Discuss the role of communication in maintaining relationships
Role of attributions in the maintenance of relationships
Gottman’s theory of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – communication that predicts marital dissatisfaction
- Criticism: Making dispositional attributions (e.g. attacking the partner’s personality or character with the intent of making the partner wrong).
- Contempt: Attacking the partner’s sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse him or her (e.g. hostility, sarcasm, mockery).
- Defensiveness: Seeing yourself as a victim (e.g. making excuses by referring to factors out of your control, cross-complaining – listening to your partner’s complaint but returning it with a complaint of your own).
- Stonewalling: Withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid (e.g. by silent treatment, monosyllabic response, or changing the subject.