Dare #4 Journey – 5 Positives for Every Negative…

Negative or Positive?

What do you actually DO?

I mean, are we supposed to just run around giving compliments like crazy?

In research done by Dr. John Gottman, we learn that marriages that are considered “happy” have a number of things in common.  Here’s just a few:

  • A complete absence of contempt
  • 5 “positive” interactions for every “negative” interaction (and that’s DURING conflict – 20:1 when not!!) On average
  • A solid friendship
  • More sex
  • More time together talking
  • Celebrate successes of the other person
  • Daily small positive encounters
  • and they bring out the best in each other

Several of those ARE positives, obviously. But what are some of the “small” things that get overlooked?

Positive Examples

  • Empathize instead of trying to “fix” whatever your partner is struggling with
  • Bringing a cup of coffee or other small kindness
  • Listening attentively
  • Asking for advice, then taking it
  • Saying, “Thank you,” for a compliment
  • Giving a compliment – strength based, supported by a short story about why it matters
  • A small act of service
  • A small purchase – if you aren’t pinching pennies at the moment
  • Being thrifty regardless, but not stingy (balance)
  • A touch when communicating
  • Eye contact when listening
  • Confiding a fear (show of trust)
  • Doing a chore he hates to do
  • Listening without interrupting
  • Asking, “Is there anything I can do for you today?”
  • Doing it
  • Asking him questions about his life – be interested
  • Affirming him publicly
  • Affirming him privately
  • Initiating intimacy

coffee life changed

Challenge to You

So will you join us? Actively choose to ADD effort in the 20:1 department. Maybe yes, decrease the negatives, but ADD encouragement to your relationships. Be the #1 fan to the man you married.

We’re figuring these things out, one small step at a time, blogging our way through The Respect Dare book. And like we mentioned earlier this week, the training technology in The Respect Dare and in Daughters of Sarah is proven.

And if you’d like to read an addictive novel about 6 women who tackle the Respect Dare, you should follow Dare to Respect and read the book while doing your own dares.  The book price just dropped 40%, so don’t miss it!






If you are parenting tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings, you should totally follow  Debbie. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner.  Come join the discussions!

What do YOU think? What would you add? How are you doing in the 5:1 ratio department? How can you take things up a notch?

Love to you,



titus 2 women leadership