Monday, 3 November 2014

Big Conflicts Can = Big Resolutions

Should couples be critical and defensive when disagreeing or try and always be nice? Is it better to have a big blow-out so you can end up having a big resolution?

Keith Sanford., Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences has just published a very interesting study on this topic  in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships..he asks the ultimate question for couples...

"How is it that a couple can have a big conflict and feel upset with each other, and then later proceed to a new point where the conflict is resolved and they feel happy with each other again?"

He surveyed a massive 734 people who were married or living, asking them about recent conflicts and their use of negative styles of communication and how things resolved.

When interviewed by Science Daily he described his findings.

"What I found was that the results were different for people in satisfying relationships and people in unhappy relationships," 

 "For people in satisfying relationships, negative communication was associated with having bigger conflicts, but this effect was entirely harmless because big conflicts were always followed by big resolutions".

"People in satisfying relationships resolved their conflicts regardless of whether they used negative communication or not. In contrast, people in unhappy relationships tended to have big conflicts, and they tended to have trouble resolving their conflicts -- and this was often true regardless of the type of communication they used."

".......when it comes to resolving conflicts, it appears that keeping a feeling of satisfaction alive in a relationship is more important than the type of communication you use".

 Just to reinforce the point...possibly the worst song ever made :)