Malankara World

Family

Complements and Criticism

by Wes Hopper

"For a relationship to succeed, the frequency of positive comments has to outweigh negative remarks by about five to one. In other words, it takes five instances of agreement and support to undo the harm caused by a single criticism." - Richard Wiseman

We're fortunate that there are people who are so curious about why people do what they do that they spend their whole lives studying behavior.

That way we don't have to guess, we can just read the research!

Our quote today refers to the results of many studies of couples in relationships. The researchers were looking for factors which predicted which couples would stay together or separate.

The research gives us a good reason to bite our tongue when we're tempted to say something critical.

We now know that it will cost us at least five compliments to make up for it!

I suspect that the research would be valid for other kinds of relationships, too. Business relationships, friends, family members, especially parents and children.

That offhand critical remark can last for a long time. It's just not worth it.

There's an old saying that I heard as a kid many times - "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Now we have the research to prove it's good advice.

See Also:

Communication in Marriage
Marriage counselors agree: Most, if not all, marriage problems are rooted in poor communication. We often act in our marriages as though we are soloists, singing alone and beholden to nobody. But marriage is a duet, not a solo. And the Song of Solomon shows us a real life marriage filled with the music of intimate, personal, and open communication.

3 Conflict Management Techniques to Obey
The worst part about conflicts is that they appeal to our worst qualities and attributes. Conflicts sometimes seem to come out of no where, for little reason and once started they incite in ourselves anger, resentment, frustration and despair.

How Do You Build Positive Relationships?
Research found out that many career failures are not caused by incompetence or lack of skills, but by the various workplace conflicts/personality clashes and/or individual differences amongst employees or with their bosses.

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