Positive Psychology of Love by Hojjat & Cramer

Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago at 1/24/15 11:24 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/24/15 11:24 PM

Positive Psychology of Love by Hojjat & Cramer

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
None of it is rocket science but considering how bad a large percentage of the population engage in intimate relationships it is still a necessary reminder. Positive Psychology for those who don't know are more about optimizing than just curing psychological problems. Some quick highlights from the book:

  • Love is to seek the beautiful and the good in all things.
  • Communication skills can increase the possibility of romantic love.
  • People are more willing to accommodate their partners when they are happy, have a lower quality of alternatives, and are committed to a relationship.
  • Communal relationships are characterized by mutual expectations that relationship partners will be responsive to one another’s needs, and people within such relationships are most likely to exhibit relationship-maintenance mechanisms (benefits for “us” instead of “me”).
  • Perceived partner responsiveness – people whose partners respond actively and constructively to positive life events experience increased positive affect and bolstered relationship resources, leading to increased relationship well-being. Also when partners idealize each other they gain more positive affect. Idealizing at the beginning of a marriage also makes longer lasting marriages.
  • High self-esteem improves relationships and low self-esteem damages them. High Self-esteem = Positive Self Worth + Competence.
  • Distorted views on power don’t allow people to trust others.
  • Highly-sensitive people are more romantic but can be more bored.
  • Intimacy shields couples from stress.
  • Sharing positive emotion deepens intimacy and increases satisfaction
  • Self-disclosure, non-verbal intimacy increases satisfaction, especially if it’s positive
  • Disclosure of negative information improves immune function
  • Intimacy increases a sense of meaning in life
  • Intimacy increases longevity in marriages
  • Compassion signals the ability to care for young, a signal to prospective mates, and the ability to create cooperative alliances across different groups.
  • Gratitude builds relationships for both the beneficiary and those who care about them.
  • Positive relationships have a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative encounters. Highly successful relationships display an 8:1 ratio.
  • The best results come when partners try to exceed each other’s expectations, to delight and surprise each other; to plan activities together and to help realize each other’s hopes and plans; and to actively support each other in times of trouble and stress.
  • Sexual satisfaction leads to partners feeling satisfied with relationships as well.
  • Underwood’s model of compassionate love: His or her motives must be centered on the good of the other. Selfish motives will prevent the expression of compassionate love.
  • Conflict comes from conflicting desires and goals. The most effective way to deal with conflict management is to actively and constructively express dissatisfaction with the intent to improve conditions. Exit, voice and loyalty. Exit refers to destructive responses (eg. “Fight fire with fire”.) Voice refers to discussing problems, trying to change oneself or the partner, or seeking advice from others, and Loyalty refers to waiting for conditions to improve and staying positive. Voice and Loyalty have the best results.
  • Personal projects that include connecting, romancing, and caring projects enhance the quality of our lives.
Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 6:59 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 6:59 PM

RE: Positive Psychology of Love by Hojjat & Cramer

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts

I guess this would be an example of Right Speech:
Amicable partners are less combative during shouting matches than spouses who don't understand each other. And couples who don't respect or have little connection with one another engage in "negative sentiment override" -- they interpret statements more pessimistically and take comments more personally than other pairs, leading to dissatisfaction.Spouses who are friends also make more "repair attempts" during a spat; they say or do things -- like make a silly face or bring up a private joke -- that keeps anger from escalating out of control. The key point, Gottman reports, is that partners who know each other better know best what will relieve tension in sticky situations -- so the fighting stops and the marriage goes on (perhaps) happily ever after.
Ryan J, modified 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 10:19 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 10:19 PM

RE: Positive Psychology of Love by Hojjat & Cramer

Posts: 121 Join Date: 2/19/14 Recent Posts
Semi-related to this post, originally a topic I planned to make, but I'll post it here:

You talk about utilizing visualization of a balanced and engaged lifestyle in practice to balance the opening up-letting go, etc. sides of meditation. Can you explain this in detail? Thanks!
Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 10:44 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/10/15 10:43 PM

RE: Positive Psychology of Love by Hojjat & Cramer

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
I'll try and keep it simple.

If your brain is irritated (even mildly irritated) just let go of reactivity to objects, shapes, colours, memories, future projections, etc until the space is more the foreground and the objects in space are not the focal point anymore. This can be done with eyes open walking down a busy street with lots of billboards, advertisings, sexy women with nice legs and cleavage, delicious restaurant aromas, whatever. emoticon This can simply start with relaxing the body and then relaxing your attention to objects. The brain likes to punish us with cortisol when we don't act on well known tried and true activities that got us those plesant sensations. Relaxing the carrot relaxs the stick at the same time. 

When you feel better you can insert images of your higher goals (this is much better if you're breaking down the goals into smaller ones) and keep imagining the benefits in a vivid way until motivation is released (dopamine/serotonin/whatever). You can feel this like a pro and con analysis. Thinking of the negative side of not doing what you are supposed to do can help, but focus more on the positive benefits. 

For example I'm a foodie and I'm tempted by expensive restaurants. I can imagine the benefits of not having a big bill and just eating what I have at home. I could also imagine improving my cooking so that I want what I have at home.

Imagine I'm walking down the street past my favourite restaurant and feeling a cortisol stress pull (this could be even very mild) pushing me to feel comfortable in repeating a past experience. Then relax the attention to the sign of the restaurant and all the connected imagery until it's not a focal point anymore. I do this until I really feel better. Then insert images of the benefits of cooking my own meal until I can feel the pull to do that instead. Then act on it. Maybe even savour the benefits (less restaurant bills) when I receive them so the brain will eventually want to bring that conditioning out more often. emoticon Repeat over and over again because external influences like advertising repeat again and again to get into us. We need to repeat just to stay afloat with our deeper intentions.

I hope that makes sense.