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The Art of Arguing: Using Disagreements to Deepen Your Relationships with Dr. Julie and John Gottman

Julie Gottman, PhD, is the cofounder of The Gottman Institute and cofounder of Affective Software, Inc. A highly respected clinical psychologist, she is the author of the national bestseller Eight Dates and the New York Times bestseller The Love Prescription. S he is sought internationally by media and organizations as an expert adviser on marriage, domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorders, gay and lesbian adoption, and parenting issues.

John Gottman, PhD, is world-renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction. Dr. Gottman has conducted over fifty years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples. He is the cofounder of The Gottman Institute and Affective Software, Inc., as well as the author of over 200 published academic articles and author or coauthor of more than forty books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and The Love Prescription and the national bestseller Eight Dates.

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Can the biggest conflicts in your relationship actually bring you closer and create deeper intimacy?

Happy couples fight. But there is a difference between healthy conflict and unhealthy fighting. One leads to stronger marriages and relationships while the other ends in heartbreak, frustration, and loneliness. But even more importantly, how you fight can predict the future of your relationship.

I’m excited to welcome our guests John and Julie Gottman to the show today. The Gottman’s are world experts on relationships with over fifty years of research and clinical experience. Together, they founded The Gottman Institute and have written multiple books, including their latest, Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict Into Connection.

Conflict between two people is inevitable. But the first three minutes of that fight can lead to understanding or disaster. Listen in as the Gottman’s share the four horseman behaviors that ruin marriages and show you to use the Bagel Method to compromise and connect for a happier, healthier partnership.

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"When you attack and use criticism, you get back defensiveness and escalation."

Drs. John and Julie Gottman

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**This week’s show notes are taken from the video — enjoy!**

  • This is why the Gottman’s believe conflict can be good in a relationship. [3:57]
  • There are two types of conflict in any relationship. Here’s what they are and how they can bring about closeness instead of separation. [5:29]
  • This is why the first three minutes of any conflict conversation is pivotal. [7:13]
  • When you fight, this is what happens in your autonomic nervous system. And that response has a profound effect on your relationship over the next three years. [10:19]
  • If you find yourself getting too upset in the moment, you may need to take a break. Here’s what that looks like. [11:43]
  • This is how you can tell if you’re flooded and need a break. [13:41]
  • Watch out for these four “horsemen” in your relationship. Here’s how to avoid them. [14:28]
  • This emotion is not only terrible for your relationship, it can destroy your immune system. [15:55]
  • What is the bagel method and how does it work? The Gottman’s explain. [17:46]
  • Here’s an example of how to use this method in a conflict. [20:18]
  • This is when compromises get sabotaged and how to avoid that. [22:00]
  • There are three different conflict styles. Here’s how to find yours and how to keep that style productive in a conflict. [24:07]
  • This is why the Gottman’s wrote the book, Fight Right. [26:55]
  • Take a screenshot, tag us (@jimkwik & @gottmaninstitute), and share your biggest takeaway from this episode.
  • To learn more about The Gottman Institute, visit their website, here.
  • Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Fight Right, here.

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