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It's not always about being right. In the Gottman's research we have found that in order to gain influence you need to accept influence. This means trying new things that your partner suggests or trying things the way your partner does things, for a change. Relationships don't need to be difficult or about power struggles. They need to be about nurturing the friendship and accepting one another's differences. Nobody is perfect; this is not an expectation you should have in a relationship. If you do, then you are setting it up for failure. Whenever we see a couple we give them survey's to fill out. This helps us learn crucial information about the relationship. One of the surveys is the Accepting Influence Questionnaire. The questions are listed below; please take a few minutes to answer them.

Read each statement and answer true or false.


  1. I am really interested in my partner's opinions on our basic issues.
  2. I usually learn a lot from my partner even when we disagree.
  3. I want my partner to feel what he or she says really counts with me.
  4. I generally want my partner to feel influential in this marriage.
  5. I can listen to my partner, but only up to a point.
  6. My partner has a lot of basic common sense.
  7. I try to communicate respect even during our disagreements.
  8. If I keep trying to convince my partner, I will eventually win out.
  9. I don't reject my partner's opinions out of hand.
  10. My partner is not rational enough to take seriously when we discuss our issues.
  11. I believe in lots of give and take in our discussions.
  12. I am very persuasive and can usually win arguments with my partner.
  13. I feel I have an important say when we make decisions.
  14. My partner usually has good ideas.
  15. My partner is basically a great help as a problem solver.
  16. I try to listen respectfully, even when I disagree.
  17. My ideas for solutions are usually much better than my partner's. 
  18. I can usually find something to agree with my partner's positions.
  19. My partner is usually too emotional.
  20. I am the one who needs to make the major decisions in this relationship.
Scoring:
  1. Give yourself 1 point for each "true" answer, except for questions 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 20.
  2. Subtract 1 point for each "true" answer to questions 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 20.
6 or above: This area is an area of strength in your relationship. You are able to accept influence in your relationship. This is a hallmark in an emotionally intelligent relationship.
Below 6: Your relationship could use some improvement in this area. You are having difficulty accepting influence from your partner. This can make a relationship dangerously unstable. 
If you scored 6 or above, then congratulations. This doesn't mean you stop working on this skill. If you didn't score high, don't panic. The Gottman Method can help you with your relationship and increase your score. I have completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 in The Gottman Method. Please call me at (650) 892-0357 for a consultation.

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

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(650) 892-0357

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