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Love Quiz: Are You Experiencing Negative Sentiment Override?

Take this quiz to see if your relationship is suffering from a negative perspective.

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If you are in an abusive relationship, know that you’re not alone. See our resources here.

The following information centers on couples in healthy relationships, void of any and all forms of domestic violence.

University of Oregon emeritus psychologist Robert Weiss coined the term “Negative Sentiment Override” for the emergence of troubling patterns where trust is broken in relationships.  Dr. John Gottman found that the concept of the Three Boxes is related to the ebb and flow of these perceptions. What we called the “valley of darkness” in the Nasty Box becomes an enormous problem as Negative Sentiment Override kicks in and positive feelings felt between partners are decreased from their honeymoon peak. With both these phenomena in place, partners are left trying to push a relationship up a mountain.

Dr. John Gottman does not believe that all problems can be solved or that all relationships can be healthily maintained. He offers a vast number of tools that approach the difficulties encountered in relationships. In “What Makes Love Last?,” he offers an exercise, allowing couples to determine whether or not they are experiencing Negative Sentiment Override.  This includes answering questions like:
“In the recent past in my relationship, generally I felt: Hurt: True / False. Misunderstood: True / False”

How can you know you’re in a happy relationship that’s both good for your health and everyone around you? Can such a thing be measured?  It can! Take this quiz and find out how well you know your partner.

For an in-depth analysis of your relationship health check out the Gottman Assessment, a virtual relationship evaluation tool for couples.

This self-assessment tool provides you with a full snapshot of your relationship satisfaction, outlines your strengths and weaknesses, and supplies tailored recommendations for improvement. Start building a happier relationship today!


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Ellie Lisitsa is a former staff writer at The Gottman Institute. She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

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