Choice of friends, spouses and other relatives in our lifetime is probably the most important decision we will ever make. And yet, relationships with existing loved ones sometimes break down, and over time, there are conflicts also in friendships and not only in marriage. This, of course, drives stress and drastically damages the joy of life. What to do?
Researcher Alex Huin has the answer.
Along with colleague Igor Grosman, Alex conducted a study that made participants think of conflicts from a whole new perspective.
It turns out that people are much more kind, more forgiving, and value their relationships much more when viewed from a future perspective. This way forward helps to maintain a clearer view. Alex says that “When spouses argue about things like money, jealousy or other mutual problems, they are deeply fired up with the emotions of the moment. It only makes the conflict worse. However, thinking about this relationship in the future, the same people are able to shift the focus from emotion to conflict resolution. ” When thinking about the future, people use logic and critical reasoning rather than emotion.
Needless to say, this approach works not only for spouses but also for friends and relatives. The future perspective makes it a priority to consider – is this relationship more important to me than proving my truth? If so, the search for justice is not really that important. It is more important to understand what to do to resolve the situation and improve the relationship.
This magic question is, “What am I going to think about this conflict in a year?”
Quite simply, isn’t it? It is interesting that the participants of the study, before this question was asked, wanted to blame other. Things changed dramatically as they thought about the future – they perceived the argument as just a minor mistake in the system and was looking not for the guilty one but for the solution and what they can learn from the conflict.
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