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IFS 2071 Final Study Guide

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IFS 2071 Final Study Guide IFS 2071

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This is the Intimate Relationships Final Study Guide; it includes the class notes and notes on the readings!
Intimate Relationships
Nari Jeter
Study Guide
IFS 2071, final study guide
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Notetaker on Friday December 4, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to IFS 2071 at Florida State University taught by Nari Jeter in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 161 views.


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Date Created: 12/04/15
Dr. Nari Jeter IFS 2071 Final Study Guide Readings The Four Horseman (Gottman) The way a conflict starts is very important, it only takes 1 minute in a 5 minute conversation to know how the marriage will work out Harsh start up by the wife was associated with marital instability and divorce Men stonewall and withdraw emotion Not all negatives are equally corrosive 1. Criticism 2. Defensiveness 3. Contempt 4. Stonewalling 1. Criticism is any statement that implies that there is something globally wrong with one’s partner “you always”, “you never”, “you are” = criticism, not complaint A complaint does not predict anything negative in marital outcomes 2. Defensiveness is any attempt to defend oneself from a perceived attack Includes denying responsibility for the problem; which only fuels the conflict 3. Contempt is any statement or nonverbal behavior that puts oneself on a higher plane than one’s partner There is a universal facial expression for contempt 4. Stonewalling occurs when the listener withdraws from the interaction Stonewallers use brief monitoring glances, look away and down, maintain a stiff neck, and barely talk Men are more likely to stonewall than women The four horseman generally come in sequence Contempt is the worst; all others can be fixed Just because there is no negative doesn’t mean all is well Need positive All marriages have their “horseman fights” (minus contempt) Repair is generally spouses acting as their own therapist Comment on communication itself Support and soothe one another Express appreciations to softer their complaints The four horseman alone allow us to predict divorce 85% accurate The other 15% lies in the effectiveness of repair The Magic Ratio (Gottman) 5 to 1 positive to negative For those in the low-key avoidant marriages, less positivity is needed, because less negativity is expressed For those in the passionate, highly volatility matches, a very high level of positivity is demanded to make up for all the negativity in the air Negative emotions: Criticism, contempt, defensiveness, withdrawal, and loneliness NOT ANGER, unless with criticism and contempt Engaged listeners and a lot less bad Positive: Show interest, Be affectionate, Show you care, Be appreciative, Show your concern, Be empathetic, Be accepting, Joke around, Share your joy Class Notes Conflict as a Source of Understanding What is conflict? A conflict requires that an individual or dyad must be presented with two different options, choices, opinions, thoughts, feelings. We can have internal conflict We can have interpersonal conflict Often times, the process of choosing the outcome of the conflict is difficult, thus giving conflict a negative connotation Are Conflicts Healthy? According to a leading marriage researcher and therapist, Dr. John Gottman, fighting or airing out grievances and complaints (conflict) is one of the healthiest things that a couple can do for their relationship The Magic Ratio To reinforce his point about quality of conflict, Dr. John Gottman found, through extensive research, that there is a magic ratio of positive to negative things that occur in marriages 5:1 positive to negative (known as master) .8:1 positive to negative (known as disaster) Notice he doesn’t say that negative things do not happen, they need to be balanced out by many more positive things in the relationship Avoiding Conflict One negative way of handling conflict is avoiding it. When people avoid conflict directly, they still find a way to manage their thoughts and feelings toward it Building up of anger or resentment towards the other person in the conflict Being Self-destructive Passive Aggression: indirect expression of anger Sabotage Displacement By doing these things, people are only increasing negativity in the relationship Beneath the Conflict Many times the conflict is an event on the tip of the iceberg. What we disagree about it based on our thoughts, feelings, and emotions What you see -> The Event What you get -> Perceptions, Attitudes, Values, Cultures, Interests, Gender, Communication, Feelings, Needs, Moods, Assumptions Consequences of Conflict Avoidance So what happens when you avoid conflict? Problems do not get solved! There is a missed opportunity for learning and understanding in the relationship By missing out on learning and understanding you are missing out on growing and building intimacy Problem Understanding before Problem Solving Problem Understanding Many times people get frustrated in problem solving/ conflict resolution because they are trying to solve the problem before fully understanding it Some people are not as concerned with the problem solution outcome, only that they are heard and understood Especially true for women Before Problem Solving Therefore it is critical that you (and the other person) fully understand each other’s perspectives to understand the problem How do you know that someone understands you and your view of the problem? What are the signs that someone is trying to understand you? What are things you try to do to let others know you are trying to understand? Asking questions. Are All Problems Solvable? Solvable: a conflict or problem that has a solution Perpetual: a conflict that within a relationship can never be solved or solved with extensive, exhaustive work Conflict-> Understand-> Solvable-> Yes-> Solution // Solvable-> No-> You’re decision, most likely not continuing relationship Communication Danger Sign All Communication is not the same. Although “communication” is an important part of all relationships, all communication is not the same. For example: “I love you” “You’re so lazy” The Silent Treatment “You irritate me” “I am disappointed that you didn’t take out the garbage” These are all communication, but they all have a different impact on a relationship, and some of these messages are considered “healthier” than others. Gottman’s Four Horseman Contempt: Characterized by the intent to insult, hurt, or abuse your partner emotionally. One of the most dangerous communication danger signs. Example: rolling eyes, name calling, mocking Criticism: attacking personality rather than a specific identifiable behavior Example: You are ___ (lazy, mean, dramatic, crazy, etc.) Defensiveness: defending yourself from a perceived attack, which only serves to escalate the argument Example: attacking the other person, downplaying your responsibility, or dismissing the other person’s feelings or point of view. Defensiveness is a normal reaction for everyone Stonewalling: refusing to listen to the other person’s complaints or stories (physically and emotionally). Example: leaving, zoning or tuning out, silent treatment A Fifth Communication Danger Sign Belligerence: a behavior that is provocative and that challenges the other person’s power and authority. Gottman later added this after much research Example: “What are you going to do about it?” “You don’t control me.” “You’re not my boss.” Productive Problem Elements of Communication for the Speaker The Communicator: the person who creates and sends the message What we wear, body presence, facial expressions, mannerisms, and tone of voice are all forms of information communicator The Message: The unite of information transmitted between sender and receiver, which contains thoughts, feelings, ideas, suggestions, or commands. The Medium: The way a message is presented to the recipient Talking, texting, e-mail, written note. Message to a degree is interpreted and determined by the medium. The Speaker Roles Speak for yourself, don’t mind read! Keep statements brief, don’t go on and on! Stop to let the listener process what you are saying and check with them that they heard what you intend them to. Share “the floor”. XYZ Statements Effective way to air a complaint When you did X ___ On occasion Y ___ I felt Z ____ This model focuses on identifying specific behaviors which helps to avoid the negative communication pattern of criticism (attacking personality) This model helps to avoid mind reading This model helps the speaker to focus on communicating their own feelings The Recipient: the person who listens to and decodes the message The receiver interprets the message based on his or her personality, life experiences, and the relational context Active Listening Requires effort on the part of the listener Tuning out distractions Listen for actual words/ message while interpreting/ decoding message Reading communicators non-verbal cues The Listener Role Paraphrase what you hear the speaker say Try to use their words/ language Focus on the speaker’s message Don’t mind read Don’t rebut/argue Don’t interrupt The Magic Ratio … The negativity in a relationship is balanced by a “whopping amount” of positivity Relationships that did not last had just as much negativity as positivity According to Dr. Gottman, he found that stable marriages had a 5:1 ratio of positivity to negativity in the relationship The Negativity Dr. Gottman even assumed “anger” was a negative thing in relationships However, his research found that anger was only problematic when it coupled with: Criticism, Contempt, Defense, Etc The Positive Show Interest, Be Affectionate, Show you care, Being appreciative, Showing concern, Being empathetic, being accepting, joking around, Sharing joy Second Law of Thermodynamics “Closed energy systems lose energy and get less orderly” Marriage is a closed relationship If you do nothing to make things better, but do not do anything wrong, the marriage will still tend to get worse over time This means you need to make an effort (positivity)!


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