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The Four Worst Behavior Traits That Destroy Relationships

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Psychologist John Gottman identifies what he calls the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” the four worst behavior patterns that destroy interpersonal relationships.

The four most destructive behavior traits, according to Dr. Gottman are listed below.

Criticism: stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partner’s personality, i.e., giving the partner negative trait attributions. Example: ‘You always talk about yourself. You are so selfish.’”

Contempt: statements that come from a relative position of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated. Example: ‘You’re an idiot.’”

Defensiveness: self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack. Example: ‘It’s not my fault that we’re always late; it’s your fault.’”

Stonewalling: emotional withdrawal from interaction. Example: The listener does not give the speaker the usual nonverbal signals that the listener is ‘tracking’ the speaker.”

Read more about his findings here.

As devastating as those four behavior patterns are, there are many others to be wary of in the sea of subconscious fears and defense patterns.

The difference between reasonable people and jerks includes many possible characteristics, including excessive bias, stubbornness, defiance, domineering behavior, vanity, and dishonesty.

My findings tell me that people don’t really ever change much and you may not really get to know someone’s true personality for months or even years after regular contact.

In the extreme, all of the above red flag personality traits are readily detectable through handwriting analysis and my unconventional security investigations.

Copyright © 2014 Scott Petullo

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One Response to “The Four Worst Behavior Traits That Destroy Relationships”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Dear Scott,

    Thank you for your insightful article. After a fairy tale courtship, I awakened to find that my prince had turned into a frog. Unfortunately, his malignant narcissistic behavior began before I had combed the rice out of my hair… For the first twenty years, I believed I was the problem. As the co-dependent, for the last twenty years, I have been trying to “help” him. Now, after extensive research, I have learned that his pathology, and those seemingly little issues, were all parts of the same syndrome. He has had, and lost, at least thirty jobs, throughout his “career,” and yet blames me, for everything that’s wrong in his life. He is truly the product of a disordered narcissistic mentality. As a physically disabled woman, his rage-attacks are frightening. I want to get away from them. I am writing a book on narcissism, since it is useless to seek therapeutic intervention, on his behalf. I will include some of my experiences, with this disordered personality complex, in order to work my way out of a sad and loveless existence. I realize as a student of Astrology, that I have issues of my own, but he is grossly immature. Not grown up, in any sense, but a three-year-old, stuffed into a seventy-year-old body. No wonder he is so unhappy. (Sad).

    Love and Light,

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