ISSUE 89 ISSN 1712-468

Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships. 

Harriet Lerner, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Author

My Source Experience - Journal

My Source


Secrets of Sucess Journal
This 40-page PDF outlines and provides a summary of most of our 100+ resources. It also provides valuable articles that you can re-purpose or forward to others.

Online Personal Style Indicator

Online Entrepreneurial Style and Success Indicator

Online Stress Indicator and Health Planner

Online Values
Preference Indicator

Online Self-Worth Inventory

For Consultants, Coaches, Trainers, Speakers, and HR Professionals. In this 3-day intensive workshop, you learn how to transform others by using CRG solutions and access a residual income model for your own business!

Register now:
September 18 to 20, 2008

Download the Detailed Train-The-Trainer Workshop PDF

Not a subscriber?
just click here!

Once you take one of our assessments, you can´t wait to learn more!

You can purchase assessment access codes to use yourself or to distribute to family, friends, co-workers, and even bosses.

Wouldn´t you also like to see your closest friends and family LIVING ON PURPOSE?

Click here for Online Assessments!


We look forward to hearing from you! Either reply to this ezine, or direct your questions and correspondence from our Website.

This ezine is never sent unsolicited; it is only delivered to users who have provided their email address in agreement to receive these emails.


Click here to forward this ezine to people in your life who will benefit from the advice and tips we´re giving on personal performance, character, and how to live a successful life on purpose.

This Week´s Inspiration

Breakthrough Research on What Makes Relationships Work  

Relationship: The state of being related or interrelated; the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship; a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings

Most of what is taught about making a personal relationship work is wrong!

Once in a while, you come across individuals who can back up their opinions and claims with real examples and research to support their comments. Recently we were introduced to the work of Dr. John Gottman of Seattle. For 30 years, he and his team of researchers have conducted in-depth “Love Lab” studies of relationships. 

The findings might surprise you.

A pleasant affirmation is that much of Dr. Gottman’s work is supported by the CRG approach, models, and assessments. We will not have enough space to go into all the details of his findings but here are some of the highlights.

Before we go to the positive behaviors that build a relationship, let’s review what predicts separation or divorce—with over 90% accuracy. 

All relationships—successful and unsuccessful—have conflicts and disagreements, but what happens in successful relationships is much different. 

  • In their conversations and their conflict discussions, people in successful relationships on average had 5 times more positive comments than negative comments.
  • All it takes is 1.25 negative comments to 1 positive comment to put a successful relationship on a destructive path.

Dr. Gottman’s research team has isolated four specific behaviors that, if left unchecked, will lead to a downward spiral. Here they are.


Criticism can start as a complaint. If it moves to a personal attack and people start to blame their partner, that is not healthy. If the critic maintains his or her partner is defective and 100% responsible for the problem, that is no longer simply a complaint. In that escalated situation, blaming words are often used, such as “you always,” “you never,” or “what’s wrong with you?”—which no one can successfully answer.
Defensiveness: In many situations, the response to criticism is defensiveness. People often counter-attack to defend their innocence or avoid taking responsibility for a problem. They take their partner’s comments personally.
Contempt: This is the steroid version of criticism, where one person shows disinterest or rolls his or her eyes while the partner is trying to say something important. These individuals think and feel they are better than the other person. Shows of contempt and arrogance can include mocking, sarcasm, and name-calling. This behavior is the single biggest predictor for a path toward divorce or separation.
Stonewalling: This is where people withdraw and offer no physical or verbal clues that they’re affected by what they are hearing. In some cases, people get so worked up, they simply withdraw to avoid saying something they will regret.

Now for some other interesting facts . . . 

A significant discovery was made during the research team’s lab work: Many individuals, during heated arguments and discussions, had their pulse rate go way over 100 beats per minute. It was also confirmed that once your pulse rate goes over 95 beats per minute—during an argument—you are no longer able to be rational in your conduct or comments. 

It becomes a biophysical condition where your system is flooded with adrenaline and other hormones. Your body believes it is in danger and must protect itself at all costs. In other words, it is impossible to safely continue the discussion under these circumstances. Unless you can instantly calm yourself down, you need a Time Out.

As many of you know, one of the most dangerous situations that law enforcement can experience is a highly charged domestic dispute—the individuals involved are no longer able to be rational, due to their heightened physical state. This explains why—during times of raised pulse rates—we say and do things we normally would not and for which we feel remorse later on. 

It was also discovered that anger itself is not a predictor of separation unless the four above behaviors are part of your anger. 

Conflict resolution processes DO NOT work unless an environment of friendship is present!

That’s right. All the communication skills and conflict resolution processes will not work unless a spirit of friendship exists in the relationship. We all have witnessed or been part of a disagreement where skilled individuals failed miserably in the communication process. It must be noted that successful relationships also have conflict but the individuals are able to get past their issues because of their positive friendship bank account.

What factors contribute to friendship in a relationship? 
  • First, know thy partner. This means you are sincerely interested in and aware of your partner’s dreams, goals, aspirations, and frustrations. You are familiar with his or her friends, interests, gifts, and talents and the general condition of all aspects of your partner’s life. Be sure your knowledge is current and up to date—not a perspective that is years old.
  • Second, you actively show fondness and admiration toward your partner. This includes micromoments of thankfulness, affection, and respect. Merely thinking these feelings does not count. Why? Building your friendship bank account occurs when a deposit is made. That requires an active role on your part.
  • Third, you move toward your partner rather than turn away. The research reveals that our lives are really a manifestation of all the mundane and insignificant moments that add up to create either a positive or a negative relationship.

    Turning toward means that when your partner engages you—bids for your attention—with any type of interaction, you respond. 

    Let’s say your partner makes a comment about an article in the local paper. You say, “That’s nice.” You have turned toward and responded to your partner, albeit in a casual manner. But, during that exchange, if you continued doing what you were doing (and you were not being mean- spirited) and you offered no response, that would be turning away, which causes a negative effect on the friendship bank account.

    What is interesting from the research is that you simply need to turn toward, regardless of the level of exchange, to produce a profound and positive deposit into your friendship bank account.

    When your friendship bank account is not in the positive, individuals are negatively charged. The outcome is that you can and will have a chip on your shoulder, causing seemingly inconsequential items to become a Third World War. Statements like “just get over it” or “be more positive about the relationship” don’t work because the friendship bank account is empty. The result is that you are on edge and take things personally when your partner mentions items of concern to him or her.
  • Finally, you can’t fix or change your partner. For years, CRG has been teaching Personal Style and that each of us is born and nurtured toward a unique perspective in our life. What Gottman verified in his research is that 69% of ALL relationship differences and conflict points are unsolvable and perpetual.

    I want everyone reading this to get this point: No matter how long or hard you try, the majority of your conflict points are NEVER going away. Why? Because we are all different; that is not going to change.

Building credibility and friendship with our partners means accepting our differences and making adjustments for them. One of the most difficult concepts CRG teaches is the ability to suspend our judgment toward others when their conduct is different than what we think is appropriate. 

Now that does not mean we should not be accountable and aware of our own behavior. We have been created with a specific personal style, gifts, and talents. To deny them is to do a disservice to ourselves and others. But when your partner is different, happiness is developing the ability to embrace the differences and not get caught in a project to “change your partner.”

There is much more about this topic we could cover here, but this will get you started. To assist you to know thyself and thy partner, we suggest CRG resources for you both. Once you have completed them, you can share your discoveries and results. You can be sure these resources will enhance your friendship and contribute positively toward your emotional and friendship bank accounts.

To understand you partner’s uniqueness and perspective, complete the Personal Style Indicator, Values Preference Indicator, Self-Worth Inventory, and Stress Indicator and Health Planner.

To help you on your Source journey, I am recommending my new 88-page book and journal to take you on a personal discovery of enlightenment and affirmation and help you feel fulfilled: My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™ – A Personal Discovery Process for Those Who Want to Lead a Passionate and Fulfilling Life.

This Week´s Action Steps

Relationship Strategies for Challenging the Status Quo and Myths

  1. Communication skills and conflict resolution skills on their own will not be enough to build a successful relationship.
  2. Successful relationships had 5 times as many positive comments as negative events.
  3. “Failing relationships” simply had to have slightly more negative-to-positive comments to be headed toward a downward spiral.
  4. These four behaviors predict with 90% accuracy the potential for separation or divorce.
    a. Criticism
    b. Defensiveness
    c. Contempt
    d. Stonewalling.

  5. If your heart rate exceeds 95 beats per minute as a result of a conflict with your partner, your body is flooded with hormones that will disable your ability to reason and your ability to engage in a conflict resolution process. You must take a Time Out and calm down before you continue the communication process.

  6. For conflict to be repairable, you must have a positive friendship bank account. The three things that contribute to a deposit in your partner’s friendship account are as follows.
    a. You know your partner and his or her life very well—the dreams, values, doubts, friends, aspirations, and other details. Are you up to date?
    b. You show fondness, respect, and admiration toward your partner.
    c. You move toward your partner (respond)—not away (ignore)—when he or she bids for your attention on anything. These are tiny yet profound moments in our day-to-day life.

  7. If you do not have a positive emotional friendship account, you are likely to be negatively charged in the relationship. This means seemingly minor items will set you off because you have a chip on your shoulder. Willpower or positive thinking will not correct your attitude. Only a positive friendship account will suffice.
  8. Almost 70% of all relationship conflict issues are perpetual and will never be corrected. The reality is that your partner is different than you are; you will never change him or her. For 26 years, CRG has been teaching this aspect of our personalities through the Personal Style Indicator. Accepting differences in others, while suspending your negative judgments toward these differences, is critical to any relationship success.
  9. You’ll need processes and resources to guide you and your partner. My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™ – A Personal Discovery Process for Those Who Want to Lead a Passionate and Fulfilling Life and its 88 pages will guide you to uncover your Source and provide you with a roadmap to communicate it to others. The Personal Style Indicator, Values Preference Indicator, Self-Worth Inventory, and Stress Indicator and Health Planner all provide needed perspective for you and anyone with whom you have a relationship.
  10. Successful relationships take work. You also need the right information. It is clear from the research that simply wanting to do better is not enough. You need to know what really works and how to get where you want to be. Use this information to achieve that goal.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.

Ken Keis

For information on CRG Resources, please visit