friendships how to become a motivational speaker liking personal growth motivational speaker flying eyebrows funny motivational speaker Linda Larsen trust in relationships gender communication motivational speakers change speaking nightmares overcoming adversity motivational speaker on customer service how to happy aging contempt facebook activity PhotoShop Gary Marachek losing weight reframing holiday stress nonverbal communication relationship building motivational speaker Brad Montgomery personality types expectations Meryl Runion raising happy children sleep Politifact motivation coping with anxiety Lenscrafters advertising customer service training fact checking Kay Frances clinical depression high self-esteem personal achievement Covid 19 humorous motivational speaker funny video handling fear acting