94% of the time, couples who put a positive spin on their relationship’s history and their partner’s character are likely to have a happy future. These couples regularly update their Love Maps, deepen their fondness and admiration, and turn toward each other. Friendship is the essence of a lasting and happy relationship because it is the key to staying in the Positive Perspective.
Dr. Gottman refers to the Positive Perspective as Positive Sentiment Override because in relationships that succeed, the positive overrides the negative. It is a profound force that maintains trust and gives each partner the benefit of the doubt when conflicts inevitably occur. They perceive each other’s acts as positive and don’t take their partner’s negative emotions personally. Most unhappy couples are in Negative Sentiment Override, which is a way of saying they have a tendency to perceive harmless or neutral comments as negative.
Negative Sentiment Override is built on the belief that your partner is not just thoughtless on occasion, but thoughtless in general. As a result, it rewrites the Story of Us with a persistent negative spin, putting the relationship at risk.
The following quiz will help you assess your current level of Positive Perspective and determine whether it could use some attention.
When my partner is in a bad mood I usually:
If you’d like to take the full Positive Perspective Questionnaire, add your email below and we’ll send it directly to your inbox. Over the next nine weeks we will be offering a variety of quizzes to help you assess the strengths in your relationship and identify areas that may need attention.
If this is an area of weakness for your relationship, you can learn how to keep your relationship in the Positive Perspective here.
Note: These questionnaires are intended to be psychoeducational. If you would like a full evaluation of your relationship, you can ask your therapist to invite you to complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup. If you’re not currently seeing a therapist, you can find one in your area on the Gottman Referral Network.More in The Questionnaires