TOPIC 33 HOPE AND POWER LEADING. DO YOU SMILE MORE THAN YOU FROWN, PRAISE MORE THAN YOU CRITICIZE? HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE FIVE TO ONE RULE?
ABOUT THE PICTURE: Weddings are full of hope and according to most statistics and far too many jokes, the hope is sadly mis-placed.My mother’s mother in her wedding dress. Did she have a happy wedding. Don’t think so. Moreover her husband died in his early fifties leaving her somewhat dependent on the kindness of strangers. David and I watched Plaza Suite, the other night. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a few laughs, particularly the last segment. That involves a bride who locks herself in the bathroom fearing her marriage will be like her parents.
Cranky Old Man laughed so hard, if he had false teeth, they would have been blown across the room. He had good dental care, one of the benefits of parents with money enough to get you to the dentist on time. My parents had no money to spare for dental care, However, I didn’t laugh my dentures out or even wet my Cranky Old Lady panties, but I did have a few laughter tears running down my cheeks. So when you need a laugh, try Plaza Suite. I borrowed it from our local library, so I suspect it is on Net Flicks or somewhere free.
Back to the Five to One Rule. It keeps the hope alive that leads most people to marrying. Here is the scholarly article, followed by my very brief synopsis.
Bad Is Stronger Than Good Here’s a quote:” Centuries of literary efforts and religious thought have depicted human life in terms of a struggle between good and bad forces. At the metaphysical level, evil gods or devils are the opponents of the divine forces of creation and harmony. At the individual level, temptation and destructive instincts battle against strivings for virtue, altruism, and fulfillment. “Good” and “bad” are among the first words and concepts learned by children (and even by house pets), and most people can readily characterize almost any experience, emotion, or outcome as good or bad.
And here is the finding that all should attend to: ” Gottman (1994) has proposed a revealing diagnostic index for evaluating relationships: He proposed that in order for a relationship to succeed, positive and good interactions must outnumber the negative and bad ones by at least five to one.”
STAYING STRONG TIP If you want a relationship to thrive you must accentuate the positive for there is no chance you will eliminate the negative. Every frown must be counterbalanced by five smiles, every complaint by five thank you’s.
Moreover, although not discussed in the article, I suspect there has to be some similarity in terms of a weight ratio between the two factors. Five smiles might counter balance a frown, but would not in my mind counter a slap or punch. Nor would five verbal thank you’s undo a negative written report about your job performance.
Still keeping the ratio in mind is extremely helpful, particularly for parents and teachers. If you are the parent of a toodler, keep count of how many times you must say no in one way or another. When you do, try a quick hug and four more positive interactions before you have to say no again. The parenting gurus make a good point that we almost always stop our children from fighting, but rarely comment when they play together well. These suggest “Catching your child doing the right thing” is as or more important then stopping the bad. Good advice.
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IMAGE BY: Who knows, I don’t.