The fours Horsemen The Apocalypse destroy relationships in more than 90% of the cases.
This article will show you, quickly and efficiently, what the four horsemen exactly are.
What Are The 4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse
This is a quick overview of Gottman’s four horsemen of the apocalypse.
For each horseman of relationship apocalypse I give you a quick description, an example and a quick fix.
If you need deeper information, click on the links.
Criticism is a global attack on the partner’s personality.
“you only think about yourself, you’re so selfish”
To fix criticism, the fir horseman of the apocalypse, use “I” sentences and only complain about specific situations instead of generalizing about your partner’s defects.
Defensiveness is a typical response to criticism which we deploy when we feel we are unjustly or too strongly under attack. When a partner uses defensiveness it communicates that he is more interested in not taking blame than listening and fixing the issue. And the partner on the receiving end feels that we don’t care about them.
And it’s twice as bad when, as it’s sometime the case, we defend with a counterattack.
In both cases, it often leads to an escalation. Here’s an example.
The antitode to defensiveness is non-defensive listening, understanding your partner point of view and accepting part of the blame.
Contempt is criticism on steroids because it adds a mean and judgmental attitude. With contempt we taunt, mock or ridicule our partner in an effort to make them appear inferior and unworthy.
To eradicate contempt at the roots you really need to change your attitude towards your partner into one of appreciation. And if you have anger issue, counting to ten before saying anything cruel will also help.
Stonewalling means to stop engaging with our partner. We withdraw from the conversation -or argument- either emotionally or physically.
Stonewalling is unnerving for men and emotionally abusive for women.
Here’s a extreme example of stonewalling:
The antidote to stonewalling is taking a break from the argument and resuming when you are calm enough to engage.
Over time the four horseman of the apocalypse will wreck a marriage or relationship. That’s why it’s important to avoid them or to eradicate them early if you notice them in your relationship.