Student Handouts

The Four Horsemen & Their Antidotes

Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. These are the four horsemen—damaging behaviors that escalate conflict and erode a relationship. If left unchecked, the four horsemen solidify themselves in a relationship as a normal part of communication.

Antidotes are communication skills, relaxation techniques, and other strategies that counteract the four horsemen. Each of the antidotes is designed to replace one of the horsemen and reduce conflict.


Boundary Styles handout

Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set in a relationship to define what is acceptable, and what is not. Boundaries are influenced by our values and culture. Boundaries—which can be porous, healthy, or rigid—may differ from relationship to relationship.

The Boundary Styles worksheet is a one-page handout that describes differences between the three boundary types. For example, someone with porous boundaries lets almost anyone get close to them, while someone with rigid boundaries keeps almost everyone at a distance. By contrast, someone with healthy boundaries is selective about whom to let in and keep out.


Relationship Green Flags

Every relationship is unique, but healthy relationships often possess many of the same positive qualities. Partners in a healthy relationship show appreciation for one another, respect boundaries, and work as a team to solve problems.

The Relationship Green Flags worksheet describes qualities often found in healthy relationships. Each green flag is written to be relatable and easy to understand, but meaningful enough to encourage discussion.


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