Friday, June 9, 2017

How The Secrets We Keep Affect Our Health And Relationships

Everyone has secrets. Even in the most sincere and strong relationships, partners have some things they prefer to keep to themselves. A new study has revealed how the secrets we keep, no matter how big or small, can affect our health negatively

Study Finds That The Secrets We Keep Come Back To Haunt Us

Not all the secrets we keep are big skeletons in our closets. Some are little white lies we may be keeping to protect our partners or our relationships. Nevertheless, researchers at Columbia Business School found that lies tend to creep up in our minds and affect our health.

The study, with the title “The Experience of Secrecy”, looked into 13,000 secrets, from tiny, seemingly harmless fibs to more serious ones, like infidelity and addiction, in an effort to understand how keeping them is affecting not only our relationships but also our health.

The Kinds Of Secrets We Keep

According to the study, we are most likely to keep romantic thoughts about someone other than our partner, sexual desires, fantasies, and finances secret from our significant other.

For example, if there is a sexual fantasy a guy feels might offend his partner, he may choose to keep it to himself. Thinking of your ex from time to time is also not necessarily something you want to share with your wife. Likewise, you may decide to not talk about some financial problem you could be facing, so as not to trouble your partner. Not all lies are sinister and awful – some are even kept for noble reasons.

The Research Findings

According to Michael Slepian, study co-author and assistant professor of management at Columbia Business School, told Columbia Business School Newsroom: “People anticipate that once in a while, they will need to hide their secrets; they do so and move on. However, people don’t expect their secrets to spontaneously pop into their heads when irrelevant to the task or current situation at hand. This seems to be the real downside of having secrets from others.”

The study actually found that participants were hiding an average of 13 secrets over the course of one month. In actual fact, they only had to actively hide their secrets from someone about twice a month. Even if this doesn’t sound like too must hassle, it should be noted that they spontaneously thought about their secrets about five times per month. This last finding practically means that liars spend twice the amount of time it takes them to hide their secret worrying about it.

Spending so much time stressing over your secrets is, then, more consuming than actually doing something to hide them. This is a type of negative obsessive thinking that is harmful to our mental health, making us stressed and unhappy and occupying time and energy we could be spending otherwise.

In Conclusion

Study co-author Malia Mason, a professor at Columbia Business School, concludes: “Secrets exert a gravitational pull on our attention, and it’s the cyclical revisiting of our mistakes that explains the harmful effects that secrets can have on our well-being and relationship satisfaction.”

Next time that you are tempted to keep a secret from your partner, then, you need to ask yourself “Is it worth all that hassle?”

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Why Personal Space In Relationships Is Precious

There is no doubt that, even in the most compatible relationships, the partners will have to compromise on many things and on multiple levels. At first, it may seem like this is not hard to do, as the couple is going through the so-called “honeymoon phase”, but once this phase is over, personal space becomes a crucial part of a relationship.

What Makes Personal Space So Important?

In the partners’ passionate and honest effort to learn as much as they can about each other better, to bond and to get along, it is easy for them to get carried away and go so far as to lose themselves and the things that define them as individuals in the process.

This is how toxic relationships start, however. When the partners spend all their waking time together, it can become easy to develop an interdependent kind of relationship where partners lose the will to do things individually and merge into one.

Moreover, they slowly lose their unique traits, thus tiring each other and losing their spark. The fact that we are not the same as our partners is usually a good thing, not a negative thing. As we know, opposites attract.

So, if you like horror films and she is into rom-coms, you should be free to watch the kind of films you like separately. Likewise, if she likes yoga and you like handball, there is no reason why you should train together.

What is more, our friends are not always compatible with our partners. In such cases, it neither right to force them to hang out together constantly, nor is it justified to stop seeing them altogether. There is a middle path: seeing them alone.

We Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Asking For Personal Space

When you start to feel like you are merging into one single person – you do everything together, share the same friends and experiences 24/7, it may be time to take a breath. When you feel this need, don’t let yourself go on a guilt trip, you’re doing nothing wrong. Wanting and needing your personal space is perfectly alright.

In actual fact, unless you speak out and ask for what you need in a firm and honest way, you will soon feel resentment, bitterness and a deep feeling of dissatisfaction with your relationship, which may even result in breaking up.

So, it is best to value your freedom and individuality, as well as your partner’s, and allow each other time to breathe and to pursue your own thing, maintaining your personality and what made you fall in love with each other in the first place.

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