Happy Friday! In today’s posting, we’d like to continue the Sound Relationship House Series by sharing a quiz designed by Dr. Gottman to assess of the state of your relationship in terms of accepting influence, a tool that the two of you can use in order to build a positive perspective in your relationship. As with all of the quizzes we share, this is not meant to be any kind of clinical diagnosis or final judgment of the state of your relationship! It is simply meant to show you where you and your partner are at in terms of this metric. Think of it as a starting point, an initial measure from which you and your partner can use our research-based methods to improve your abilities in this area and ultimately strengthen your relationship! 

Accepting Influence Questionnaire

Read each statement and circle T for “true” or F for “false.”

1. I am really interested in my partner’s opinions on our basic issues. T F 
2. I usually learn a lot from my partner even when we disagree. T F 
3. I want my partner to feel that what he or she says really counts with me. T F 
4. I generally want my partner to feel influential in this marriage. T F
5. I can listen to my partner, but only up to a point. T F
6. My partner has a lot of basic common sense. T F
7. I try to communicate respect even during our disagreements. T F
8. If I keep trying to convince my partner, I will eventually win out. T F 
9. I don’t reject my partner’s opinions out of hand. T F
10. My partner is not rational enough to take seriously when we discuss our issues. T F
11. I believe in lots of give and take in our discussions. T F
12. I am very persuasive and usually can win arguments with my partner. T F
13. I feel I have an important say when we make decisions. T F 
14. My partner usually has good ideas. T F
15. My partner is basically a great help as a problem solver. T F 
16. I try to listen respectfully, even when I disagree. T F 
17. My ideas for solutions are usually much better than my partner’s. T F
18 I can usually find something to agree with in my partner’s positions. T F
19. My partner is usually too emotional. T F
20. I am the one who needs to make the major decisions in this relationship. T F

Scoring: (it sounds confusing, but we promise it’s very simple!)
1. Give yourself one point for each “true” answer, except for questions 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 20.

2. Subtract one point for each “true” answer to questions 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 20.

6 or above: This is an area of strength in your relationship. You willingly cede power to your spouse, a hallmark of an emotionally intelligent marriage.

Below 6: Your marriage could stand some improvement in this area. You are having some difficulty accepting influence from your spouse, which can cause a marriage to become dangerously unstable. The first step to righting the situation is to understand just what it means to accept influence.

If you scored 6 or above on this questionnaire, congratulations! Remember that this doesn’t mean that you can simply skip working on this skill. As with all levels of The Sound Relationship House, attention and effort are required if you want to nurture a stable and healthy bond. If you did not score high, do not panic. By using the Gottman Method to work on accepting each other’s influence, your score is bound to increase. Learn more about The Gottman Method by picking up a copy of Dr. Gottman’s NY Times bestseller The Seven Principles for Making Marriage WorkThe Relationship Cure, or his most recent release, What Makes Love Last?!

More in The Archives
Weekend Homework Assignment: Do You and Your Partner Accept Each Other’s Influence?
Ellie Lisitsa

Ellie Lisitsa is a staff writer at The Gottman Institute and a regular contributor to The Gottman Relationship Blog. Ellie is pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognitive Dissonance at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.