Being kind to your partner when you’re feeling upset can be one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship. However, it is also one of the most crucial moments to demonstrate kindness. Research conducted by Dr. Gottman reveals that couples who approach arguments with gentleness are more likely to effectively manage conflict without causing harm to the relationship.
Dr. Gottman‘s findings indicate that he can predict the success or failure of a relationship with over 90% accuracy based on how couples handle these moments.
In a widely-read interview with the Atlantic Magazine, Dr. Julie Gottman explains that kindness does not mean suppressing anger, but rather, it involves choosing a kinder approach when expressing that anger. Instead of hurling insults or attacking your partner, you can explain your feelings of hurt and anger in a more considerate manner.
The Importance of Kindness
Kindness is not limited to moments of argument but extends to your overall behavior in the relationship. When committing to a long-term partnership, most individuals make some form of promise or vow to support and care for their partner. Additionally, they also make a secondary promise to be their best selves, characterized by integrity and a hopeful outlook for the future.
Choosing not to be kind is therefore not only hurtful to our partners but also to ourselves, as it undermines our efforts for personal growth and the potential for deeper intimacy. A relationship requires the joint effort of two individuals who consciously and enthusiastically work towards a shared vision.
Despite the challenges of daily life, each partner has control over their behavior. While couples grow together, they should also continue to grow as individuals to consistently bring their best selves to the relationship.