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The Key To Instantly Improving Relationships

The Key To Instantly Improving Relationships post image

The best type of support to give your partner.

Giving more emotional support can improve relationships considerably, new research finds.

Partners who receive more empathy, concern and acceptance  experienced more positive emotions and had higher relationship satisfaction.

Men, in particular, can improve their relationship by giving women more support of any type.

However, men have a tendency to give advice, when what women often prefer is emotional support, such as empathy.

Women can also improve their relationship by giving men more emotional support.

The conclusions come from a study of 114 newlywed couples.

All were asked about how much of two types of support they received from their partner:

  • Emotional support: being empathetic, encouraging, trusting and caring.
  • Informational support: providing solutions in the form of advice.

Overall, the results revealed that the best type of support to provide was emotional.

The study’s authors explain:

“…receiving more emotional support was associated with more favorable affect and higher relationship satisfaction regardless of support preferences.

Also, wives who received more informational support from their husbands had higher relationship satisfaction regardless of support preferences.”

However, not everyone likes the same type of support.

Some people get more out of empathy and concern, while others prefer straightforward advice.

Both too much or too little advice can be a source of irritation.

The study’s authors explain:

“Husbands who experienced underprovision of informational support from their wives, experienced less favorable affect.

In contrast, wives who experienced overprovision of informational support from their husbands experienced higher depressive symptoms.”

While there were differences in the types of support partners preferred, everyone was happy to get emotional support.

So, if you are not sure if your partner wants empathy or advice, the default should be empathy first.

The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology (Lorenzo et al., 2018).