A Simple But Effective Method To Improve All Your Relationships: The Magic 5 to 1 Ratio

Many of us know that happy relationships are the key to a successful and peaceful life. However, Harvard researchers had been conducting a study on 268 people for more than 70 years. The name at the beginning of the study summarized the result of the research in one sentence: “Happiness is to love. Dot.”
Other research shows that warm and loving relationships improve your physical health and positively affect your job satisfaction and income. According to science, good friends are the worst enemies of stress, and relationships are the wheels of business, as any professional can tell you.
Keeping your relationships strong may seem difficult, but it’s just as important. However, no matter how complex relationships are, keeping them strong often involves remembering a single ratio.

The magic ratio for happy relationships

Married for only seven days, Polina Marinova asked readers of The Profile about the secrets of the good marriage. Excellent recommendations have arrived. This entire article is well worth a read, but in the middle comes an important but very simple tip: “Make sure your relationship is following a 5 to 1 ratio.”
This tip may have come from a reader of The Profile, but it’s not just some random odds imagined by a self-proclaimed “love expert” on the internet. This tip is backed by decades of research by John Gottman, an accomplished expert on marriage and relationships.
You may have heard of Gottman’s famous ability to predict which couples will get divorced with 90% accuracy. For this, Gottman and his colleagues looked to see if a couple followed a 5 to 1 ratio. As explained on the Gottman Institute website:
“The difference between happy and unhappy couples is the balance between positive and negative interactions during conflict. There is a very specific ratio that makes love lasting. This “magic ratio” is 5 to 1. This is for each negative interaction during an argument, stable and means a happy marriage has five (or more) positive interactions.”
These interactions don’t have to be anything grand or dramatic. A simple eye roll or voice raising counts as a negative interaction. A quick joke to ease tension, shaking your partner’s hand, or listening closely to your partner in everyday conversations creates positive interaction. What matters is not the scale of the movement, but its relative frequency.
According to Marinova’s reader, this is an idea you can easily put into action in your own relationship. “Every time she gets angry or tired, she pushes herself to do something thoughtful or nice for her husband,” says Marinova.

It also applies to business relationships.

Divorce lawyers agree that following positive interactions versus negative interactions helps prevent your relationship from getting derailed. However, while the 5 to 1 ratio was invented for couples, it’s a pretty handy standard to keep in mind for all your relationships. Their friendship becomes more nurturing if both parties are confident that the little goodnesses outweigh the weaknesses.

People are complex, and as we all know, maintaining healthy, positive relationships can seem complicated. However, if you take the 5 to 1 ratio as a basis for how you interact with each other, all your relationships will flourish and become stronger. Be sure to try it!

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