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These 4 indicators will tell you if you’re relationship could be heading towards a breakup (according to TikTok)



Breakups are, decidedly, the worst – especially when one catches you off guard. However, a relationship expert on TikTok has explained the four indicators that shows a breakup may be on the horizon.

In her now-viral TikTok video, that has been viewed an impressive 3.7 million times, relationship coach Alex Scot (thealexscot) explains the four things that ‘aren’t normal’ in a relationship.

Alex explains the ‘four horsemen’ theory, which was initially outlined by clinical psychologist Dr John Gottman. He called this research ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ and revealed the four communication behaviours in a relationship that signal a red flag.

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“The four horsemen are statistically proven to be the initial predictors of divorces or breakups. Sadly, society has kind of normalised these behaviours and I’m here to shine a big red flag so that you can stay away from them,” Alex says in the video.

So what are the four behaviours that are indicative of a breakup? We outline these below.

Contempt

“The first and worst of the four horsemen in contempt,” Alex explains. “Contempt is when you talk down to your partner as if you are superior and they are less than. Saying something like ‘I learned how to tell time when I was five, when are you ever going to learn?’ is very contemptuous and not okay. “

Defensiveness

“Another horseman is defensiveness. So for example if your partner brings up something they don’t like and you respond in defence of that behaviour instead of hearing them out and being open to changing.”

Stonewalling

“Number three is stonewalling,” Alex says. “Also known as the silent treatment. Kind of self-explanatory.”

Criticism

“The last horseman is criticism. There’s a difference between criticising your partner’s character or behaviour on the whole (such as ‘you never help out around the house’) versus criticising something that took place specifically, an event or situation (i.e. ‘I’m frustrated that the trash hasn’t been taken out yet’).”

Since the video was posted last week, it has now been ‘liked’ over 515,000 times with users quick to comment on their experiences with the theory.

One user wrote: “I did two and three and she broke up with me. She’s right”.

Another added: “I did two way too much and it cost me everything but it’s something I had to learn. Try to understand your partner instead of forcing your perspectives.”

However, on the Gottman Institute blog it says that just because a trait like criticism appears in a relationship doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed.

Some of these behaviours can be natural defence mechanisms, so it’s worth watching out for whether you or your partner exhibit them – after all, being conscious of your behaviours is the best way to incite change.



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