What Is A Positive Ratio?

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Positivity Ratio refers to the number of positive words to negative words a person says to another person.

Life revolves around relationships with other people: at work, in marriage, in dating, in parenting, in friendships.

If the Positivity Ratio in these relationships is at least 5 to 1, we can predict success or flourishing in that relationship in whichever domain we find ourselves.

We can also predict failure. If the Positivity Ratio falls to 2.9 to 1 or less, failure is likely.

In marriage, if your Positivity Ratio is 2.9 to 1 or less, you are headed for divorce court.

In dating, in business, in parenting, in friendships, you are ruining these relationships if your Losada ratio (Marcel Losada) is 2.9 to 1 or less.

Lawyers are the worst. No surprise there. Thanks to our American adversarial legal system, lawyer’s fight all day. Their Positivity Ratio is closer to 1:3. And, that precisely explains why lawyers have the highest suicide, divorce, depression, and alcoholism rates among all occupational groups.

“You need a 5:1 ratio to predict a strong and loving marriage—five positive statements for every critical statement you make of your spouse. A habit of 1:3 in a couple is an unmitigated catastrophe.”

Barbara Fredrickson


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