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The Relationship Cure Summary

In The Relationship Cure Summary, Gottman shares 5 steps for strengthening relationships with your
family, partner and friends, through this book author wants to strengthen the emotional connection of
people.

Step 1: Examine Your Bids for Connection

What is bidding?

The author says that bidding can be high or low energy, it can be physical or intellectual, it can be verbal
or non-verbal, it’s a content which involves thought-feelings, observation, opinions or invitations.

Non-verbal bidding can be affectionate, playful touching it can be affiliating gestures; there are three
ways’ we respond to bidding

First – turning toward: here we respond in a positive way to a person’s bids for emotional connection
example of turning toward – A wife shares her desire to her husband regarding taking a vacation, after
listening to her, husband agrees and says that they should start working on a plan, Turning towards
means getting positive response from the other person

Second – turning against: Here person can behave in a hateful or argumentative manner; this type of bid
(feeling emotions) usually involves sarcasm and ridicule. Example of turning against – Wife ask her
husband to switch off the television so that she can share her entire day events, instead of listening to
her, the husband turns against her and says what is there to talk about.?

Third – Turning Away: in this kind of bidding person starts ignoring another person’s bid (feeling
emotions) for emotional connection, or acting preoccupied.

Example of turning away: there are two friends, one friend is talking about his dreams instead of
listening to him another friend just don’t bother to his talk and interrupt him in between and talk on
something else. Not bothered about what other person is talking, shifting the conversation to some
other thing is known as turning away.

Characteristics of Bid busters:

Bid busters are usually mindless instead of being mindful, they start the conversation of relationship on
a sour note, they use harmful words instead of helpful complaints and they always avoid needed
conversation.

How you can avoid being a bid buster:

1. Be mindful, always notice other individuals need, feelings and emotions and respond to them
positively

2. Always stay in present, stay in the moment with your loved ones
3. Try to become a collector of emotional moments

4. Start setting goals in your relationship

5. Always stay in the present and consciously look for the opportunities to connect with others.

6. Always start your conversation on a softer not

7. Begin any relationship and talk with something positive

8. Always express your appreciation and gratitude feeling

9. Don’t start an argument, don’t blame others, first think about your faults in any relationship,
start with “I” Instead of “YOU”

10. Don’t criticize, helpful complaints address specific problems, criticism is more judgmental and
personal

How to handle flooding:

When you argue with your loved ones, that arguments or discussion may trigger intense emotions in
them, the person becomes much stressed and they become physically and emotionally overwhelmed,
several emotions start flowing in us, hence author calls this flowing of emotions as flooding in order to
handle it properly author has shared several constructive ways to handle it.

1. At first, take a time out from that particular conversation or argument at least for 20 minutes,
and in those 20 minutes relax yourself, go out take a walk, meditate, do body relaxation
exercises, read or do anything which makes you feel good.

2. In those 20 minutes don’t think about the conflict argument or discussion, just relax give
yourself some peaceful time.

3. After that 20 minutes if you find yourself and your emotions stable either go back to the same
person you were having an argument and sort it out peacefully or just cut that conflict by saying
will discuss this later not now.

4. Do exercise in order to handle flooding.

Step 2: Discover Your Brain’s Emotional Command Systems

In this step, author talks about the system which is responsible for transmitting a message from 1 nerve
cell to the next until all the cells throughout the body are activated to carry out the desired service.

The author talks about the Nerve based circuit that coordinates electrochemical signals in the brain.
In this stage, author talks about the 7 emotional command system

First – The commander in chief – This system commands Dominance, control, and power

Second – The Explorer – This system commands searching, learning and satisfying curiosity

Third – Sensualist – This system commands sexual gratification and reproduction

Fourth – The Energy Czar – This system regulates need for energy, rest and relaxation

Fifth – The Jester – This system commands play, recreation, and diversion

Sixth – The sentry – This system commands survival- Relates to worry, fear and vigilance

Seventh – The Nest Builder- This system commands Affiliation, bonding, and attachment.

Why it is important to understand the Emotional command system:

Because it educates you more towards your emotional needs, it increases your ability to make bids for
connection and also helps you to handle other’s bids for connection, it helps you to have a better
understanding about your loved ones and friends.

Step 3: Examine your Emotional Heritage

In this stage author says that families usually deal with emotions in 4 different ways:

 First, either by coaching means helping each other to cope up with problems and help each
other to solve a problem.

 Second, either by Dismissing means here feelings of family members is mostly hidden and not
acknowledged, here guidance is rarely given

 Third, either by Laissez-Faire means here expressing emotions are accepted but they frequently
wait for feelings like anger, sadness or fear etc.

 Fourth, either by Disapproving means here feelings are not expressed, it is usually hidden, and
here members are critical towards a family member who express emotion.