5 Steps to Master The Magic 5:1 Ratio

Productivity,
Mental health,
August, 2022

According to Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winner, we have around 20,000 ‘moments’ every day. The moment is defined as a few seconds, during which the brain records a new experience. The quality of the days spent is assessed by our brain on the basis of the division of moments into positive, negative or neutral moments. However, we seldom remember these so-called ‘neutral moments’ - their total sum, and the number of positive versus negative moments, seem to form our overall mood.

The presence of positive interactions every day is absolutely crucial for creating a good mood - however, both poles are important for a healthy mentality. Positive things enable the connection of partners, strengthen trust and stabilize relationships; negatives, in turn, move the relationship forward and make them aware of our individual needs. Scientists, led by John Gottman, the founder of the Gottman Institute, have verified that what significantly affects our lives is the relationships we have between others - and with so much, he can predict almost everything with incredible accuracy, from performance at work to the probability of divorce. John Gottman recognized 700 newly married couples and, based on a 15-minute conversation during which he scored positive and negative interactions, predicted whether the couples would stay together or in the following years they would file for divorce. After ten years, it turned out that he predicted the divorce with an accuracy of 94%.

His biggest finding was the 5:1 rule. In order to be happy in a marriage, the ratio of positive interactions to negative ones must be greater than 5:1. Once the ratio drops below 5:1, the marriage faces problems. And interestingly, the ratio of couples that eventually divorced was around 0.77: 1, meaning three positive interactions to four negative ones.

How can we apply this to our relationships?

We can't control something we don't even know about. Those who do not know about the 5: 1 rule may not even think about the interactions they experience with their partner on a daily basis in this manner. Awareness of this rule could mean beginning to get the ratio of positive and negative interactions under control. Focus on your interactions with your partner in the coming days, and map which ones give you a good feeling and joy. Are these the morning moments at breakfast? When you have space to talk? A text message that you exchange during the day or in the evening? When you lie down together in bed after a long day?

Every moment counts!

Negative is stronger than positive. Just imagine that you criticized your wife in front of her friends, and you thought you'd make up for it with dinner. After all, one compensation for one mistake. WRONG! You know that your partner can be upset much longer, and that one dinner is definitely not enough - one negative interaction hurts us and our relationship more than one positive interaction helps. Therefore, keep in mind that if you make a mistake and harm your partner, do not expect it to be saved by one conciliatory gesture. Try and do some pleasant things that allow your partner to recover and overcome a negative experience.

Wherever we focus our attention, energy flows. If we focus on what does not work in our relationship, we only strengthen the negative interactions and their influence. On the contrary, when we focus on the nice moments in our relationship, and we can appreciate them retrospectively, we can work miracles. All you have to do is tell your partner inadvertently in the car, "Honey, I really liked last night when we were watching that movie."

Maintaining a healthy relationship requires effort. It can be difficult to maintain a ratio greater than 5: 1 in a long-term relationship - that is why it is more than sensible to plan positive things. Just as you write a meeting with a client, or a family celebration in your diary, write "send her a nice picture" or "buy him his favorite chips for the movie". Do it and you will be surprised how easier your life for the two of you will be.

Start with yourself. Nothing hurts your relationship like resentment to your partner for not caring enough about your relationship. This causes you to interact negatively - leave the discontentment and do something nice right away. It has been proven that making others happy activates the same nerve center as when we ourselves receive a reward or a gift.

You are actually doing it for yourself!

Let something nice happen at your home today!

(You can find out more about John Gottman on the official website www.gottman.com)

Original source: 5 steps to master the magic 5: 1 ratio

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