Simply uttering the words “thank you” can often make a big difference to a person’s day; it is an act that doesn’t require much effort, but it can go a long way towards making someone feel good. Here in Ireland, it would be fair to say that we’re known as a gracious nation. It’s often difficult to politely step around somebody without uttering “thanks a million” at least ten times, but it is one of the many enduring traits of the Irish.
On that note, researchers have said that, following a new study, expressing more of this gratitude towards your other half could be the key to a more harmonious and happy relationship.
The study, undertaken by the University of Georgia has affirmed that feeling grateful and expressing your gratitude to one another will help you go the distance.
Lead study author Allen Barton and his colleagues questioned just over 500 married people about their communication. Gratitude, which was measured by how appreciated and valued individuals felt by their spouse, turned out to be the most consistent predictor of marital quality.
“It goes to show the power of ‘thank you.’ Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes,” Barton said.
The results showed that simply saying “thank you” could cancel the negative effects of miscommunication and being under pressure or stressed.
“Importantly, we found that when couples are engaging in a negative conflict pattern like demand or withdrawal, expressions of gratitude and appreciation can counteract or buffer the negative effects of this type of interaction on marital stability,” co-author Ted Futris added.
While there is never going to be a miracle solution to remedy a troubled relationship, there’s something incredibly logical in simply not taking anyone, spouse or otherwise, for granted. And that is what the crux of the study essentially tells us.
“Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes,” Futris concluded.
It’s an interesting topic to mull over, and perhaps worth thinking on should you and your beloved be at odds with one another over the coming days.
Via The Independent