What Gottman refers to as Positive Sentiment Override determines a lot in the relationship, including problem-solving and repair attempts during conflict resolution.
When couples Love Maps are not updated, bids are missed, and we are not turning toward our partner, Negative Sentiment Override occurs, and skews the view through which we see our partners responses and behaviors.
If you are in Negative Sentiment Override, you will view your partner’s request to remember to feed the dog before you leave for work, as a personal attack on your ability to remember things or be responsible, as opposed to viewing this request with positive intent.
Seeing with a positive view, allows you opportunities to connect.
What kinds of assumptions do you make about your partner’s requests or behaviors? Make a list.
The next time you notice an assumption, use this as an opportunity to accept it in a positive way, and further, to then respond in a positive way.
What might happen if you say “Yeah, I’ll be sure to fill the dog dish, thanks for reminding me” as opposed to “yeah, yeah… I know I am always forgetting to feed the dog right!?”
These small simple changes in the way YOU choose to communicate, will make a big difference.
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To start making a change in how you communicate with your partner, call our office at 330-673-5812 to get scheduled with one of our experienced couples counselors.