Willingness to bend could help calm couples after fights
Researchers have suggested that what couples want from each other during a blowup is not a mea culpa but rather the willingness to bend a little and give up some power.
Baylor psychologist Keith Sanford, Ph.D, said that giving up power comes in many forms, among them giving a partner more independence, admitting faults, showing respect and being willing to compromise.
In another study, Sanford found that when people express anger, they often also feel sad. But while a partner will easily and immediately recognize expressions of anger, the spouse often will fail to notice the sadness.
He said that when it comes to perceiving emotion in a partner, anger trumps sadness.
Previous research has found that genuine expressions of sadness during a conflict can sometimes draw partners closer together, and it potentially can enable couples to break out of a climate of anger.
His research has been published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
(Posted on 09-02-2014)