#Askingforafriend: The magic ratio

Photo by Will O/Unsplash.com

By Kiesha Collins
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

Have you ever noticed that some relationships flow smoothly while others might require a bit of intentional effort? Perhaps it is related to personality differences, conversational styles or value preferences. There could be a myriad of varying factors at play.

However, as complicated as relationships can be at times, keeping them healthy and strong can come down to one key ingredient: the magic ratio.

Despite having ‘magic’ in the name, there is no magic involved. The magic ratio is based on science.

Best known for his 40 years of research centered on relationships, as well as his ability to predict the outcome of a marriage with 90% accuracy, Dr. John Gottman and his collaborators identified that one of the main proponents of a strong relationship is the 5:1 ratio.

According to Gottman, for every one negative interaction experienced in a relationship, there should be at least five positive interactions to keep the relationship positive, healthy and stable.

To be clear, negative interactions do not have to be big events. This can look like a simple eye roll, utilizing silence or even having a condescending tone. Likewise, positive interactions do not have to be grand gestures, such as fancy dinners and flowers (though they probably can’t hurt), but, rather, can be small acts of kindness, such as a hand squeeze, compliment or making the other person laugh.

The 5:1 ratio is a great way to get creative and be deliberate in your relationships, whether a romantic relationship or one between friends or family. Try to be the initiator of these positive moments rather than waiting for others to act first, because we all know that positivity feeds off positivity, just as negativity behaves in the same manner.

Unsure of ideas for creating positive interactions in your relationships? We have you covered:

  • Practice empathy
  • Learn when to simply listen
  • Utilize nonverbal communication (such as a smile)
  • Show appreciation
  • Create opportunities of agreement (watching a favorite movie or discussing a topic you both enjoy)

Conflict is unavoidable and does not necessarily have to be a wedge in a relationship. It can be an opportunity for improving connection, as well as addressing needs in the relationship. Keeping in mind the 5:1 ratio will help to reduce and manage conflicts as well as strengthen your relationships.

What five positive interactions will you do for those in your life today?

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when He appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:21)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/