❤️ The #1 Relationship Hack
“My wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met.” - Rodney Dangerfield With all due respect to Rodney, the research on marriage is encouraging: marriage can have a protective effect on people's mental health. The Harvard Study of Adult Development found that people in their 80s who had happy marriages reported that their moods remained upbeat, even on days when they experienced physical pain. But the study also found that the stress of an unhappy marriage is worse for your health and happiness than being single. The tip featured in this newsletter will improve any close relationship, but especially applies to romantic relationships. The world’s leading relationship scientists, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman have been married for 35 years, a good look for expert relationship scientists. The Gottmans say that they can watch a couple for 15 minutes and can tell with 90 percent accuracy whether or not they will stay together, and how happy their union will be. Don't know about you, but I'd be afraid to invite the Gottman's over for dinner...
These relationship scientists sure do look happy! How are the Gottmans able to accurately determine if a relationship is stable or rocky? The biggest clue is in the bids. 💡The big idea: How we respond to bids for connection or attention can make or break a relationship. The big takeaway: In those momentary bids for connection, attention, or support, that happen many times each day, turn toward your partner. Explainer: There are three ways you can respond to a bid: 1. Turn toward your partner 2. Turn away from your partner 3. Turn against your partner Here’s an example: You and your partner are sitting quietly reading, when your partner discovers something interesting that they want to share with you. Turn toward: You stop reading, turn toward your partner and listen, perhaps following up with a question to indicate that you too find the topic fascinating. Turn away: You fake attention with a “hmm” noise and continue reading without truly acknowledging what your partner said. Turn against: You tell your partner not to bother you right now because you’re engrossed in your own reading. The single biggest predictor of happiness in a relationship is how you characteristically respond to each other’s bids. If around 85 percent of the time you turn toward your partner when they make a bid, you’re on pretty solid ground. If it’s only about a third of the time or less, thousands of couples worth of research says that spells trouble. Bottom line: Love is a verb, not a noun, and it's found in small daily actions such as turning toward. Do it now. Start observing your partner. Become aware of their bids for your attention, support, and connection. And be flattered. “Think about what an enormous compliment it is that your partner thinks you’re important enough to actually reach out multiple times to connect with you and to ask for something from you. That’s how important you are.” - John Gottman 🔋 Get fully charged on improving your closest relationships: The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy (a 5-Minute Recharge book club selection) by The Gottmans This Brené Brown interview with The Gottmans explains the concept of turning toward and how tiny daily actions can make a big difference in the quality of your relationships.
🚨Get a Quick Charge out of these: 🏃Last year Jo Schoonbroodt ran more than twice as far (4,450 miles) as he drove his car, and he just completed his 75th sub-3 hour marathon. Jo Schoonbroodt is 71 years old. 🦃 🍲 🥧 Can overindulgence make you happy? Yes! 😋
📝 Dan Pink has a noteworthy challenge for you. 💰 Can money buy you happiness? It depends on how you spend it. ⏰ Time management guru Laura Vanderkam shares her 9 top strategies for finding Tranquility by Tuesday. The Recharge Quote of the Week comes from 71-year-old Jo Schoonbroodt, the fastest septuagenerian marathon runner in history. Jo stresses the importance of joy in movement.