Relationship Minute: Witness, not fix this

When you see your partner in pain, your first instinct may be to offer advice or fix the problem to alleviate their suffering.

However, it can be more helpful to simply offer a listening ear. Acting as an empathetic witness to your partner’s struggles is often the most supportive move.

Offering advice can unintentionally communicate that you think they aren’t smart enough or capable of solving their own problems.

When in doubt, replace your solution with two magic words: “That sucks.”

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 18 April 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

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Relationship Minute: Focus on being interested, not interesting

In his 1937 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie wrote, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

While Carnegie’s advice centers on friendship and sales, our research shows that you can apply the same principles to build better relationships with your spouse, your siblings, your children, your boss—anyone who plays a significant role in your life.

That’s because everybody wants to feel valued and appreciated.

So focus on being interested, not interesting.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 28 February 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Pay attention

It’s not the depth of intimacy in conversations that matters.

It doesn’t even matter whether you agree or disagree.

The important thing is how you pay attention to each other, no matter what you’re talking about or doing.

So listen to your partner. And put your phone down when they want to chat.

Related Blog Posts

The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 12 February 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: Listen Listen Listen

Be sure you understand what your partner is saying before responding.

When you respond, try to do so with kindness.

Treat your partner like they are someone you love.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 4 December 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.