Tuesday September 25, 2018
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Couples bad at picking up on partner’s sad feelings: Study

For the study, over 100 participants completed daily diaries about their mood and the mood of their partners for seven consecutive nights

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Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions like sadness, loneliness of each other: Study.
Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions .
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  • Researchers have found that couples find it tough to identify negative soft emotions
  • Relationship related emotions can be identified more easily
  • The unidentified emotions can cause problems in relationships

Your spouse may react immediately when you feel anger, but is he/she equally good at knowing when you feel sad or lonely? No, suggests new research.

Couples do pretty well at picking up one another’s more intense feelings, like happiness or anger, but they are not as sensitive to “soft negative” emotions, said the study published in the journal Family Process. Couples do poorly when it comes to knowing their partner is sad, lonely or feeling down, the findings showed.

Couples do poorly when it comes to soft negative emotions of each other.
Couples do poorly when it comes to soft negative emotions of each other.

“We found that when it comes to the normal ebb and flow of daily emotions, couples aren’t picking up on those occasional changes in ‘soft negative’ emotions like sadness or feeling down,” said study lead author Chrystyna Kouros, Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, US.

The researchers believe that even when a negative mood is not related to the relationship, it ultimately can be harmful to a couple. “Failing to pick up on negative feelings one or two days is not a big deal,” Kouros said.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu to Build Safe Houses for Inter-Caste Couples

“But if this accumulates, then down the road it could become a problem for the relationship. It’s these missed opportunities to be offering support or talking it out that can compound over time to negatively affect a relationship,” she added.

For the study, over 100 participants completed daily diaries about their mood and the mood of their partners for seven consecutive nights. The problem is not one for which couples need to seek therapy, Kouros said.

Instead, she advises couples to stop assuming they know what their partner is feeling. “I suggest couples put a little more effort into paying attention to their partner — be more mindful and in the moment when you are with your partner,” she said.

She cautions, however, against becoming annoying by constantly asking how the other is feeling, or if something is wrong. IANS

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Marital Spats May Deteriorate Your Health

Significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

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How marital spats can affect your health. Pixabay

Couples, please take note. Fighting with your spouse may deteriorate your health, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that married people who fight are more likely to suffer from leaky guts — a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease-causing inflammation.

“We think that this everyday marital distress — at least for some people — is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser from the Ohio State University.

For the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, the team recruited around 50 healthy married couples, surveyed them about their relationships and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve a conflict likely to provoke strong disagreement.

The researchers left the couples alone for these discussions, videotaped the 20-minute interactions and later watched how they fought.

Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions like sadness, loneliness of each other: Study.
Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions .

They categorised their verbal and non-verbal fighting behaviours, with special interest in hostility — things such as dramatic eye rolls or criticism of one’s partner.

The researchers also compared blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight.

Men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviours during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut — LPS-binding protein — than their mellower peers, the researchers said.

Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouses and a history of depression or another mood disorder, they added.

Also Read: Reduce Loneliness and Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study found a strong, significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

Lifestyle changes that could contribute to decreased risk of gut-related inflammation include diets high in lean proteins, healthful fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Probiotics might also be useful, Kiecolt-Glaser noted. (IANS)

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