This article in Business Insider (for some reason) has the keys to happy relationships. No, really. It’s a typical link-baity headline but it’s followed by real insight and helpful information.
Gottman is familiar to me because he’s featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, but here decades of research on marriage are distilled into a simple idea, that happy marriages are made up of little moments where one person attempts to share something and the other responds positively. “Honey, listen to this,” or even, “look at what the cat is doing. Isn’t she cute?”
You don’t think of those moments as being the foundation of a marriage, but they are. It’s two-ended, made up of both the desire to share a little moment with a loved one and the ability to turn to your partner and appreciate that they cared enough to include you.
They make up any lasting relationship, really, and are a crucial part of parenting . Children come to us with so many things they want to share, those bids for attention, and it’s so easy to dismiss them, but it’s so important to validate their desire to include us in their discoveries and victories. Heck, I think it’s a part of any long relationship: partner, parent, sibling, close friend, even colleague.
I tend to get tunneled into one I’m doing and it’s hard to drop everything and look at the cat, or appreciate the new level my kid reached on Where’s My Water. I’ll try to be better.