How to Maintain Healthy Relationships

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Scenario: "Dude, you just gotta make up whenever you do something bad happens to your relationship. Yay!" It all sounds fine-and-dandy: Making up whenever there's a relationship downer -- whether that's with your employees, your customers, your vendors, or your personal relationships. But, our brains are more affected by the negatives than the positives, according to researchers. That is, we tend to remember negative experiences much more than positive ones. So if you did something shady to your customer, that means it takes much more than just "making up."

What Does It Take?

According to the researchers, it takes a ratio of 5 positives to make up 1 negative in a relationship:

As long as there was five times as much positive feeling and interaction between husband and wife as there was negative, researchers found, the marriage was likely to be stable over time. Other researchers have found the same results in other spheres of our life.

Frequently Small Positive Acts Rock

It is the frequency of small positive acts that matters most, in a ratio of about five to one. Occasional big positive experiences--say, a birthday bash--are nice. But they don't make the necessary impact on our brain to override the tilt to negativity. It takes frequent small positive experiences to tip the scales toward happiness.

So when you're trying to maintain a kick-booty relationship, remember:

Small positives = sexy.

 

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Posted on January 20

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