Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling
Take this Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz to Learn Your Primary Communication Challenge
The Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz: Are These Behaviors Sabotaging Your Relationship?
Is your relationship on shaky ground? Do you find yourself constantly arguing with your partner and feeling disconnected? It might be time to take a closer look at the behaviors that could be sabotaging your relationship.
Introducing the Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz. This quiz will help you identify if you or your partner are exhibiting any of the four destructive behaviors that can lead to relationship breakdowns. According to the results of four decades of relational psychology research by Dr. John Gottman and his team, there are 4 destructive communications that lead to divorce, separation and relationship dissatisfaction.
In this article, we will explore each of Gottman’s four behaviors, known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and how they can negatively impact your connection with your partner. From criticism and contempt to defensiveness and stonewalling, these behaviors can slowly erode the foundation of your relationship if left unchecked.
By taking the Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz, you will gain a deeper understanding of your relationship dynamics and discover strategies to rebuild and strengthen your connection. Don’t let destructive behaviors continue to damage your relationship.
It’s time to take action and create a healthier, more loving partnership.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: An overview
In any relationship, bad communication can chip away at the foundation, slowly eroding the connection between partners. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in relationships, can lead to relationship breakdowns if left unchecked. Understanding and recognizing these destructive behaviors is the first step toward repairing and strengthening your relationship.
Recognizing Gottman’s Four Horsemen in Your Relationship
To identify if you or your partner are exhibiting any of the Four Horsemen behaviors, it’s important to take the relationship quiz to learn which is the most prevalent in your relationship. (By the way, you definately have some, all relationships have conflict which leads us to become defensive, critical, or shut down.)
The first horseman identified by Gottman and his team is criticism. This involves making negative judgments or attacking the character of your partner rather than addressing specific issues. Criticism can create a hostile environment and lead to defensiveness.
Defensiveness is the second of Gottman’s four horsemen and often arises as a response to criticism. When one partner feels attacked, they may become defensive, making excuses, denying responsibility, or counterattacking. This behavior can escalate conflicts and hinder effective communication.
The third Gottman horseman is contempt, which is characterized by a sense of superiority and disrespect towards your partner. Contempt can manifest through sarcasm, mockery, eye-rolling, or name-calling. This behavior creates a toxic atmosphere in the relationship and erodes emotional connection and intimacy.
The fourth Gottman horseman is stonewalling, which occurs when one partner withdraws or shuts down during conflicts. Stonewalling can leave the other partner feeling ignored, dismissed, or invalidated. It prevents healthy resolution of issues and can lead to feelings of loneliness and detachment.
The First Gottman Horseman: Criticism
The Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz will identify if criticism is one of your primary communication patters.
Criticism is a destructive behavior that often stems from frustration and dissatisfaction within a relationship. Instead of addressing specific issues and problems, criticism attacks the character of the partner. This can leave the recipient feeling attacked, defensive, and resentful. Over time, constant criticism can create a toxic environment where both partners feel unappreciated and unheard. Criticism and Defensiveness frequently travel together as each negative communication escalates the other in a cyclical patten.
To avoid the attack/defend communication cycle in your relationship, it’s important to shift from blaming and attacking to expressing your needs and concerns in a more constructive way. This can be achieved by using “I” statements, focusing on specific behaviors or situations, and offering potential solutions. This article outlines exactly how to use John Gottman’s gentle startup formula to stop criticizing and start having productive dialogues.
The Second Gottman Horseman: Defensiveness
Your Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz may identify defensiveness as one of the communication problems in your relationship.
Defensiveness is a common response to criticism and conflict within a relationship. It is often referred to as “the silent relationship killer” because unlike criticism, defensivenss can appear benign at first sight. When one partner feels attacked, they may instinctively become defensive, trying to protect themselves from further harm. However, defensiveness is equally destructive.
Instead of becoming defensive, it’s important to take responsibility for your contribution to the problem. This involves genuinely trying to understand your partner’s perspective and validating their feelings. By showing empathy and taking responsibility for your part in the conflict, you can create a safe space for open and honest communication, promoting understanding and resolution.
Here is a link to a free course to help you learn how to empathize with your partner and avoid the silent relationship killer.
The Third Gottman Horseman: Contempt
Contempt is a corrosive behavior that can chip away at the foundation of a relationship. The Gottman research found it to be the biggest predictor of divorce.
Contempt involves a sense of superiority and disrespect towards your partner, often expressed through sarcasm, mockery, or belittling comments. Contempt breeds resentment, eroding the emotional connection and intimacy between partners.
If contempt came up in the results of your four horsemen relationship quiz, it’s crucial to cultivate respect and appreciation for your partner. Focus on acknowledging their positive qualities and strengths, and express gratitude for the efforts they make. By developing a culture of respect and kindness, you can counteract contempt and create a more loving and supportive partnership.
Here is a video by certified Gottman couples therapist, Laura Silverstein who walks you through how to have a healthy relationship and fight off contempt by making a mindset shift from negativity to authentic positivity (without being fake).
The Fourth Gottman Horseman: Stonewalling
Stonewalling is a behavior where one partner withdraws or shuts down during conflicts. This can be a response to feeling overwhelmed or a way to avoid further conflict. However, stonewalling prevents healthy resolution of issues and can leave the other partner feeling unheard and disconnected.
To address stonewalling in your relationship, it’s important to create a safe and non-threatening environment for open communication.
This requires taking a break when conversations start to escalate and both parties feel heated. Here is an article that walks you through how to take a time out so that you can avoid doing and saying things you regret.
After you take a twenty minute break, encourage your partner to express their feelings and concerns, and actively listen without judgment. Finding practical strategies to manage stress and overwhelm can also help prevent stonewalling and foster a more connected and supportive relationship.
If your four horsemen relationship quiz revealed stonewalling as your most commom communication problem, try getting in the regular habit of meditating with this 7 minute progressive muscle relaxation exercise.
Taking The Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz
If you haven’t already taken the Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz, now is the time.
This couples quiz will help you identify which of Gottman’s Four Horsemen are galloping through your relationship. Answer the questions honestly to see what you can do to have a happier, healthier relationship.
The quiz will assess your level of criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. It will provide you with an individualized report about your most common destructive communication pattern and provide the resources experts recommend to help.
Remember, the purpose of this quiz is not to assign blame but to promote self-awareness and initiate positive change.
Understanding The Results of Your Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz
You will receive your quiz results instantly. The results of your Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz will provide you with a deeper understanding of your relationship dynamics and highlight areas that require attention and improvement. It’s important to approach these results with an open mind and a willingness to reflect on your behaviors and communication patterns.
Understanding your quiz results is the first step towards healing and repairing your relationship. It will shed light on the specific behaviors that may be sabotaging your connection and provide guidance on how to address them. Remember, change takes time, effort, and compassion for both your self and your partner. But with commitment and dedication, you can create a healthier and more loving partnership.
Healing and Repairing Your Relationship
Now that you have taken the Gottman Four Horsemen Relationship Quiz and identified the problematic behaviors in your relationship, it’s time to take action and begin the healing process. Healing and repairing a relationship requires open and honest communication, empathy, and a willingness to change.
Start by discussing your quiz results with your partner, sharing your insights and concerns. Together, identify specific behaviors and communication patterns that need improvement. Make a commitment to actively work on changing these behaviors and creating a more supportive and loving environment.
Seeking professional help, such as couples therapy or relationship coaching, can also provide valuable guidance and support during this process. A trained professional can help you navigate through the challenges, uncover deeper issues, and provide effective strategies for healing and rebuilding your relationship.
Remember, repairing a relationship takes time and effort from both partners. It requires patience, understanding, and a genuine desire to create a stronger and more fulfilling partnership. By addressing the Four Horsemen behaviors and implementing healthier communication patterns, you can rebuild trust, deepen your connection, and create a happier and more resilient relationship.
Don’t let destructive behaviors continue to sabotage your relationship. Your relationship is worth the effort, and with dedication and commitment, you can create the fulfilling and lasting connection you desire.
Here is another quiz for you to see whether you need marriage counseling, couples therapy, free resources, or something else.