Author: John Gottman
The relationship cure is a book true to its words. Even though some of the concepts were already known ones but the basic framework for a healthy relationship has been put in a neat and easily usable way.
The five steps involved in building a connection with anyone is
1.Analyze the way you bid and the way you respond to others’ bids.
2. Discover how your brain’s emotional command systems affect your bidding process.
3. Examine how your emotional heritage impacts your ability to connect with others and your style of bidding.
4. Develop your emotional communication skills.
5. Find shared meaning with others.
The beauty of the book is the way the author explained everything through examples which are easily relatable. Also, he mentions how it should not be done and the right way of dealing it. Even though most of it looks like common sense, that is the same common sense most of us lack when it comes to relationships.
A lot of relationships die because of the resentment which builds due to improper response to emotional bids. This is usually called as incompatibility whereas in reality it is just a matter of paying attention to your counterpart.
Even if you learn to pay attention, there is a way to communicate what you feel. You can’t be blunt and hurt the other person when they are trying to go out of their way to build the relation. There is a dedicated chapter which teaches you the basic way of communicating without offending the other person. The favorite part of this chapter for me is to collect emotional moments everyday.
Apart from the above, there are a lot of tests for you to figure out where you stand. The chapter on emotional command systems helped me in my project of classifying people based on their personality types. It explains that conflicts arise between two people because they don’t understand the emotional command system each one is built with.
Your present emotional intelligence is heavily dependent on the family you were raised in. Even though a part of it is influenced by the genes, the major part of it can be attributed to the brought up. There are tests to identify which family you were brought up in. Using that you understand the reason why you respond to emotional bids the way you do right now and how you can change them.
“Your eyes won’t lie”, this is a common statement I heard growing up. That’s true when it comes to body language. Even if you are saying nice things, when you don’t really mean it, it will show up in your body language. Any person with a bit of emotional intelligence will be able to pick up those cues.
The last but not the least part is about finding a shared meaning. Most of the deep friendships I have seen in my life rise through these. My meditation teacher also often advises me to find a deep shared meaning to build relation with anyone.
Who is this book for?
It is for anyone who is struggling to cope with their emotions. Even though the heading reads as a book on relationship, it is more about understanding yourself first. It helps you evaluate your current emotional intelligence, gives you tips on improving your intelligence and then apply them in your relations.
How should you read this book?
Don’t read it as a novel. Read a concept. Test it. It might take a week to a month. Then come back and evaluate where you stand and then proceed further.
I read this book at a stretch. But I realized that I wasn’t benefiting at all from the book. I will break it into actionable points and work on them over the next year.
Purchase your copy here.
Happy becoming emotionally intelligent!