Upset With Your Partner? It’s Better to Act Sad Than Mad, Says Scienceby Yelena Shuster on May 29, 2012
Want the key to a happy relationship? Ladies (and sensitive men), bring on the tears.
If you find yourself getting into more fights than usual, check your relationship’s status, says a new Baylor University study. After observing and rating 83 married couples (who also submitted self-reports), researchers found that constant arguing can be a result of long-term anger and resentment:
“I found that people were most likely to express anger, not in the moments where they felt most angry, but rather in the situations where both partners had been feeling angry over a period of time,” [researcher Keith Sanford] said. “This means that if a couple falls into a climate of anger, they tend to continue expressing anger regardless of how they actually feel . . . It becomes a kind of a trap they cannot escape.”
No shocker here, but the most common fights had to do with in-laws, chores, money, affection, and time spent on the computer. That’s right dudes: step away from the Tumblr.
Related: 13 Signs He’s A Selfish Lover
Plus, the more anger you show, the less likely your partner is to know that it’s coming from a place of unhappiness, which is usually the root of the problem. But that’s what you should aim for, since genuinely expressing sadness can draw a couple together and end the marathon fights:
“A take-home message is that there may be times where it is beneficial to express feelings of sadness during conflict, but sad feelings are most likely to be noticed if you are not simultaneously expressing anger,” Sanford said.
Bottom line: when you’re unhappy, say so before you reach your boiling point.
Yelena Shuster is an ugly crier.