Posts Tagged ‘carter and evans’

Gottman has found there are four major warning signs to a failed marriage. He calls these “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. These behaviors lead to marital meltdown and divorce. The first of which is criticism. Criticism involves attacking someone’s personality or character—rather than a specific behavior—usually with blame. This can be expressed in a number of ways—“you don’t care” “you only think of your self or you are a selfish person” or “you should know better than to drink too much”. The added word “should” sends a powerful message of being scolded. Unlike complaints, criticism tends to generalize. It uses global phrases, “you never” or “you always”. When criticism starts punctuating your interactions your marriage is in trouble (Gottman, 1994, Why Marriages Succeed and Fail).

Criticism is considered a deadly habit, a form of external control, and perhaps the worst of all the deadly habits. It will disconnect you from the significant people in your life. If you have a ratio of 6 to 1, meaning for every six interactions, five or negative, your relationship is bleeding.

Most people make accurate observations. However, when they share those observations in the form of criticism, they do harm to the people they love. Accurate observations can make it difficult not to criticize. In order to stay connected you have to value the relationship and staying connected more than being “right” or expressing your “honest” opinion.

The rule of thumb is the more intimate the relationship the more damaging the criticism. Furthermore, the more accurate the criticism, the more damage it is to the relationship. Is being right and sharing your observations more important than your relationship? There is no such thing as constructive criticism. No one likes to be criticizing and the people you love are not going to change just because you are being “honest”. Criticizing is not problem solving, it’s a form of external control.

If you want to improve your interaction check out, Stop All Grousing! Its in our library.

Too often, a well-meaning parent brings her adult child to our office because of some incident at college. Nothing out of the ordinary, other than the everyday challenges we all have to meet. These adults or dropping out of college. They lack the confidence and willingness to struggle with the challenges of life. They are often overly protected children who think that the problems they now face or unfair and some one else should solve them.

How did we get into this predicament?

For the past 17 or 18 years of their life, they have had some one wake them up, remind them to do their home work, resolve conflicts at school with teachers or other kids, pick up after them at home, put their dirty dishes away, and basically watch every step they take creating a very dangerous situation. Many times these young people were above average in school, sports, and popularity. The pampering, followed by the feeling of being “special” make it even harder for them to be ordinary citizens on a college campus, where all the kids are use to doing well.

These well meaning parents mistake indulgence as “love”. They set out from the time the child is born to meet every need and desire. This does not create a self-reliant human being but a tyrant. In contrast, the well-informed parent is not concern about the child’s needs but instead teaching the child to be concerned about others. The well-informed parent moves the interest off the child onto mom, to dad, their marriage, expands this to brother and sister, the extended family, and finally the community. A child raised in such a manner has the capability of leaving home and meeting the difficulties he or she will face in college or the military.

Dr. Dreikurs states that we “cannot protect our children from life. Nor should we want to. We are obligated to train our children in courage and strength to face life. Mother’s desire to protect her boys from possible harm may have a discouraging effect. It may help them be helpless and dependent upon her.” Mother keeps her boys helpless and dependant so that she may appear important and caring.

This often results in what Dreikurs calls the “spoil brat”. This is a “child who is in a constant fury because life is not amending to his wishes. What a futile and pathetic demand! Unfortunately a child does not lose his “spoiled bratishness” as he grows into adulthood. It may become a fundamental attitude toward life. When we pamper and coddle our children and try to protect them from life, this is the gift we give them: a helpless fury against an outrageous world.” Children the Challenge pp. 189-190.

There is always a correlation the less one knows what to do, the more one tells others what they should do.
R Dreikurs

You cannot deny the power of social networking.

20+ years ago, someone would give you a phone number if they wanted you to contact them.
10 years ago, it became an email address that most would hand out first.
Today, it’s a “friend request” on a social network!

Carter & Evans Marriage and Family Therapy has joined the Facebook community: Carter & Evans on Facebook

We will be using Facebook and our Blog here to keep our clients, friends, and partners updated with news and events for everything from local group meetings to resources for learning more about Adlerian psychology.

We look forward to seeing you!

Carter & Evans Marriage and Family Therapy
Tampa, Florida