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Show 1103: What Is the Science of Lasting Relationships?

Lasting relationships are built on kindness and generosity, in which each partner can feel empathy for the other and confident they too are heard.
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What Is the Science of Lasting Relationships?

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Why do some relationships last for decades and just seem to get stronger, while others wither? Is there a secret to lasting relationships?

Kindness, Generosity and Science:

Decades ago, psychologist John Gottman began studying how newlyweds interacted with each other. He and his colleagues created a “Love Lab” in which they took careful notes and collected physiological data on each pair as they answered questions about meeting, conflicts and future plans. After six years, the psychologists determined which of the couples were still happy together and which had separated or were miserable. Based on these data, they determined that a couple of key concepts underlay the happiness of lasting relationships: kindness and generosity.

Kindness as the Food of Marriage:

That sounds simple, doesn’t it? Further research by Dr. Gottman confirmed that these two simple concepts really are fundamental. Like most simple things, though, they aren’t always easy to execute. Psychologist Don Azevedo joins us to discuss why kindness and generosity are the keys to life-long happiness and how we can practice them within our own relationships both at home and at work.

Make Yourself the Hero of Your Own Story:

Learn why the first step is to acknowledge and honor your own self, so that you have the confidence to reflect your partner’s reaction with empathy. We also consider the importance of setting limits to establish a reciprocal rather than one-sided relationship.

You can read more about Dr. Gottman’s research in this article from The Atlantic, June 12, 2014.

If you would like to listen to a longer version of our interview with Dr. Azevedo, you can do so here:

This Week’s Guest:

Don Azevedo, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and founder of Azevedo Family Psychology in Cary, NC.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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