The 4 Horsemen

How the Imago Dialogue Addresses Dr. Gottman’s 4 Horsemen:

a.         Criticism – taking it from a complaint about a behavior to making it global about the person’s character; 

Using the Intentional Dialogue, the Sender focuses on him/herself – their reaction, feelings, fears, how they interpret behavior, what it reminds them of from the past, etc.

b.         Contempt – usually follows criticism, it includes sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, hostile humor all of which convey disgust;

Instead, the Dialogue creates Validation, Respect, Connection and Empathy.

c.         Defensiveness – usually involves blaming the partner and actually escalates the attack;

(See the same reason under A, above.  This prevents blaming.  By the way, Blaming only makes us powerless, because we are saying it’s all someone else’s fault and therefore we can’t change anything!)

and finally,

d.         Stonewalling – following all the above, one partner tunes out and shuts down.

Because the Dialogue creates Safety, the chances of shutting down are extremely small.

I hope you learned a little more about Dialogue today. In my next post, I will talk about how Dialogue addresses Flooding.



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ABOUT CAROL: Carol has been married for 42 years and has been a successful Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for 20 years. As a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist & Workshop Presenter, Carol presents workshops for both Singles & Couples! Over the years, she has helped thousands of Singles & Couples FIND, CREATE & KEEP LASTING LOVE and Begin the Journey to the Relationship of their DREAMS! Carol is now transitioning to a Coaching Practice! Why not let Carol help you to create the Relationship of your Dreams as well?


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