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120 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice for Overcoming the Communications Stall!
The Relationship Cure is one of the four best books I have read about developing, nurturing, and sustaining relationships. I hope that everyone I know reads this book!
The book's focus is drawn from observations of people speaking with their family, friends, and lovers. From this work, the authors have skillfully located the mechanisms that can be used to improve...
Published on May 22, 2001 by Donald Mitchell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great information
The information is great, such as "bidding" for attention. Brilliant. However, the example dialogues are waaaaay too long and my partner and I loose sight if the information the dialogue is supposed to express because the boredom factor sets-in.
Published 7 months ago by R. Gregory


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120 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice for Overcoming the Communications Stall!, May 22, 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
The Relationship Cure is one of the four best books I have read about developing, nurturing, and sustaining relationships. I hope that everyone I know reads this book!
The book's focus is drawn from observations of people speaking with their family, friends, and lovers. From this work, the authors have skillfully located the mechanisms that can be used to improve connection and communication, and provide much practical coaching on what the reader should work on. Anyone who follows the advice in this book will live a life filled with much richer human connections. Think of reading this book as like having an emotional intelligence coach.
The book begins by looking at the fundamental ways that connection is pursued. People say and do things to get attention and make their needs known, which the authors call bids. "People make bids because of their natural desire to feel connected with other people." How you respond determines how well the connection develops. You can use words (like questions, statements, or comments) or actions (touching, expressions, gestures, and sounds). As step one, you are encouraged to look at your own bids for connection. You want to avoid being "fuzzy" about your purposes. This can come from being ambiguous, being a poor communicator, being negative, or not acting like it is important. When you respond to bids, use a positive stance, pay attention, interact in a high energy way, and be playful. Avoid reacting mindlessly. You are especially warned against harmful ways to respond (not being mindful of your reactions, starting on a sour note, employing harmful criticism, being overcome with emotion, having a crabby way of thinking, and avoiding conversations you need to have).
The book also explores the style you use to think about communication. You will be able to see which of 7 types you most closely fit with (commander-in-chief, explorer, sensualist, energy czar, jester, sentry, and nest-builder). You will also find how to tell if you are over or under doing it, and how to adjust. You next look at the emotional heritage of how you learned to respond to others in your family. Again, there are tools to help you change where that would be helpful.
Another section looks at reading others' emotions, naming your own feelings, using richer metaphors, and ways of active listening.
Next, you are encouraged to find places where you can share meaningful, positive connections with others . . . even if you have differences in other areas.
After you have this overview, chapter eight looks at how to apply all of these perspectives to marriage, parenthood, friendship, siblings, and co-workers.
The book's strength is that it uses examples that you can identify with. Then, rather than leaving you hanging with what not to do, the book goes on to provide alternative ways to handle the same situation. There are too many to memorize easily, but you will soon get the hang of how to compose a reaction that will be better received. In fact, you probably run into fruitless conservations with certain people so often that it would help to draft out some possible alternatives in advance. I also found the self-diagnosis exercises to be helpful. I think you will, too.
After you have finished reading this book, you must practice applying it. I suggest that you start with someone who is fairly easy to communicate with already. Later, you can go on to work with those who you have more problems with, as you develop your skill.
This book will be especially valuable to men who want to communicate in more effective ways with women. Realizing that women put out more bids for connection in many situation, this book will help men realize better ways to respond. I was impressed with how well the advice worked in my family as I followed it during the days following my initial reading of the book. Of all the things I have tried out that I have read in books, these suggestions worked our far better than most! And they made me feel a lot better and more relaxed in the process. That's a pretty nice advantage to gain from reading a book.
May you always be rich in your human connections as you desire!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear guidelines!, July 12, 2002
This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
Gottman, the leading researcher in the area of marriage and other intimate relationships, provides in this latest book a simple, yet very effective 5-step-model of enhancing and deepening your personal relationships.
This program builds upon the results of several longitudinal studies. This means, the advice offered is based not on personal opinion (like so many other authors do), but on solid research findings. Gottman starts by introducing the basic element of human relationships, the bid. A bid is any single expression that says "I want to feel connected to you". Failed bid processes are the root cause of many problems in human relationships.
The 5 step Gottman offers are:
1) Look at your bids for connection: here the reader learns to distinguish among turning-towards, turning-away and turning-against responses and their effects
2) Discover your brain's emotional commmand system: this chapter is especially illuminating because it deals with 7 emotional systems with their distinct linkages to behaviors and feelings. It demonstrates how these systems can cause problems in bidding processes
3) Examine your emotional heritage: in my opinion, this is the best part of the book. Several exercises reveal your family's way of dealing with emotions such as pride, anger, fear, and accomplishments. You beome aware of your personal way of relating to others and how they relate to your earlier experiences. Another part is devoted to your enduring emotional vulnerabilities.
4) Sharpen your emotional skills: various exercises are aimed at improving your emotional intelligence.
5) Create shared meaning: another very important part, not only for marriages. It encourages the reader to explore his and the other's personal dreams and visions. It also urges to create a deeper level of connecting by the use of rituals.
By and large, this book is an excellent example of science applied to real life. Everyone interested in improving his personal relationships should read this book!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does It Again, August 23, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
This is another outstanding book by Dr. Gottman and his research team. Instead of an author giving his own personal opinions of what he thinks make good marriages, Dr. Gottman actually observes hundreds and finds what they have in common. Two major bits he observed in happy couples were paying attention to each other and elements of romance. From all the very happy couples I know, I would agree.
I'd recommend looking at The Romantic's Guide for ideas on easy ways to keep being romantic.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb manual for mindful relating with authentic E.Q., July 13, 2001
By 
George Zee (www.frzee.org, Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
I feel privileged to pick this book to mark my 100th review for Amazon.com. I've been recommending to numerous groups Gottman and co-authors' books, esp. the less technical ones: The Heart of Parenting (which is in Chinese also), Why Marriages Succeed or Fail and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
With almost 3 decades of research of actual interactions, Gottman and teams' books are always filled with vivid and enlightening examples. The touching personal stories, elucidating questionnaires, exercises and long lists of "what to do" are all helpful and practical. They hold up multi-dimensioanl mirrors to explorations. Without having to do any formal meditation, you can grow in awareness and mindfulness.
Given the plethora of popularization, it might sound trite to relate this book to E.Q. (Emotional Intelligence). But it IS one of the best books for developing mindful emotional connections. That's why I need to qualify it with "authentic E.Q.". Please note in particular "Emotional Intelligence Versus Detachment and Denial" (pp. 158-160).
Please read the informative Book Description and the review by Mitchell (one of my "favorite people"). In Step One, breaking down communication to the basic unit of exchange, "bidding", and responding (turning toward, away or against), helps one to learn HOW to behave differently instead of remaining at lofty levels of unfruitful talk about love and consideration... (This reminds one of Eric Berne's "stroking" in Transactional Analysis, most popular in the 60s & '70s. "Stroking" however, connotes more manipulation.)
The authors have done a good service to make Jaak Panksepp's pioneering studies in Affective Neuroscience accessible to readers in Step Two: Discover Your Brain's Emotional Command Systems. (It would be interesting to see if there are any correlations with the Enneagram systems, which study nine-types of personality.)
Step Three: Examine Emotional Heritage, gives a good illustration of the value of the "emotion-coaching philosophy". The other books that I've mentioned give many more examples.
Step Four: Sharpen Your Emotional Communication Skills, gives interesting coverage to sharpen sensory acuity and listening skills (much stressed in NLP, Neuro-linguistic Programming). [I personally tend to differ from the author's sweeping dismissal of "the pseudoscience of physiognomy", p. 178. I still see some value of a more scientific approach in verifying the significance of permanent features and also fleeting changes in physiognomy. Cf. My several reviews of "face-reading".]
Step Five: Find Shared Meaning, brings us beyond behaviorism and studies truly human interactions and rituals.
Detailed applications of these 5 steps are given to different relationships: marital, parental, friendship, sibling, coworker. The book is ideal for personal and shared reflections, retreats, marriage encounters and workshops. I have already been actively promoting it and sincerely hope that it will reach the best-seller list. Gottman and team well-deserve the reputation and publicity they receive. Readers will not be disappointed. Relationships not needing cure will also be much enriched. [From a Christian viewpoint, it is in relationships that we can reflect the communion and unity in diversity of the Trinity, that we continue to become the image of God, and embody the presence of Christ today. Salvador Dali's Last Supper depicted a Risen Christ without any face. It is the quality of our relationships that will show forth the face of God.]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abridged Audio Cassette is good, November 23, 2005
This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
The abridged audio cassette version is very good. I found the naration very clear and pleasant. I also found the content very useful. I found the abridged content still clear with ample examples. However, I have not read the book, so I can't contrast it the to the original. This is a good audio to share with others wishing to better understand and improve their relationships. I only wish this was available on CD!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers, November 14, 2010
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
Insightfully well written in plain terms and easy to understand. Packed with essential knowledge and skills to help experience human contact, emotions and relationships.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I will read again!, September 4, 2014
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
Great book about some ideas to further strengthen weak or non existent relationships.
Also brings to light the mechanism of interactions, very important .Written in a way that suggests forward movement and allowing us to also be realistic about human behavior and being human in our own interactions. Plenty of ideas brought to the table. It presents a positive approach to ideas and involvement in relationships. I will read this book again!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great information, May 14, 2014
By 
R. Gregory (Missoula, MT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
The information is great, such as "bidding" for attention. Brilliant. However, the example dialogues are waaaaay too long and my partner and I loose sight if the information the dialogue is supposed to express because the boredom factor sets-in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights, April 2, 2014
By 
Jack (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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The content in the book is great. The whole idea of "bids" is very insightful and useful. If you need help with Emotional Intelligence, or relationships in general, then this is a good book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I think this is my favorite Gottman book., November 30, 2013
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This review is from: The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers (Hardcover)
I think this is my favorite Gottman book, although I admit I haven't read them all... yet. I recommend this book so frequently to my clients that I should be getting a kick-back. It is simply a wonderful, easy read the discusses the concepts of connectedness and what goes into making a successful relationship work. Buy it and read it over an afternoon and you'll have the jist and/ or keep it for a resource for years to come as I have.
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