Why Some People Are Always Agreeing — Despite What They Really Think (M)

Do you know someone who always agrees, no matter what they really think?

Do you know someone who always agrees, no matter what they really think?

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Husband or Wife? The Partner Whose Happiness Matters More For The Marriage

Which spouse’s happiness is most important for marital satisfaction?

Which spouse’s happiness is most important for marital satisfaction?

When the wife is happy with a long-term partnership, the husband is happier, no matter how he feels about the marriage.

For marital quality, it seems the wife’s happiness matters more than the husband’s.

The conclusion comes from a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which looked at the marital satisfaction and happiness of older adults (Carr et al., 2014).

Professor Deborah Carr, the study’s first author said:

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life.

Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

Almost 400 couples took part in the research, which asked them how much they argue, get on each other’s nerves, whether they are appreciated by their spouses and how much they feel understood.

The couples also kept diaries detailing how happy they were while taking part in everyday activities like watching television and doing household chores.

Along with the importance of the wife’s happiness, the researchers also found that wives got less happy when their husbands were sick, but the husbands’ happiness did not drop in response to their wife’s sickness.

Professor Carr thinks this is to do with who takes over the care-giving:

“We know that when a partner is sick it is the wife that often does the caregiving, which can be a stressful experience.

But often when a woman gets sick it is not her husband she relies on but her daughter.”

Finally, the researchers looked at the overall quality of the marriages.

They found that most rated their life satisfaction as ‘high’: a five out of six points.

Overall, husbands were slightly happier with their marriages than wives.

Carr continued:

“For both spouses being in a better-rated marriage was linked to greater life satisfaction and happiness.”

“The quality of a marriage is important because it provides a buffer against the health-depleting effects of later life stressors and helps couples manage difficult decisions regarding health and medical decision making.”

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Small Gifts Give Much More Pleasure Than We Predict (M)

Givers tend to focus overly on how modest the gift is, while the recipient concentrates on the warm feeling they get.

Givers tend to focus overly on how modest the gift is, while the recipient concentrates on the warm feeling they get.

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These Everyday Interactions Increase Sense Of Purpose In Life (M)

A sense of purpose is powerful as it is linked to living a longer, healthier and happier life.

A sense of purpose is powerful as it is linked to living a longer, healthier and happier life.

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20 Movies That Help You Make Sense Of Life

These films help people make sense of problems in life and accept the human condition.

These films help people make sense of problems in life and accept the human condition.

Meaningful films help people cope with life’s problems, research suggests.

People report that movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Up and Schindler’s List, help them to make sense of problems in life and accept the human condition.

Other films rated as meaningful include Hotel Rwanda and Slumdog Millionaire.

While these films are not necessarily uplifting, they are all moving and poignant.

And that is the key to a meaningful film: having an emotional range, being inspirational and containing both happy and sad moments.

People did not report these types of benefits when they watched other well-regarded but not so meaningful films like Catch Me If You Can and The Big Lebowski.

Mr Jared Ott, the study’s first author, said:

“Meaningful movies actually help people cope with difficulties in their own lives, and help them want to pursue more significant goals.”

For the study, over 1,000 people rated different films — 20 of which were chosen for being highly meaningful, while the other 20 were not (see below for the full list).

Professor Michael Slater, study co-author, explained the results:

“We found that people felt better able to make sense of difficulties in their own life when they recalled a movie that focused on values that were important to them.”

Films which were more meaningful, people said were more likely to help them:

  • “Feel like struggles in life are for a reason.”
  • “More easily handle difficult situations with grace and courage.”

People thinking about meaningful films were also more likely to agree with statements like:

  • “Both happy and sad experiences give meaning to our life.”
  • “Gains and losses are part of life.”

The research also showed the importance of individual values.

People found more meaning in films that espoused values they themselves believed in.

Mr Ott said:

“That happened even when the movie was classified as one of the less meaningful films.

The findings suggest why many people see movies as more than just entertainment.

Some films may help people cope and grow through difficult periods in their life.

And people may recognize this effect years after they have seen a particular movie.”

20 meaningful films

Here is the full list of more meaningful films, in no particular order:

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Forrest Gump
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Into the Wild
  • The Green Mile
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Schindler’s List
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • The Pianist
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Gran Torino
  • Rain Man
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Braveheart
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Gladiator
  • Up

The less meaningful films used in the study:

  • Pulp Fiction
  • Casino
  • Blood Diamond
  • The Departed
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Mystic River
  • The Usual Suspects
  • Catch Me if You Can
  • Snatch1
  • There will be blood
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Trainspotting
  • LA Confidential
  • The Princess Bride
  • Se7en
  • V for Vendetta
  • Sin City
  • Fight Club
  • Ratatouille

The study was published in the journal Mass Communication and Society (Ott et al., 2021).

This Much Spare Time Makes You Happiest

It is possible to have too much free time for your mental health.

It is possible to have too much free time for your mental health.

When people have about two hours spare time each day they are happiest, a fascinating study finds.

People with between two and five hours spare time a day are equally happy as those with two hours spare.

This suggests that the ‘time poor’ should try and carve out around two hours of free time each day to increase their happiness.

People who have seven hours spare time each day, though, are markedly less happy and satisfied with their lives than those with two hours spare.

This may partly be because people with too much time feel unproductive due to wasting it.

The solution to too much free time is finding and pursuing a purpose.

When people feel purposeful, it makes them happier.

Too busy to enjoy yourself

The findings contradict what many people might imagine: that more spare time is always linked to happiness.

While having two hours is much better than one hour or none, more than this is not linked to higher levels of happiness.

Dr Marissa Sharif, the study’s first author, said:

“People often complain about being too busy and express wanting more time.

But is more time actually linked to greater happiness?

We found that having a dearth of discretionary hours in one’s day results in greater stress and lower subjective well-being.

However, while too little time is bad, having more time is not always better.”

The results come firstly from a set of surveys in which the associations between free time and happiness among thousands of Americans were tested.

These clearly showed that some free time was linked to more happiness, but only up to a point.

Secondly, in a set of experiments people were asked to imagine they had a low (15 minutes), moderate (3.5 hours) or high (7 hours) amount of free time each day.

The results showed that people felt happiest and more productive with a moderate amount of free time each day — around 3.5 hours, or so.

Low amounts of free time were linked to feeling stressed and high amounts to engaging in unproductive activities like watching television and using the computer.

Dr Sharif said:

“Though our investigation centered on the relationship between amount of discretionary time and subjective well-being, our additional exploration into how individuals spend their discretionary time proved revealing.

Our findings suggest that ending up with entire days free to fill at one’s discretion may leave one similarly unhappy.

People should instead strive for having a moderate amount of free time to spend how they want.

In cases when people do find themselves with excessive amounts of discretionary time, such as retirement or having left a job, our results suggest these individuals would benefit from spending their newfound time with purpose.”

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Sharif et al., 2021).

The Best Way To Start A New Phase Of Your Life

How to move home, change job or start a new relationship with no regrets.

How to move home, change job or start a new relationship with no regrets.

Ending phases of life with a sense of closure makes people feel happier, research finds.

People who tie up all the loose ends before moving house, changing job or starting a new relationship experience fewer regrets.

When people feel they have ‘said goodbye’ properly to their old life, they experience easier transitions to their new life.

Things like going-away parties help people experience a sense of closure.

Without doing everything that could have been done, people are more likely to have regrets.

Professor Gabriele Oettingen, the study’s first author, said:

“Starting a new life phase in a positive and constructive way is often challenging, so we examined methods that could help people find a good start to a new job, a new relationship, or a new home.

We observed that how people end their previous life periods makes a difference.

In fact, the more people feel that they have done everything they could have done, that they have completed something to the fullest, and that all loose ends are tied up, the happier they are later on, the less they are plagued by regrets, and the more constructively they enter the next life phase.”

The research included over 1,200 people across seven different studies.

Participants were asked about transitions like finishing school or travelling for a period.

In one study, people imagined moving away from their hometown or leaving a best friend’s wedding.

The results showed that ending these periods in a well-rounded way — for example, by saying goodbye to friends — was linked to fewer regrets and a more positive transition.

Finishing in a well-rounded way was even linked to enhanced attention and cognitive flexibility by one study.

Professor Oettingen said:

“Ending the various phases in our lives in a well-rounded way seems to be an important building block for sustaining emotional, interpersonal, and professional happiness.”

The study was published in the journal Motivation Science (Schwörer et al., 2019).

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