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March 12, 2019

4 Ways To Have Happier Relationships

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This morning, Jess joined Jeff and Carolyn on The Morning Show to play a mini game show focused on relationships. Check out the notes and video below.

Questions:

1. Using this word or phrase can predict a happier relationship for couples:

a. Please

b. We instead of I

c. You’re right.

d. Are you in the mood?

2. Sharing personal info on social media can detract from relationships happiness unless you do this:

a. Overshare

b. Include your partner in your posts

c. Limit your audience

d. Use words/text as opposed to pics

3. Sharing personal info with co-workers can be good for workplace relationships when you share:

a. Obvious/visible information

b. Childhood memories

c. Invisible stigmas

d. Funny stories and anecdotes

4. The key to finding a good partner involves finding…

a. A matching personality

b. Someone like your mother/father

c. Someone with different personality traits

d. Someone kind & conscientious

via GIPHY

Answers: 

1. The answer is B: We instead of I. A meta-analysis of 30 studies involving more than 5,000 participants looked at behaviours, happiness levels and physical and mental health. The researchers found that saying ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ is strongly linked to a happy relationship, as ‘we talk’ indicates ‘interdependence’ and offers a reminder that you share a life together. So, try replacing “I” with “We” when you talk about big life decisions like buying a house, moving, or traveling.

2. The answer is B: When you include your partner in your posts. When one person frequently shares personal information on social media, it negatively affects their partner’s satisfaction and feelings of intimacy. Researchers believe that this is because their partner might feel left out or see themselves as less special. However, a series of five studies conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Kansas found that including your partner in your posts (e.g. posting a relationship status online or sharing a photo of both of you) counters the negative effects of online disclosure and increases feelings of intimacy and relationship satisfaction. “This validates the relationship, and a partner likely would see their significant other’s post as caring and inclusive,” explains Omri Gillath, a professor of psychology at University of Kansas and study co-author.

3. The answer is C: Invisible stigmas. A meta-analysis of 65 studies looked at the sharing of stigmatized identities in the workplace. They define stigmatized identities as  “a devalued characteristic within a social setting” The study, conducted by psychologists at Rice University in Houston, Texas, revealed that talking about something potentially stigmatizing, but not visible (e.g. a mental health issue) was more likely to deepen relationships than to push people away. The same was not found to be true for visible stigmas (e.g. race of gender). The same study also found that women and POC are less likely to feel safe being completely themselves at work.

4. The answer is D: Finding someone kind and conscientious. Though expert dating sites tend to match you on personality, a study that examined happiness levels and personality traits among 2,578 heterosexual, married couples reveals that having a similar personality doesn’t matter for almost any type of happiness (they looked at nine types). The researchers found that a nice partner is a better a predictor or relationship satisfaction.

“People invest a lot in finding someone who’s compatible, but our research says that may not be the end all be all,” explains researcher Bill Chopik, director of Michigan State University’s Close Relationships Lab. “Instead, people may want to ask, ‘Are they a nice person?’ ‘Do they have a lot of anxiety?’ Those things matter way more than the fact that two people are introverts and end up together.”