Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
Choose a partner (past or present), family member, or friend.
Use the following scale to rate how often you and this person experience(d) this:
1 =never or almost never, 2 =once in a while, 3 =frequently
l 1 l 2 l 3 Little arguments escalate into ugly fights with accusations, criticisms, name-calling,
or bringing up past hurts.
l 1 l 2 l 3 This person criticizes or belittles my opinions, feelings, or character.
l 1 l 2 l 3 This person seems to view my words or actions more negatively than I mean them to be.
l 1 l 2 l 3 I hold back from telling this person what I really think and feel.
l 1 l 2 l 3 I often wish this person was not in my life.
l 1 l 2 l 3 I feel lonely and unconnected in this relationship.
l 1 l 2 l 3 When we argue, one of us withdraws—that is, one of us does not want to talk about
it anymore or leaves the scene.
l 1 l 2 l 3 When we have a problem, it seems like we are on opposite teams.
Which Traffic Light best represents your relationship?
Using your total score, find the traffic light that describes what your communication patterns say
about the shape of your relationship.
8 -12: Green Light—Going Smoothly
Your relationship is probably in good or even great shape at this time. “At this time” is emphasized
because relationships can change over time. To think about it another way, it is like you are traveling
along and come to a green light. There is no need to stop, but it is a great time to think about the
importance of maintaining the healthy patterns you have now with the skills you are learning.
13-17: Yellow Light—So-so, Could be Better
You are coming to a yellow light, and you need to be cautious. While you may be okay now with
this relationship, the score reveals some danger signs that shouldn’t be ignored. Protect and improve
what you have now by learning skills that can make a just-okay relationship a really great one.
18-24: Red Light—In the Pits
This relationship is approaching a red light. Stop. Take a look. Think it over. The score indicates the
relationship is headed for trouble or may already be there. The good news is you both can stop
and learn skills to improve the relationship now! But, the score may also be telling you that this
relationship is not worth it, or worse, dangerous.
This quiz is based on over 25 years of research on communication patterns that predict trouble
in a relationship.
Adapted and used with permission from PREP for Individuals.
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